Caring for roses is easy — as long as you know what you’re doing.
By: Amanda Formaro
Roses can be described in many ways: beautiful, romantic, gorgeous and stunning. They are full of vibrant color and seem to have a certain stature among flowers that's almost regal. It's a common misconception that roses are temperamental and difficult to care for, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, caring for roses is actually quite easy provided you select the proper variety for your region and plant them correctly.
Things You Will Need:
- An area that receives five to six hours of sun, beginning in the morning
- Soil with good drainage
- Good compost or manure and peat moss
- Gardening fork and shovel
- Plant food, mulch and water
Where To Plant
As is often said about realty, the most important criterion of thriving in a place is location, location, location. Selecting an area that receives morning sun is important. This early light from the sun will dry any dew that's on the foliage, preventing fungal diseases.
Roses don't like crowds, so be sure to keep them away from trees and shrubs, as they will compete for nutrients and light. The area needs good air movement in order to dry rain quickly; however, areas that are windy are not recommended. If your area is too open, consider finding a spot near your house or other structure that can help block the wind.
If your soil doesn't drain well you'll want to consider creating a raised bed. It should be approximately 18 to 24 inches high. Keep roses away from gutters and eves, which can drop excess water during a rain, or drop falling snow on your plants in early spring and late fall.
Bare Root or Container
There are two types of rose plants you can buy: bare root and container roses. Either will flower into beautiful roses if planted properly.
Bare Root roses look dead. They are just a plant trunk and the roots without leaves or buds. Don’t fear, though — they are very much alive, just dormant. These roses should ideally be planted in late winter.
Container roses come in a disposable pot and already have leaves and sometimes buds or even open flowers. These should be planted in early spring. Water your container roses thoroughly the day before planting.
Planting Your Roses
Work your soil about 1 foot deep by loosening it up with a gardening fork. Be sure to add plenty of compost manure or other organic matter. If you are concerned about drainage, add wood chips to the soil as well.
- Roses should be planted 2 to 3 feet apart. Dig the hole 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide.
- Check the roots of your rose plant. If they form a solid, circling mass, gently loosen or cut them.
- Place your new rose in the hole, making sure the bud union is at or slightly above the soil surface in mild-winter areas, or up to several inches below the soil in cold-winter areas.
- Gingerly add soil back to the hole, gently patting down the soil around the top of the plant.
- Add a good quality plant food, cover with mulch then water generously.
- Water your newly planted roses every few days, more often if the weather is very hot.
Roses will provide you with blooms all summer long, and come in a large variety of colors and species. Check with your local garden center for the proper varieties to grow in your planting zone.
Amanda is a mother of four, craft designer and recipe developer who also runs several sites, including Crafts by Amanda, Cooking with Amanda and the Secret Recipe Club. Her work has appeared on SheKnows.com and Family.com as well as in Parents, Redbook and Mixing Bowl magazines among others.