How to Grow Roses

Gardeners who know how to grow roses are among the elite of the gardening world. You too can enjoy the art of rose gardening with a little patience and guidance.

Variety: Rose Rosa
Zones: 5 to 10
Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained soil.
Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.0
Sunlight: Full sun
Watering: Average to heavy water needs.
Fertilizer: Balanced, single-digit, general garden fertilizer.
Availability: Sold as "bare root" or potted plants.

When to plant: Roses can be planted from fall to early spring, depending on your zone. Plant roses earlier in warmer zones, later in cooler zones.

Planting Method

Bare Root: Dig a hole wide enough to spread roots our comfortably. Hole should be deep enough to place the graft joint (the swollen part of the stem) one inch below ground. Backfill firmly to avoid air pockets in the soil.

Potted plants: Dig a hole slightly wider than the rose's container and deep enough to be level with the soil in the container. Gently remove the rose from the container and loosen the roots by hand. Place the plant in the hole and backfill firmly with soil. Soak the area around the plant to compress the soil.

Roses need 1" of water per week. Monitor roses carefully during periods of drought.

Fertilize roses once in the early spring, then once a month during summer months. Stop fertilizing roses six weeks before the first frost.

Roses bloom from late spring to late summer depending on variety. A Rose will produce dozens flowers over its bloom period.

Rose flowers may be cut using a sharp knife or garden shears. Place roses in water-adding a crushed aspirin will prolong the life of blooms.

Mildew: Usually caused by limited airflow around the plant, mildew appears as a powder on the edges of leaves. Proper plant spacing will hinder the formation of mildew. An application of fungicide will also combat mildew.

Black Spot: Appears as black spots on leaves. During wet or humid weather, black spot can lead to defoliation of rose bushes. Remove infected stems of plants and treat entire plant with a fungicidal soap several times over the course of the season.

Aphids: Small, soft-bodied insects that suck moisture from plants. Ladybugs are a great way to control aphids. Consider insecticidal soaps as an alternative to pesticides.

Japanese Beetles: These ½" long metallic green beetles have no natural enemies in the US. Japanese beetles are voracious leaf eaters. The best way to remove Japanese beetles is to kill their larva. The larvae are usually found under turf grass and can be eliminated using grub-specific pesticides or organic treatments like milky spore. Adults may be captured in traps, but don't place traps near the plants you want to protect.

Roses should be pruned in the early spring. Remove all dead wood first, then prune for size and shape. In cooler zones, mulch roses in fall to help them over winter.

Saving Seeds
Seeds can be collected from rose hips (bulbous growths at the tips of rose stems) when they turn orange. Pack seeds in peat moss, place in a plastic bag and store in a cool, dark place.

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