How to Grow Roses in North Texas

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Growing roses is a time-honored tradition for most gardeners. But growing roses in North Texas can be tricky given its harsh summers and alkaline soil. Here are some basic steps to growing beautiful roses despite the unfavorable conditions in North Texas.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Back-to-Earth
  • Washed sand
  • Border
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

Select the Roses and Prepare the Soil

  • Select a location in your landscape for your roses. Roses require at least six to eight hours of sunlight, good drainage and adequate air circulation. They should be out of the path of prolonged harsh winds, though.

  • Choose the type of rose you want in your yard. You will need to base this decision on the type of maintenance required, preferred climate, disease resistance, fragrance, cut and color. Search the Internet or visit your local library or garden center to see what variety of roses are available in your area.

  • Prepare the soil in your yard or flower bed. North Texas soil is notorious for having poor drainage. You will need to raise the flower bed with some type of border, like railroad ties or metal edging. Fill the flower bed with a special prepared soil that includes 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 Back-to-Earth and 1/3 washed sand. This soil comes ready-made at local garden centers, or you can mix your own.

  • Roto-till the prepared soil at least 10 to 15 inches down into the flower bed. If you choose to plant your roses in the yard instead of a flower bed, you can roto-till this prepared soil mixture directly into the ground where you intend to plant the rose bush.

  • Plant your roses into the flower bed or yard, and apply a two-inch layer of mulch around the base of the rose bush. Recommended types include hardwood, pine bark, cedar or organic mulch.

Maintain the Roses

  • Water the roses once a week, approximately one to two inches deep. During periods of excessive temperatures, the roses may need to be watered twice a week. Water early in the morning, and avoid getting water on the foliage.

  • Fertilize the roses every three to four weeks, beginning in April and on through October. It is better to use a granule fertilizer that has trace elements of sulfur, iron, magnesium and calcium. These minerals help protect the roses from North Texas alkaline soil.

  • Watch for common diseases and insects that effect roses. Diseases typically include black spot, powdery mildew and rust. Insects that like roses are aphids, spider mites and thrips. Consult your local garden center if you think your roses may be suffering from disease or insect problems.

  • Prune summer flowering roses regularly throughout the summer to stimulate more buds. Rose bushes should be pruned back by 50 to 70 percent in February. Climbing roses should be pruned back by 50 percent while they are in bloom.

Tips & Warnings

  • North Texas nursery and garden centers can provide valuable information in choosing roses, preparing the soil and maintenance.
  • Do not water just for the sake of watering. Check the soil to see if it is near dry. If it is still wet, you do not need to water. Overwatering causes many problems for roses.

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