There are few things more beautiful than a healthy rose in full bloom. Getting one to that point takes dedication, persistence, energy and effort that is rewarded many times over in a growing season. Although there are many types of roses that can call for specific treatments, there are some characteristics of caring for roses that are fundamental for healthy plants. Here are some tips on how to care for these amazing flowers and what to do for best results.
Roses Like to Drink
One of the most important things you can do for healthy roses is to keep them watered. They don’t like to sit in pools of water but thrive in soil that is loose and moist. Designing your garden with an irrigation management system will ensure they have what they need when they need it. Roses do well with mulch or another type of covering a few inches from their base to keep it clear of debris that attracts pests. Having good drainage is also an important consideration of a proper watering system. If you are going to plant bare-root roses, soak them in a bucket of water for about 10 hours before putting them in the ground to make sure they have the water they need.
Roses Are Sunbathers
Open spaces are good places for roses, which like to have at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. They will grow in partial sun but will weaken and not produce as many flowers. Planting roses where they will get substantial morning sun will help their leaves dry early on in the day and prevent disease. Be sure not to crowd your bushes because roses need air and room to grow. Keep in mind how the changing seasons will affect sunlight on your plants. Designing a garden that has plentiful morning light and late afternoon shade can give your blooms just what they need to blossom.
Roses Have Good Appetites
Natural fertilizers and compost are the best food for your rose bushes and should be used before and during the blooming seasons. Granular fertilizer can be worked into the soil around the base but not against the stem of the roses in spring and early summer. A small amount of Epsom salts is a valuable nutrient that encourages new growth when added to this area of the soil with the fertilizer. If you have black, mushy bananas, you can bury them next to your rose bushes as a source of calcium, magnesium and sulfur that roses love.
Roses Need a Trim
In the springtime when your roses bushes begin to show new leaves, prune above the leaf bud level. If you prune in the fall, you could damage the plants you cared for so well all summer. Roses should not be moved or cut back in the summer because doing so in the heat could kill them. Small rose canes can be cut back to within 12 inches of the ground. Deadhead your roses after they have bloomed to promote more flowers. Below the spent flower, cut back to the first leaf. Dispose of all the dead or diseased trimmings and keep the beds free of clutter.
Roses Sleep in the Winter
After a summer full of beautiful blooms, your roses deserve a good winter’s nap. Do not prune them in the fall but instead eliminate any dead or diseased parts of the plants. They do still need water so don’t neglect the irrigation system or watering routine you have set up. Fungus spray can help keep your sleepy plants free from disease during the cold months. You do not need to fertilize in the winter but adding mulch or compost around the plants before the ground freezes will give your roses a nice nightcap.
Roses are elegant plants that can bring you years of beauty if cared for with the correct water, food, sunlight and pruning.