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Caring For Your Roses

Apr 14, 2008
WATERING

Roses are deep rooted and once they are well established are more capable than most plants of surviving mild drought spells. The first spring and summer directly after planting your rose is very important. During this period if the soil around your rose seems to be drying out give your roses a good soaking. Each rose could get about 2 gallons of water. In following years you will only need to water them if drought seems imminent.

FEEDING YOUR ROSES

As with all plants that provide us with beautiful blooms they need plenty of the correct nutrients. Give roses a good helping of blood, bone and fishmeal in early April, about two handfuls to each rose. In June a handful of specially prepared rose fertilizer will give your roses a huge lift. The magnesium and potash gives the rose a great kick. Just work the fertilizer in gently around the soil at the base of the plant.

MULCHING YOUR ROSES.

Mulching is a very simple task with great benefits. Mulching retains moisture, smothers weeds and generally boosts the health of your roses. Well rotted manure is best but garden compost or bark mulch can also be used.

DEADHEADING YOUR ROSES.

Deadheading spent blooms not only tidys up the rose but actually saves the plants energy and thereby encourages more bloom flushes. A light pruning of hybrid teas will encourage a second flush.

WATCH OUT FOR ROSE SUCKERS.

Shoots that emerge from rootstocks are known as suckers. These will be different in coloring and often by the amount of leaves, than what grows from the stems over ground. Gently scrape away the soil until you can see where the sucker is growing from the rootstock, tear the sucker away cleanly.

CONTROL OF WEEDS.

Mulching is the most effective method of controlling weeds and also the less back breaking. Hoeing is not as effective and you must take care not to damage the stems. Sowing other plants underneath the rose is also an option. The least favored option is the application of a rose-bed weedkiller. This will eventually damage the soil and thus your rose.

ROSE DISEASES AND PESTS.

This is an area that turns people off growing roses and really it shouldn't. Roses have diseases and pests particular to them and as such regular treatment is very effective. The main problems are greenfly, mildew and blackspot. There are plenty of products that treat these main three problems in one treatment. Performing a regular maintenance schedule starting in April will leave you with very few problems. Do make sure to follow exactly the manufacturers recommendations.

Pruning Roses

Pruning Rose Bushes is a term that often strikes fear into the heart of the inexperienced gardener and sometimes the more experienced.

Rose Bush Pruning really is a straightforward task when approached with the correct tools and a clear mind as to the results you want. Use the following guide to pruning rose bushes and you'll never again dread the task. Even better will be the fact that your rose bushes will benefit enormously. You have to be cruel to be kind.

An absolute must have is a good pair of secateurs. Spend a little more and go for a middle range or better rose pruners. Using poorly designed secateurs will at best result in ineffective rose bush pruning and more often than not totally damage the roses.

Cuts have to be made cleanly and above a bud. Poorly made cuts encourage disease. Prune out dead, diseased or weak stems. Cut out stems crossing over the middle, you are looking for a tulip glass effect. For mature rose bushes cut back to about knee height. Of course this is not the complete guide to pruning roses but it does provide you with an accurate overview of this essential task.

Your roses will respond brilliantly to a little regular maintenance and once you have started your routine there will be very little work attached. Issues will only arise once you neglect your routine and this is what often deters people from growing roses.
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