Roses are beautiful in the garden and flower better than most other shrubs. With proper planting, pruning, and fertilizing they bloom profusely all summer long, year after year.
Roses require a rich loamy soil in a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight. To prepare the area apply two to three inches of well composted steer manure and add some All Purpose 6-8-6 fertilizer. Most of the roses we sell have already had their roots pruned and most have been planted in a fiber pot that breaks down in the soil after planting. So be sure to leave the rose in the fiber pot when you plant it.
When planting the rose do not bury it deeper or shallower than it is already planted. Keep the crown just above ground level and free of dirt during the growing season to encourage basal breaks. Fill the hole back in with soil leaving a ring around the rose for watering. Fill the ring with water regularly once or twice a week for the first summer. If planting more than one rose they should be two to five feet apart, depending on the type. For more information about planting see our “Planting Instructions” brochure.
In the fall, mound up leaves or other material around the bush to about three or four inches above the graft. Remove this mound of leaves in the early spring once the danger of frost has past.
Roses should be fertilized periodically during their growing and blooming periods. Start in March/April when the leaves begin to develop by applying compost or manure around the base of the bushes as well as a granular fertilizer. There are many fertilizers that you can use for your roses including the Evergro Rose Food 6-12-16. This should be applied every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season from March to October.
Here are some simple pruning tips to ensure that your rose flowers well for you during the summer months. For more information about pruning see our “Practical Pruning” brochure.
- November – Prune out weak, diseased, crossing, and broken canes and remove at the ground level. The canes remaining should be shortened by ¼. Once all leaves have fallen spray with a lime sulphur and dormant spray (See below).
- March – This is when the most important pruning is done. Remove an additional ¼ of the branches so that the bush is about half of the height at the end of the previous summer. It is best to cut to an outside bud to encourage an open growth habit. Cut just above the leaf bud at a slight angle away from the bud.
- During mild winters roses do not go into complete dormancy and therefore pruning should not be quite so severe as if when they are completely dormant.
Insects and Other Rose Problems
- Proper sunlight, watering, and fertilizing reduce insect and fungal problems. If you are having a persistent problem there are some sprays available to manage the problems you may have.
- Dormant Spray – In the winter, after all the leaves have fallen off and before any new leaves have started to grow, you can spray with lime sulphur and dormant oil to kill overwintering insect eggs and fungus spores. These natural solutions can prevent many problems like aphids, mildew, and/or black spot in the coming year.
- Spring and Summer Spray – Both dusts and sprays are available to control insects and fungal diseases on roses. To control fungal infections like Black Spot, Mildew, or Rust use sulphur-based dusts or sprays. To control insect problems use insecticidal soap or pyrethrum based products. These are natural pesticides that are safe to use in your garden.