Tips for growing roses
Here are some of our tips for growing beautiful roses we would like to share with you. Growing roses can be one of the most rewarding gardening experiences you can have.
Roses establish quickly and are more resistant to pests and diseases when planted in an ideal location. Roses require at least six hours of direct sunlight for optimal flowering and growth, though full sun is preferable. Choose a planting location that is not shaded by buildings or trees to maximize the amount of sunshine the plants receive. Avoid planting roses near trees and shrubs which will compete for moisture and nutrients. Make sure the site is open to allow for air movement. Also consider water drainage to or from the planting site. Roses grow best in well-drained soil.
Roses can be planted from early spring into early fall. Spring planting should be done after danger of killing frost, usually late April to May on P.E.I.
Potted plants require little pre-planting attention. Keep plants watered and in a sunny location until they can be planted in the garden. Prune out any damaged, dead or broken stems before planting.
Preparing the Soil
Roses thrive in a loamy, well-drained garden soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0.
Most soils benefit from the addition of organic matter which improves drainage, aeration, and nutrient holding capacity. Spread a two to four inch layer of organic matter on the soil surface. Organic matter sources include compost, rotted manure, leaf mold, peat moss. Then apply 2 handfuls of bone meal to encourage root growth. This is the only nutrient required at planting.
If planting a rose in an existing bed, dig out enough soil to form a hole approximately 15 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Mix bone meal and approximately three shovelfuls of organic matter with the soil removed from the hold. This becomes the backfill soil for the new plant.
Plant spacing varies according to the growth habit of the rose plant. Plants growing too close together will be tall and spindly and produce only a few small flowers.
Follow these general spacing guidelines for best results: Hybrid teas, grand floras, floribundas 18 to 30 inches Climbers 8 to 12 miniatures 12 to 15 inches.
Once the soil is prepared, dig a hole approximately 15 inches deep and 18 inches wide.
If planting a potted plant, remove it from its container and hold in the hole so the top of the soil ball is at ground level.
Fill the hole with the prepared soil mixture. Water the plant well to allow the backfilled soil to settle around the root ball. Add more soil if necessary.
After Planting Care
Water at planting as described above, making sure the entire root mass is wet. Plants require an inch of water weekly. If rainfall is insufficient, apply water by irrigation through the first growing season to aid plant establishment. Soak the soil to a depth of 12 inches at each watering to encourage deep rooting. Do not overhead sprinkle, which encourages disease problems, water at soil level.
Mulching is recommended after planting. Apply a two-inch layer of mulch to reduce water loss from evaporation during the summer months. Mulch also increases the organic matter content of the soil, moderates soil temperature, and suppresses weed growth.
Roses should be treated with a fungicide to prevent black spot or mold. When selecting your rose some varieties are resistant to certain diseases. Fungicides are available in environmentally friendly formulations that are safe and easy to use. The key to successful disease management is to start a fungicide program before the disease appears. Especially during a year where there may be excessive rain and humidity, as these conditions are favourable for diseases becoming established.
Also watch your roses for signs of insect damage to leaves. Treatment may be required.
If needed we carry products to help keep your plants healthy.
The main purpose is to keep a rose bush strong and healthy and to maintain its shape. Limiting the number of canes and buds produces stronger canes with more blooms.
When to prune
In our climate, there is no need to prune a rose bush in autumn unless you are planning to move the plant or install winter protection. Any major pruning should be done in spring, before the buds open. Avoid severe pruning after July, as it would encourage the growth of young canes that might not survive the winter. The idea time for pruning depends on the type of rose.
Major pruning should be done in spring, before blooming. During the growing season, remove deadheads to promote continuous blooms. Cutting back to just above the first or second five-leaflet leaf will encourage the growth of a flowering branch. Choose a fairly sturdy cane for the new blooms.
Prune in summer, after flowering, so as not to interfere with that year’s blooms. In spring, remove any diseased or frost-damaged wood. Renewal pruning in spring will not affect the health of the rose bush, but will reduce the number of blooms in that year.
Annual maintenance pruning
In spring, remove any injured, diseased or frost-damaged wood. Cut back old, weak and crossing canes. Remove all unwanted new growth (suckers) growing from below the graft union or the roots as soon as it appears.
Cut canes cleanly above an outward-facing bud. Keep the centre of the shrub open. To avoid spreading any diseases, regularly disinfect your pruning shears with alcohol.