inexpensive hobby if you are interested in really getting into it. But I can assure you of this: if you follow the guidance I
provide you in this article, your chances of growing the most beautiful roses you have ever seen are very good.
Where in your yard do you plant roses? Be very careful here. Roses must have full sun - at least 6 hours a day. If they
are planted in shade or partial shade, they will be lanky, sparse and generally unhealthy. The more sun they get, the better
they like it. Another thing to consider is root competition. Roses don't like competing shrubbery or trees that will deprive
them of their needed nutrients. Don't plant roses near either one, and in the case of trees, 25 to 30 feet is close enough.
Another thing roses don't like is wet feet, so make sure your location has good natural drainage.
Because of the critical nature of drainage requirements, I prefer raised or elevated rose beds. You can achieve this with
railroad ties (old ones without the creosote coating), landscape timbers, treated 2 X 8 planks stood on their edge, bricks,
cinder blocks or just about anything your imagination can dream up. Allow 2 feet from the edge of the bed to rose bush,
and from 30 to 36 inches between bushes. I don't recommend group plantings of more than two deep because of the
accessibility need. Using theses guidelines, you should be able to lay out the design of your bed. Next comes excavation.
Remove the top 12 inches of topsoil and set aside, removing any grass or roots. Combine this with equal parts of
sphagnum peat moss and perlite, mix well and return mixture to the rose bed. Broadcast about 5 pounds of Super
Phosphate and 2 pounds of agricultural sulphur on the top of the bed for every 100 square feet of rose bed and stir it in
with a garden hoe. Hopefully, you were able to do this several weeks in advance of your planting, because the mixture
needs to settle. If no, water your bed down thoroughly with garden hose several days in a row before planting your roses.
The proper time to plant bare root roses is from mid-February to mid-March. Dig a hole in your rose bed about 12
inches by 12 inches. Put two tablespoons of Super Phosphate in the bottom of your hole, mix the removed soil with an
equal part of sphagnum pet moss and refill the to half of its depth and water thoroughly. After the water has drained, add
enough additional fill mixture to build an inverted cone the total depth of hole. Carefully place the bare root plant over the
cone, spreading out the roots as best you can without damaging the.. Holding the plant in place, press down into the cone
until the bud union is even with the soil level. Add soil mixture, tamping gently until only about 2 inches remains unfilled,
then water again. After this drains finish filling the hole with our mixture and continue pulling the soil mixture up around
the canes until you have something resembling a tee pee. This will protect the plant form freezes, and should be carefully
removed back to ground lever on April 1 st, or when danger of killing freeze is bone.
Potted roses generally are not dormant so should not be planted until April 1st or later. Excavate the hole in the same
manner as above, and plant the bush, taking care to keep as much of the potted soil intact around the roots as possible.
The inverted cone described above is not applicable with potted plants, because you need to take great care to keep the soil
around your potted plant's roots intact as much as possible. Fill up your hole with the soil mixture previously described,
but fill it to the level necessary for the plant's bud union to be even with the rosebud soil level when you pace the potted
plant in the hole. Water in well, and finish filling the hole with your mixture.
In central Oklahoma, we prune around April 1st or when all danger of a killing frost or freeze is over. The exception to
this is Climbing Roses. This type blooms on last year's wood, so wait to prune them after they have had their spring
bloom. On all the remaining types of roses, perform the following: trim all dead canes from the plant, visualize an
upside-down spider, and get started with hand lopers and a key-hole saw. Remove about half the length of the canes (or
more if they are not alive), cutting them with a sharp set of lopers or hand shears with a slight angle into the center of the
plant. Your cuts should be just above and outside budeye (about 1/4 inch) and should be sealed with an application of
Elmer's glue or plant shellac. You should also remove all twiggy growth and any canes smaller than a pencil. Last rule:
use good judgment. Don't hack good canes to the ground just because they are small if that's all you plant has!
You start spraying your roses when you prune, continuing until the first frost in the fall, and performing this duty every
7-10 days without fail. What are you spraying for? Blackspot. This fungal disease of roses is the biggest single complaint
associated with roses and is usually described by someone saying, "My roses were doing fine, then their leaves turned
yellow and dropped off." Use any one of a variety of chemicals that are available at many garden supply stores. I prefer to
use Ortho Funginex until Blackspot appears, then I go to Fore, Manzate, Maneb or Dithane M-45. The Funginex is a liquid,
the rest are powders. I don' use pesticides until I have an infestation of critters that natural predators can't handle. Then I
add Ortho Orthene to my fungicide mixture. Always follow the instructions on the container for usage, storage and
disposal. Spraying every 7-10 days is a lot of time and trouble, but must be done if you want healthy roses.
Feeding is next. For your newly planted roses, don't apply any commercial fertilizer to them until the end of May. After
that, same rules as others. As for the others, get yourself some balanced fertilizer (10-20-10) and dig a shallow trench
around the drip line of the rose bush (about 1-2 inches deep). Spread about 1/2 cup of the fertilizer in the trench, cover
with soil and water in well. Do this when you prune, and then monthly through August. Don't use any granular fertilizer
after August. There are other additives and fertilizer methods, but I won't complicate the process for you by addressing
I recommend you mulch your beds in June. This helps your soil retain moisture and keeps it cooler during the summer
months. Use about 3 inches of a good material such as alfalfa hay, wheat straw, cottonseed hulls, pine bark mulch h,
cypress mulch, pecan shells, just to name of few. Don't use anything that has had defoliant contact. Most mulches break
down over the year, add organic matter to your soil, and need to be replaced each year.
Your roses need the equivalent of 2 inches of water a week during their growing season. Slow watering, i.e., deep
soaking, is what you do. How you do it varies according to your preferences, Overhead watering is discouraged because
of the fungal problems, but if you are religious with your spraying program, you shouldn't have any problems. Don't let
your rosebeds dry out. Nothing kills a healthy bush like dry roots.
Good luck and good roses!
|Tips on Growing Roses A to Z!|