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Think Soil

  • Roses prefer neutral soil - a pH between 5.5-7.0.
  • Do a soil sample to determine pH - you may have to apply limestone or sulfur to the soil.
  • Give them plenty of organic matter when planting being careful not to over crowd them.
  • The soil must be well drained, because, firstly, roses strongly object to having their roots continuously in water.
  • If bare rooted keep in water till you put them in the ground.
  • Add plenty of organic matter.
  • In summer during dry weather you should water roses deeply twice a week.
  • Mulch beds 2-4 inches to conserve water leaving an inch around stem of plant.
  • Roses need at least 5 to 6 hours of full sun a day.

Feeding

  • Nitrogen is a constituent of many of the most vital substances used by a rose.
  • Phosphorus (Phosphate) is a vital encouraging earlier growth, the ripening of the wood, hardening plants to resist winter conditions and improving the root systems.
  • Potassium (Potash) plays a part in plant growth. Without it, stems are brittle and roses are very vulnerable to disease and frost.
  • A feeding program begins late in the winter after supplies of nutriments have become diminished. In early spring distribute and incorporate an organic fertilizer in the beds.
  • Use fertilizer blended for roses. Not a general fertilizer intended for vegetables as the latter may contain muriate-of-potash which is deadly to roses.
  • Apply 1/2 to 1 cup of food around drip line not against stem.
  • Espoma Plantone or Earthworks 3-4-3 Organic Fertilizer are excellent food choices.

Watering

  • The amount and frequency of watering your roses depends on the location and the region where you live.
  • Watering roses is very important part of growing roses. 
  • With good drainage it is almost impossible to over watering roses
  • Roses require a regular supply of water and the keyword is "regular".
  • In the plants' roses first season the root system is getting established sufficient watering is especially critical.
  • When watering roses, you'll want to do deep watering, so your roses develop deep roots. Not only will this anchor the plants in place, but also a deep-growing root system will help the plants survive a drought.
  • The best time to water your roses is early in the morning so the foliage will dry out quickly.
  • Overhead watering is not wise, as it will help spread fungus spores. Also it is difficult to give your roses a deep soaking by overhead watering sprinklers.
  • As a general rule of thumb apply 4-5 gallons of water per rose plant, each week. If the weather hits a dry spell, be sure to give it a minimum of 6 gallons of water per week, each rose bush.
  • It's better to apply water in one, or two, deep soakings per week than to give daily spritzers.
  • Of course, how often depends on your soil. Sandy soil drains rapidly, which means more frequent watering.
  • Soil with lots of clay will retain water longer watering does not have t o as often.
  • Drip-irrigation systems and soaker hose are two ways to deliver water right to the soil and minimize water loss to evaporation.
  • After the rose plants have been in the ground for three or four years, they become quite drought tolerant.

Pruning

  • Three Types:
    • Hard Pruning - This consists in cutting a shoot back to three or four buds from its base; e.g. in a bush rose to an outward growing bud and at a point which is usually 5-6 in. from the ground.
    • Moderate Pruning - In this form of pruning, a shoot is cut back by about half its previous year's growth.
    • Light Pruning - Here there is very little cutting away; usually the dead flowers or hips are removed by cutting at the first or second eye below the flower-bearing stalk.
  • Roses can be cut back or moved in spring or fall.
  • Prune away all spent blooms during growing season to promote new growth.
  • Remove all canes that are more than 1/2" thick to create air space to help with fungus.
  • Stop deadheading plants 3-4 weeks before first hard frost.

Winterizing

  • Rake around roses to get all dead material to prevent diseases from over wintering in soil.
  • Do not fertilize 6 weeks before first frost.

Pest Control

  • Pests - Two categories of pests
    • Sapsuckers, which include aphids and red spider mites; and,
    • Bud eaters, such as caterpillars and sawflies.
  • Pest that commonly attack roses
    • Stem borers
    • Japanese beetles
    • Aphids
    • Spider mites
    • Powdery mildew
    • Deer
  • There are two types of insecticides:
  • The systemics are effective for about one month after spraying, whereas the contact types must be applied whenever the insects appear.
  • Diseases - Diseases of roses are largely caused by parasitic fungi, and do damage by stealing vital foods from their tissues and include:
    • Rust - The disease appears in spring as rust colored swellings on the back of the leaves. In June, orange-colored spores develop. These germinate and the infection is widely spread. Later in August, they turn black and in this form they live over the winter.
    • Die Back & Canker - A stem on a rose will often turn brown and die. The result of frost damage, lack of water, careless pruning or being cut too high above a bud. 
    • Stem Canker - infects the cut end of stems after pruning, especially when blunt cutters are used which ultimately leads to browning and dying back. The only remedy is to prune an affected stem back to a healthy bud, or cut it out altogether, if it has reached the union, otherwise the tree might die. 
    • Chlorosis is not a true disease, but an ailment, mainly caused by deficiency of iron and manganese. The symptoms are yellowing of the leaves and stems in springtime. They often eventually shrivel up and drop off. Also growth is stunted. This condition cannot be remedied by distributing ordinary, simple compounds of iron or manganese.

Benefits

  • Roses actually have fruits! They are called rose hips.
  • Roses have medical properties. They are used for relieving stomach pain and diarrhea.
  • Rose oil was actually added to medicine for the sole purpose of covering their bitter taste, then it was discovered that they too have medical properties.
  • Rose Tea
    • Medicinal tea can be made from rose hips, petals, leaves, or combinations.
    • Petals and leaves brewed as a tea can bring down a fever.
    • Petal and leaf tea has a cleansing effect, working as a diuretic to flush toxins from the body.
    • Drinking rose petal tea can help alleviate skin rashes.
    • The flavonoids in rose petal tea can boost the immune system's natural ability to fight colds and flu.
  • Rose Oil
    • Rosewater is made from pure rose oil and water,
    • Used for skin treatments to smooth and moisturize the skin, and to relieve skin irritations. 
    • Has antiseptic properties and is sometimes used as an eye wash to treat eye irritation. Use rosewater as an after-bath skin refresher.
  • Rose Hips shutterstock_323791922
    • Rose hips make delicious tea with a naturally sweet, citrisy flavor.
    • Hips are used in cooking, where they add flavor as well as nutrition.
    • Besides the high vitamin C content, rose hips contain vitamins A, B3, D, and E.
    • Hips are a source of bioflavonoids, flavonoids, fructose, citric acid, and zinc.