Your Rose Garden - An Overview

Roses can be planted from early spring into early fall. Bare-root plants, however, should be planted as soon as possible after purchase, before new shoots begin to develop, and no later than in mid-spring. Spacing is important, as plants placed too close together will be tall and spindly and produce less blooms and smaller blooms than when given proper space.

Full sun is vital for most rose bushes to thrive. Most roses need full sun for six hours a day to produce blooms to their full potential, though a few can do well with four hours per day. Not enough sun, and your rose bushes will grow to be tall, thin and with few flowers,
and will be susceptible to various plant diseases.

Once you plant your rose bushes, don't for a minute think your work is done. Roses require almost constant care to remain healthy and to produce beautiful and plentiful blooms. Hybrid tea, grandiflora and floribunda roses are capable of repeated blooms with proper care.

roses require about one" of water each week. To avoid damage to blooms and splashing of disease spores from the ground to foliage, it is better practice to water by soaking only the soil rather than overhead sprinkling.

One of the vital tasks for long-living, vital rose bushes is the yearly job of pruning. Pruning entails cutting off all dead, diseased, and/or damaged canes, as well as about a third of the healthy ones,
depending on the rose, and removing all thin stems (a good measure is to remove all that are no thicker than a pencil). Miniature roses should not be pruned as such, do remove dead tips, very thin shoots, and especially dead canes. Poor quality pruners can easily damage your rose bushes. Make sure you have good quality and sharpened pruners.

To do well, roses need lots of fertilizer, but always follow the instructions on the package to avoid damage to your plants. Generally, feed your roses twice a year, in the early spring, when growth begins, and again later on in the year when the first heavy flush of blooms
has ended. However, additional Foliar feedings, the technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves, can be beneficial to roses.

Many types of insects love to graze on rose bushes. Though the most common pest is the aphid, which can be controlled naturally, without the use of harmful chemicals, other rose predators include the leaf cutter bee, which cuts out identical semi-circles in rose bush leaves, some types of beetles, rose slugs, budworms, caterpillars, spider mites, and the spittle bug, which suck the juices from canes and emits a white foam. Some of these, especially caterpillars and budworms, may need to be picked off by hand. Ladybugs, or more correctly, lady beetles, will feast on many of these garden pests, primarily aphids, and help keep your rose bushes healthy and hearty. If you have no alternative but to spray with insecticides, make sure you spray the underside of the leaves, as that is where many of these pests are lurking.
Plant disease are another serious problem. Mosaic virus disease, which shows up as bright yellow or white leaf veins, infects the entire plant, and can be transferred from plant to plant by use of infected rootstock.

A pale grayish coating on plant leaves is most likely mildew. Good air circulation between plants can help to reduce the likelihood of mildew developing.

Suckers are shoots that grow up from the rootstock. Thought they resemble canes, they will never produce blooms, and they "suck" the nutrients from the rest of the plant ,and thus must be removed. For best results in preventing them from growing back, do not cut them off, but instead pull them off, which will the wound to make a callous and heal over.

Pick good quality bushes to plant, use proper care in fertilizing, and in keeping your plants insect and disease-free, and provide proper watering, and you will enjoy the beauty of your rose garden for many, many years.

See our Selection of Roses and our article on Tips For Maintaining a Beautiful and Healthy Rose Garden

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