Roses can be tricky to grow and keep healthy. Thankfully, this guide will help you grow healthy, briliant roses!
SITE: Area must get at least 6 hours of sun a day. Soil must be well-drained, but moist. Consider adding composted cow manure, mixed with your soil, to give your roses a good start. 1 bag for each 2 roses. If you have clay soil, also add 1 cup Gypsum per rose.
FEEDING: Well-fed roses not only reach their full size and produce abundant flowers, but also stay healthy and resist attack from insects and diseases. Roses are heavy feeders.
Organic Method: Apply Rose-Tone once a month. You can supplement with biweekly applications of fish emulsion or Organic Neptune's. Organic fertilizing = healthier soil.
Chemical Method: Apply Osmocote in spring and again in mid-summer, with monthly applications of Miracle-Gro for Roses or Jack's Classic Blossom Booster. Do not fertilize after September.
WATERING: Underwatering or overwatering will result in wilting and loss of flower production. Normally, 1 gallon of water per rose, once a week, is sufficent. In very hot, dry summers, increase watering frequency to every 3 or 4 days.
GROOMING: Roses love attention & care. Cut back to the 5th set of leaves below each spent bloom. Deadheaded plants rebloom more quickly, are likely to grow stronger stems.
PESTS & DISEASES: With the more environmentally enlightened age upon us, consider addressing any problems with the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach. IPM rests on three principles: 1. Have clear goals and know the level of damage you will tolerate. 2. Treat the pest, not the garden, targeting specific problems before they become overwhelming. 3. Use natural controls first, low-toxicity chemicals only if natural controls fail, and more powerful chemicals only as a last result. Consider the following practice:
- Proper plant selection and good gardening: At Highland Gardens, we have done the plant selection homework for you. Our roses are chosen for insect and disease resistance and hardiness. Good gardening practices were described above.
- Observation: Identify problems as they start to occur. Check for insects and diseases each week while watering and pruning.
- Natural Intervention: If a problem arrises, turn first to natural and non-chemical intervention. Use water to knock off aphids, rinse the underside of leaves to remove mites, knock Japanese Beetles into cans of water. Try releasing Ladybugs into the garden. Remember that there is a decision between control and annihilation.
- Low-toxicity Intervention: For more serious controls, try Hoticultural Soaps (do not apply when temperatures are above 80 F) for insect control or Sulphur sprays for diseases.
- Chemical Intervention: For some gardeners, chemical intervention is a perfectly acceptable last result. But there are wise choices here as well. Pyrethrins are effective short-term insecticides and can be used with relative safety. This will, however, also kill ladybugs. When using stronger chemicals, read and follow the label instructions to the letter! For many gardeners today, chemical intervention is simply not an option, and less-than perfect roses are quite acceptable. Ultimately, the choice is yours ...
This information was extracted from Ortho's All About Roses book, an excellent resource of info for the rose gardener, if you have a single rose or many.