Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden design, but they have a bit of a reputation. Whether they’re not flowering or they’re struck by black spot, roses can make even the most experienced gardeners frustrated. In this blog, we’ll discuss optimal rose care to keep your roses happy and healthy.
Roses Thrive in Full Sun
Like most flowering shrubs, roses perform at their best when they’re given at least 6 hours of sun daily. Although, some varieties can grow well in partial shade. An exception to this rule is if you have an extremely hot growing season and limited water; your roses will be thankful for a bit of afternoon shade.
They Hate Wet Feet
Roses like to be planted in well-draining soil that can still retain moisture. While they need regular, deep watering to stay happy, they hate wet feet.
Air Circulation is Crucial
When planting, don’t crowd your roses. The more airflow, the less likely they’ll be to develop fungal diseases like black spot and powdery mildew.
Keep in Mind When Planting…
Mix in a compost and peat into the hole to give the surrounding soil some extra nutrients. Be sure to loosen the roots of your rose bush when you go to plant it; they’ll extend outward as soon as they’re planted. Once planted, water deeply, and start a schedule to water at least once a week.
Fertilizer Keeps Them Happy
Feed your roses in the spring when they begin to leaf out and after each flush of blossoms. It’ll help to replace the nutrients they’ve lost. Continue to fertilize every six weeks. Stop feeding, though, about six weeks before the last frost date. Fertilizer encourages new growth, so that fresh, young growth won’t have time to establish itself before winter and most likely won’t survive. However, keep watering until the ground is frozen.
Water at Ground Level
Avoid overhead watering at all costs. Roses are extremely susceptible to fungal diseases like black spot and powdery mildew, especially when the foliage is kept too wet. Water droplets on the foliage can also burn the leaves under the hot summer sun.
Mulch is Beneficial – and it Looks Good!
Mulching your roses will help keep the soil cool and moist longer during hot, dry weather, which mean you can water less often! Over time, mulch breaks down and improves the quality of your soil. Be sure not to mound mulch up around the base of your roses. Leave about a 1-2″ gap between mulch and the rose stems.
Deadheading Keeps the Flowers Blooming
When the flowers on your roses die, snip them off. It’ll not only help your plant look better, but it’ll allow it to resource its energy into producing more blooms instead of seeds.
For more information on diagnosing and treating black spot on your roses, check out our other blog: Guide to Black Spot on Roses.