Roses, growing among your annuals and perennials, stand out with their beautiful colors, velvet petals, and sweet scents. An entire garden of roses, whether six bushes or twelve, will make an eye-catching focal point in your yard. They aren’t hard to grow, or care for, if you follow some tips I’ve learned.
Choose Your Rose Carefully
1. Before buying your rose bush, do some research, and choose one that will be suitable for your soil and climate.
2. Decide on what color you want, and the degree of scent. The best way to get this information would be a visit to your local garden nursery. My personal favorites are Double Delight, Midas Touch, and Mr. Lincoln.
3. After you make your purchase and bring it home, let it set in a bucket of water for at least eight hours, but no more than 12, to thoroughly hydrate the roots and “canes”. Canes are to roses what stems are to flowers.
Prepare The Soil
1. The best time to plant is in the evening, after the sun has set. Choose a spot where there is good drainage and plenty of sunlight. Roses do well with about six hours of sun daily.
2. Remove any weeds or grass by the roots, and rake out stones.
3. Dig a hole 12″-14″ deep, and about 16″ wide. The width should be two times the size of the root ball.
4. Line the hole with garden soil. I use a ratio of three parts soil to one part potting soil.
5. Take some of the soil you dug from the hole, and make a small mound in the center of it.
1. Remove rose bush from water, and shake off excess soil.
2. Set bush on top of mound, and let the roots drape over it. Water the hole lightly, then refill with the garden soil.
3. Fill hole with garden soil, pack it down firmly, and water thoroughly.
Care Of New Plant
1. Feed your new (and established) roses once a month. I use Miracle-Gro Spikes. They have the right amount of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous to keep plants healthy. The spikes are also convenient to use.
2. Water thoroughly every evening, but don’t over-water. Doing so will cause the root ball to rot and die.
Preparing Established Plants
1. I prune my roses in early spring, cutting back three inches, but you might want to check with the local nursery, since climates and locales vary.
2. When the ground dries out from winter’s snow and rain, clear away any debris around the bush.
3. Water and fertilize. I use ½ tablespoon of Miracle-Gro powder dissolved in one gallon of water, and pour it on the base of the plant.
4. Take a clean pair of sharp garden shears, and clip away dead canes and damaged wood.
1. If you want to make a bouquet, cut them in early morning with sharp shears,and make the cut on a slant. Have your vase of water handy, and immediately set the flowers in it.
2. Remove rose petals that are wilted, and when the entire flower begins to droop and fade, snip it off.
3. Check to see if insects are feasting on the blooms and leaves. When I notice this happening, I sprinkle some insect repellant, like Sevin dust, on the entire rose bush. It kills the bugs without harming the plant.
I love the scent of roses, carried through my open windows on a gentle breeze. They really aren’t difficult to grow and nurture, and once you have success with your first one, you’ll probably want to add more. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful and sweet-smelling, rose garden.