Roses have a somewhat well deserved reputation as a challenging plant to grow but fear not, Blooming Secrets can help you to grow beautiful roses! The best place to start is the beginning and that starts with a little research. There are all different types of roses for a variety of purposes ranging from hedges to containers and you want to be sure you pick the right rose for the job. Blooming Secrets can assist you with finding the best roses for your area but you may be able to find this information from other sources as well. After deciding which rose is the best one for your situation and buying it the next step is to plant it.
Roses require at least six hours of sun each day but soil preparation is critical to successfully growing roses. You need to dig a hole that is about 2 to 3 times as wide as the root ball and along with the rose itself the hole needs to be filled with good quality soil. You can purchase a soil mix that includes compost from a garden center or if you have your own compost pile you can take that compost and mix it into the soil that you removed from the hole. When planting the rose you need to have the bud union, which is a knotty part of the rose stem where the roots and the top growth meet about an inch over the soil line. Then, add mulch to keep moisture in and weeds out.
While planting the rose properly is important the real work is now beginning. The rose has earned its challenging reputation primarily for the care that is needed after planting. Roses are subject to fungal diseases including black spot and powdery mildew, both of which can quickly cause the plant to lose its leaves which isn’t good for the health of the plant and it certainly doesn’t help the overall presentation either. I’ve found that having a regular spraying schedule is the most proactive way to combat these diseases.
I’ve tried organic sprays such as ones with baking soda or milk as the main component and chemical sprays and found them to be equally effective. The key is to start spraying before you see signs of the disease. If you see black spot or mildew it is too late to save those affected leaves and trying to stop the spread of the disease is difficult. I start spraying as soon as leaves appear on the plant and spray at least every other week. I also recommend spraying early in the morning to give the treatment time to dry before the sun gets too strong or the leaves can get burned.
If dealing with fungal diseases isn’t enough there are insects to battle. Japanese Beatles are one of the main pests to be concerned about. You can just pick them off if there aren’t too many of them and drown them in a container of soapy water. There are also insecticides that can be used if you have bigger infestations. I don’t use the traps that can be found in many hardware stores as they seem to attract more of these foes to the battleground!
The last ongoing task that must be completed to grow great roses is fertilization. I typically use a fertilizer that is made specifically for roses and I scratch a little bit of fertilizer into the soil around the rose once a month. If you live in Garden Zones 3 through 7, stop fertilizing 8 weeks before you typically get your first frost. In Northern Virginia this is around the end of July, This will allow any tender new growth to mature and reduce frost damage.
So now that you know all there is to know about caring for roses (Ha! Ha!) don’t be afraid to try growing roses in your garden!