Roses are respected as one of the world’s most beautiful flowers however, caring for roses is considered difficult. This does not have to be the case. If you take your time to do some research, planning and preparation, you will successfully grow healthy plants that produce beautiful flowers year after year. Most gardeners who are serious about the long term vitality of their plants check on such things as location, soil type, rose variety and water requirements before planting. Pruning rose bushes is an important part of maintaining healthy plants and again is not so difficult with the right instructions. Like most things in life correct research and a plan will guide you to the results you desire.
Make no mistake, if you want your roses to look their best then you need to invest some time in their care. But caring for roses doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you’ve learned how to provide proper nurture for your roses it will seem easy. Water is a basic necessity of all life. But how much? Too much water can be as detrimental to your plant as too little. Roses require about one inch of water per week, but of course this can depend on a number of factors. What variety you are growing, the local climate and the time of year. Hooking up with other rose gardeners in your area will reveal a wealth of experience, even checking out online forums will provide some great tips.
Roses are deep rooted plants which once established, means they are hardy and can survive by taking moisture from deep in the earth. Watering early on after planting of your roses helps them grow roots deep into the sub-soil. Not only are you building a good foundation for long term growth but you’ll be enjoying beautiful blooms much sooner. So be careful not to water too lightly. The water must soak in or you run the risk of your plants roots staying shallow where they are getting the initial moisture. Should this occur the roses ability to handle dry spells, or a period when you are away from home will be much diminished. Always water at the base of the plant not by sprinkling the leaves as so many mistakenly do.
Caring for roses also means fertilizing. Good soil will provide enough nutrients for your roses for years without the need for added fertilizer, but there comes a time when an extra boost is required. Using chemical fertilizers is far from ideal, organic rose gardening is recommended. Nature has a wonderful ecological system, so who are we to try and outsmart it? Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs) break down organic matter and increase it’s nutritive properties. By using artificial man made fertilizers you kill these beneficial bacteria and ultimately damage the wellbeing of your rose bush. Your plants become dependant on the chemical fertilizer which means you have to keep providing it which means more work and adds to the myth that caring for roses is difficult.
Organic slow release fertilizer is available and should be added to the soil early in spring. As the plant comes out of dormancy this gives it a much needed awakening boost. It won’t hurt to add a small amount of the same fertilizer at the end of the blooming season as the bush is storing energy for winter. However please don’t give a big dose after mid summer. Another benefit of organic fertilizer is that it has a synergy with the natural HSOs and this boosts their ability to serve the plant.
Another ongoing chore with roses is pruning. Many gardeners get great satisfaction from pruning as it get’s rid of the dead wood and makes way for new growth. The results can be seen in a matter of days and this gives gardeners a lot of pleasure. Pruning should be done in Spring after the bush has been dormant throughout the cold months. All the dead or diseased branches and twigs should be removed, which not only improves the look of your rose bush but encourages new growth. During blooming you can prune the flowers which encourages more buds to form and results in more blooms for your enjoyment.
Yes there is a time commitment if you wish to have healthy great looking roses in your garden. But done correctly from the start this will all be a joy to the rose enthusiast. Just think of the pleasure of having gorgeous blooms of roses in your garden, the envy of your neighbors!