How to Plant, Feed and Care for your Roses
Select your site and prepare your soil for planting your roses
Roses need Six direct hours of sun each day to flower well. However, in the hot Texas summers, you may want to give them late afternoon shade. The site should be level and not too close to trees and shrubs that compete for nutrients.Choose a well-drained location, Roses do not like “wet feet”.
Raised Bedsare recommended to correct poor drainage, and they improve growing conditions for plants by lifting their roots above poor soil.
Clear the site of all weeds and grasses. Loosen the soil down at least 12 inches. It is not necessary or recommended to over till. Great soil is filled with billions of helpful bacteria, worms and microorganisms that play important roles in bringing nutrients to your plants. Over tilling the soil can ruin all of that.
In Texas, our heavy, sticky clay soil is basically deficient in two things - air and organic matter, and needs to be amended before you plant a new bed. Plant roots don't get enough oxygen in un amended clay soils, but raised beds, compost and other amendments help.
Leaf Mold Compost,Composted Cotton Burrs, Expanded Shale, are the best soil amendments, which can be added to our Texas gumbo to ensure success in your garden beds. Texas soils tend to retain water, which is good for dry summers, but can literally drown plants in the spring rains. Properly preparing the planting bed will allow the roots of your new plants to quickly grow throughout the area. Deep watering the soil and allowing it become dry an inch or two down before you water again will also encourage deeper root growth in your new plantings.
Most roses can be grown can be grown quite successfully in containers as long as attention is paid to the root environment, nutritional needs, moisture requirements, and pruning.
Tree form roses and miniature varieties are especially well suited to container culture.
How To Plant Your Rose Bushes
Dig a hole slightly larger than the container that the rose bush is in.Work into the planting holecompost and expanded shale or soil conditioner. Add a fertilizer formulated for roses to the bottom of the hole.
Secret Tip: work 1 cup ofEpsom Salts into planting hole along with fertilizer at time of planting. Roses love this!
Epsom salt – actually magnesium sulfate– helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, increases chlorophyll production and deters pests, such as slugs and voles. It also provides vital nutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer.
Spread the plant roots gently and set the rose bush into its hole.
Adda mixture of native soil, compost and expanded shale or soil conditioneraround the transplant until the bud union is about two inches above the ground. Tap the soil down gently and firmly around the plant.Then, water in with a root stimulator.
Root Stimulator and Water Soluble Fertilizers
Water in at time of planting and throughout active growing season
Microlife Ocean Harvest 4-2-3 or Liquid Seaweed or Kelp.
Other Helpful Amendments: Azomite and Greensand
Deep water newly planted roses every day for the first two days after planting. This settles the soil and removes large pockets around the roots. Then, you can resume your normal watering schedule.
Symptoms of Underwatering
Leaves are dry and crumble, brown or light green in color, and fall easily off the tree.
Symptoms of Overwatering
Leaves discolor, but do not come off easily or crumble in your hand.
When does a Rose need water?
Feel the soil around the root ball to the depth of approximately three inches. If it’s dry, thoroughly soak the entire root ball. In May and June, you should pay special attention to the soil moisture as your Rose will begin to need more water with rising temperatures.A deep soaking is much better than light, frequent watering.
Make annual applications ofLeaf Mold Compost and Epsom Salts and maintain a mulch ofHardwood, Cedar or Shredded Pine Bark. Maintaining a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch on your garden beds will preserve moisture, help control erosion, suppress weeds and keep the soil surface cooler, which benefits earthworms, microorganisms and plant roots.
Fertilize roses in mid February and again in late August.Discontinue fertilizing your roses after August. To slow down the plant growth and allow the plant to harden off, leave the rose hips on the bush after the last blooming cycle.
Fungicide applications will control powdery mildew and black spot. Always apply according to label directions.
Watch closely for insects and treat only if there is a problem. Use pesticides labeled for the pests you are targeting and follow label directions. Apply chemical sprays in the early morning or late evening.
How and When to Prune Your Roses
The traditional heavy pruning, appropriate for Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras, is usually done around Valentine's Day or early March.
If the bushes arepruned too early, injury from a late frost may make a secondpruning necessary
Remove spent blooms to keep plants blooming and encourage new growth. Prune dead or diseased canes and suckers anytime they occur, but do not prune severely in the summer.
The first step in Spring pruning of Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas and Climbing roses is to remove any canes that are dead or just old and non-productive.
These canes are usually gray in color and scaly. To prune hybrid tea and grandiflora roses follow certain principles including:
- High pruning for more flowers earlier or low pruning for fewer, bigger flowers later
- Pruning to remove weak and crisscrossing canes
- Removing growth an inch below a canker
- Removal of damaged, dead, or broken canes back to healthy growth
- Removing sucker growth as close as possible to main root.
Fall pruning is lighter than in the Spring and consists of removing twiggy and unproductive growth along with any crossing or dead canes. All foliage is left on the bush at this time. Labor Day is a good time to do the fall "grooming."
Climbers are not pruned in the same manner as Hybrid Teas. To encourage growth of more flowering laterals and stimulate production of new canes, you should not cut back long canes unless they are outgrowing the allotted space. Avoid severe pruning for the first two or three years after planting, as it takes this long for most climbers to mature. During this period, remove all dead and weak canes and spent blooms
Everblooming varieties -- Cut back to two or three bud eyes all laterals that bore flowers during the past year. Remove any dead, diseased or twiggy growth. For established plants, oldest canes are removed annually at the base. Remaining canes are repositioned and secured, if necessary. For routine maintenance, remove all spent blooms and cut back to a strong bud eye.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln