• Caring for Roses

    There is something special about seeing vast banks of roses in a garden, even single specimen plants add interest.  However, many rose lovers shy away from growing roses themselves because they think rose bushes are hard to care for.  While this can be true if basic principles for caring for roses aren’t followed, if you follow some simple steps for proper rose bush care, you can get spectacular results.

    In order to keep a plant looking its best, roses do need regular attention.  But again, if you learn those steps, keeping your roses in great shape is easy.

    The first thing to know is that, just like other plants, roses require water.  If you keep your rose bushes well watered, they will bloom their best.  Approximately one inch of water per week is a good rule of thumb; however, you may need to make adjustments to this depending on your climate.  Making sure that the roots of the plants are well water is the most important part of this step.  As the roots of rose plants go deep into the ground, they are capable of extracting water from the subsoil.  This allows the plants to tolerate if the surface of the soil is dry or dry spells.  In order to take advantage of this, make sure to water the roots of the rose bushes so that the plant will be encouraged to grow roots deep into the soil.  To do this, do deep watering instead of more frequent and lighter watering.  Light watering results in the rose plants extending their roots along the surface, which makes them more susceptible to drought.

    Proper rose care also includes fertilizing.  If planted in nutrient rich soil, many rose species can go years without fertilizer.  Organisms living in the soil product a natural fertilizer that plants feed on.  If you over use man-made fertilizer, you may kill off these beneficial organisms.  Also, your plants then become dependent By over using man-made fertilizer you can smother those beneficial bugs.  Plus, your plants can become dependant on fertilizers forcing you to constantly provide them.  Instead, owners can apply a slow-release fertilizer to the soil just as the plant is coming out of its dormancy period in early spring.  You can also apply a small bit of fertilizer after the blooms go away and the plant is storing up energy for next season.  But don’t fertilize after midsummer.  Roses do well with both inorganic and organic fertilizers although organic fertilizer materials can be digested by the helpful bacteria and fungus within the soil resulting in your soil permanently becoming more fertile.   The most effective combination of inorganic fertilizer is 5-10-5 or 4-8-4.

    Another important aspect for rose bush care is pruning, which is also deadheading.  This is normally done in the spring, after the rose bush come out of its dormancy period and before it starts to product blooms.  While pruning, the purpose is to remove any canes from the rose bush that are dead, broken or diseased.  This allows air to circulate through the plant, which also helps to keep it healthy.

    The rose can be shaped by pruning as well.  The final purpose of pruning is to remove the spent blooms, also called “deadheading.”  Deadheading the flowers that are done blooming will encourage the plant to produce more blooms.

    While time and commitment is required in caring for roses, as well as patience, skill, and knowledge, there is no greater reward than showing off your beautiful blooms for all to see.  The rewards of being able to show off these gorgeous creations right on your front lawn are priceless.

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