Roses are America’s flower. It’s true. The rose is the official flower of the United States and rightfully so. There are so many diverse types, colors and sizes to choose from that sometimes it’s a bit intimidating. But don’t let that worry you. Diversity offers great opportunity. With proper selection and care, roses can add beauty to your garden for years. Here are some tips to keep your roses blooming, happy and healthy.
Choose Varieties That Grow Well in Your Area
Do a little homework to find out which are the best roses to grow in your area. Not all roses grow well in every part of the country. In some areas, certain varieties are more susceptible to insects or disease. Others don’t bloom well where it’s too hot or too cold. Even the color of a rose can vary depending on where its grown. Local chapters of the American Rose Society are great sources of rose information. You can also learn a lot by visiting local public rose gardens.
Rose Need Full Sun
Plant roses where they will get a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Anything less means fewer blooms and more disease problems.
In the hottest weather of midsummer, most roses do well with one good, deep irrigation per week during dry spells. Recently-planted roses will need more frequent irrigation. In the warmest areas like the desert Southwest, watering twice a week may be necessary. Water early in the morning and try not to wet the leaves (it can encourage disease). Installing drip irrigation is a great way to water slowly, thoroughly and deeply, without wetting foliage.
Apply 2 to 3 inches of compost, bark chips or other organic matter to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
Roses need regular applications of nitrogen fertilizer to keep blooming. Feed once every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Prune And Remove Spent Flowers
Roses should be pruned annually during dormancy to keep them healthy and vigorous. To keep plants blooming during the growing season, remove faded flowers (deadheading); cutting stems back at least to the first leaf with five leaflets. Cutting back even further will encourage stronger new growth and better flowers for indoor arrangements. Roses that bloom in clusters, such as floribunda and shrub roses, can be lightly sheared to removed spent blooms.
Battle Insects And Disease
Insect pests, including adult Japanese Beetles, Aphids, Thrips and Whiteflies, can be serious problems for roses. Diseases like Black Spot, Powdery Mildew and Rust can be even more trouble. To protect roses from insects, and diseases, check out the Natria products recommendations. Check labels for specific pest to be controlled.