Gardening Tips For Great Roses
The first rule is for success with your rose plants is not to overcomplicate things but rather to consider these organic care guidelines that have produced great roses for me over the years.
Let me deal with the obvious issues first. The impression that roses are hard to grow is, quite frankly, wrong. Roses are no harder to grow than any other plant but they do require some specific care and perhaps an attitude adjustment on the part of many gardeners.
What Attitude Adjustment?
Roses come in two "flavors" - tender and hardy. So if you insist on growing tender roses in your cold climate, then you're going to have to understand that while there are techniques that will prolong their life, you are going to lose them if you insist on growing them in the "traditional" way.
This means you have to treat them as a half-hardy plant. Some years you'll lose them and some years they'll survive. And you have to readjust your thinking to simply accept this.
Or you can adopt some of my techniques for planting tender roses in cold climates (see the book link) and manage them appropriately.
Simply Grow Tough Roses
The easiest thing to do of course is restrict your collection to tough roses. Grow rose plants that survive in your area - not matter how cold it gets. A perfect example of this class of plants are the shrub roses and Explorer roses. Here are three options for hardy rose plants
What About Disease?
Oh yeah, some rose plants are really prone to a problem called Black Spot
but here again, there are specific techniques that reduce this issue (read the article above)
I note some roses are sold as 'Black Spot Resistant" and this doesn't mean the plant won't get black spot. It means it resists getting it - likely for a few weeks later in the season.
What About Pruning?
I tend to prune my bush roses every few years. I whack them right to the ground and let them start all over again. Otherwise, they "fight" me back with their thorns. There are however techniques for pruning big shrub roses
Hybrid tea roses are pruned right after they finish their blooms and the research I'm familiar with suggests you cut off about a foot of stem below the spent bloom to encourge new growth and the next flush of blooms (you should get three separate bloom flushes on a hybrid tea rose.
What About Feeding?
Oh yeah. Roses are greedy feeders in the garden and you're going to want to feed them right after the first two sets of blooms. This will give them the strength to produce another set of blooms.
Do not feed after the third set (unless you're using the deep planting system) as you want the plant to "harden off" for winter.
How Much Water Do Rose Plants Require?
They require deep waterings twice a week. Cut back on the water and you'll cut back on the blooms.
Do Roses Need Great Soil?
Note that roses are one of the few plants that thrive on heavy clay soils and will grow quite nicely on them.
They'll also grow well on better drained soils but they do struggle on sandier soils (those with sandier soils are going to have to really watch their watering and feeding as the soil will dry faster and the heavier waterings needed will drive the water-soluble Nitrogen fertilizer down and away from the rose roots.
And yes, for the record, I've written on two print books about growing roses - my own "Tender Roses in Tough Climates" (about how to grow tender roses in very cold areas - see image link below) which was distributed by three book clubs and sold very well (still on Amazon) and rewrote "Roses for Dummies" for the the Canadian market.
Having Said All That, These Articles Will Deal With Nicely With The Details.
Here's what you need to know about feeding roses - whether hybrid tea, shrub or container grown.
Do you have what it takes to grow great long stemmed roses? It's not as easy as it looks
Here are the major seven things you need in order to succeed at growing roses in containers
How to control rose black spot using organic controls - two spray options and four growing tips
Here are the simple steps for growing roses from seed - you can do this
Issues and solutions for growing roses organically
Growing sweetheart roses is deceptively simple once you know what they are
Three options for growing hardy rose bushes in your backyard garden
John Cabot rose is a hardy rose that's used as a shrub or climber - here's how to grow it
This is the honest story of why you won't likely grow them in your garden
I love this stuff - you can send entire messages with different flower colors
It's easier than you think to grow miniature roses from year to year
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