Home & Garden Gardening

What About Roses?

Wouldn't you just know it.
One of the most beautiful flowers in the garden is also the most difficult to grow successfully.
I'm talking about the garden prima donna, the rose.
It takes time to care for roses, but the payback can be incredible.
There are a number of rose families.
The most famous and largest is the Tea Rose,, but there also are the Grandifloras, Floribundas, Old English, Ramblers, Climbers, Miniatures and more.
Some roses will bloom for you continuously during the season.
Some of the newer hybrids bloom off and on all season.
The lesson here is to decide what kind of rose you are going to invite into your garden before you start shopping.
To make your rose happy they want at least 5 hours of sun.
Too little sun can invite black spot, an insidious fungus.
They do best in what is called light soil.
(Not heavy clay) You will want to keep it loose, buy cultivating the root area often.
Keep the base of the roses heavily mulched.
Mulching will serve to feed the rose a little and keep the soil temperature neither too cold nor too hot.
Growing roses organically can be particularly challenging.
I've had good luck mixing in a 1/4 cup of Epson Salts into the root area.
I first add it even before I plant the new rose.
Spray with insecticidal soaps to protect against insect damage.
But the real challenge is the previously mentioned Black Spot fungus.
I'm sure you've seen in on roses before.
It is the ugly black irregular spots on the leaves.
Unfortunately, overhead watering can contribute to the problem, so water the root area and not the foliage or bloom.
Lots of rose newbies worry about end of season pruning.
It is easier than you think.
This is particularly true if you have a good pair of secutars (like Felcos) and thorn-proof gloves.
When you do cut the blossom for inside display, do it just above a leaf node.
This will encourage the plant to grow bushier, not lanky.
Long canes really need to be trimmed back to about 6-8 inches in the fall.
Winter winds can cause the canes to rock the plant which, in turn, damages the roots.
Where you want to plant the rose will dictate what kind of rose you need.
Some are small, bushy plants, others will climb arbors for you.
But, wherever you put them, the steps above will help you enjoy them for many years.
By the way, check the material about the roses you are considering for fragrance.
Too many modern roses have lost their classic rose fragrance.
Good luck.

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