Strong, healthy rose bushes are aromatic and beautiful. They are a source of pleasure for both gardeners and garden visitors. If your rose bushes were undersized, had yellowing leaves, or seemed generally unhealthy last year, there are several steps you can take to bring them back to life this spring.
Things You'll Need
- Pruning shears
- Peat or well-rotted manure
- Liquid oil soap, such as Murphy's
- 2 tbsp. ammonia
- 1 cup beer
- 2 tbsp. fish fertilizer
- 2 tbsp. whiskey
- 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
- 1 tbsp.corn syrup
- 4 tsp. instant tea granules
- Warm water
Uncover rose bushes slowly in the spring. Observe new growth carefully. Take away about one quarter of the mounded soil that provided winter protection when you see one quarter inch of new growth above the mound.
Continue to watch for new growth. Take away about one half of the remaining mounded soil when new growth reaches between half and three quarter inches.
Remove the remaining mounded soil when new growth is about one inch long. Uncovering rose bushes slowly will help to protect them if there is a late freeze.
Prune the rose bushes, cutting long canes to a length of about 10 to 12 inches. Remove any dead flowers and weak canes.
Mulch rose bushes well, using manure which is been well rotted, or peat.
Mix one tbsp. of Murphy's oil soap with two gallons of warm water. Spray rose bushes with this solution every week.
Feed your roses every three weeks. You can make a homemade rose food by mixing two tbsp. ammonia, one cup beer, one tbsp. corn syrup, two tbsp. fish fertilizer, two tbsp. hydrogen peroxide, four tsp. instant tea granules, two tbsp. Murphy's oil soap, one tbsp. unflavored gelatin, two tbsp. whiskey, and two gallons of warm water. Add a few banana peels or rotten bananas to the soil around your roses to make it potassium rich.
Plant parsley and garlic between the rose bushes to keep aphids and other pests away.
Tips & Warnings
- Spray rose bushes and apply liquid rose food early in the morning.
- Stop feeding roses around the middle of August to avoid new growth after a frost.
- When you are ready to cover your roses for the winter, add a handful of bonemeal to the soil.
- "Jerry Baker's Great Green Book of Garden Secrets;" Jerry Baker, Master Gardener; 2000
How to Tell a Rose Bush Is Dead
Before grubbing out a rose bush you think might be dead, check it for green stems, and wait to see whether or...
How to Bring Your Lawn Back to Life
Have a patchy, discolored or otherwise unattractive lawn? Bring your lawn back to life with basic maintenance and by treating common problems.
How to Bring Dying Flowers Back to Life
Bringing dying flowers back to life to is no easy task, but it can be done if you have the right tools....
How to Prune Rose Bushes in the Spring
Roses (*Rosa spp.*) should be pruned after their leaf buds begin to swell in spring but before those buds open. The proper...
How to Bring a Plant Back to Life
Perhaps you went on vacation and forgot to have someone water your plants. Perhaps your plant needs better soil. Regardless of how...
How to Prepare Roses for Winter
In all but the warmest climates, roses need to have a little protection to get them through the winter. How much protection,...