How to: Care of Tropicana Rose Bushes

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The Tropicana is a hybrid tea rose that blooms in flowers the color of a tropical sunset. Showtime is summer to fall as the double flowers cover bushes that are 3 to 4 feet tall. Hybrid teas are the roses that you'll find in cut flower arrangements and are many times scentless. Tropicana is an exception to this with an almost fruity fragrance. Tropicana does best in USDA hardiness zones 7b and above.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch
  • Rake
  • Fertilizer
  • Fungicide soap
  • Prune the Tropicana in the spring as soon as all danger of frost has passed. Cut back the entire shrub by one-third. Then go through it and remove dead and damaged canes. Take them all the way back to a main cane. Cut off any branches that are smaller in diameter than a pencil and any that cross over others. Rake the area under the bush to remove last season's mulch and any pruning debris. Bag it and dispose of it.

  • Fertilize the Tropicana rose after pruning with 15-15-15, at the rate suggested on the package. When the buds appear, when they are just about to open and two months before the first frost, give the Tropicana a 5-7-2 fertilizer, again at the rate suggested by the manufacturer.

  • Add a 3-inch layer of mulch to the soil under the rose after fertilizing in the spring. Keep it 6 inches from the main cane and spread it out 1 foot in all directions. Rake the soil touching the rose's wood and spread it to 1 foot beyond the dripline, completely surrounding the bush. Rake it up every spring after pruning and apply a fresh layer.

  • Water the Tropicana rose to keep the soil moist to a depth of 18 inches. The best way to water this rose is slowly, at the soil, with a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose. Keep water off the foliage as Tropicana is susceptible to powdery mildew.

  • Attack powdery mildew as soon as you notice it. The first signs of this fungal disease will be on new leaves -- they will begin to "crinkle," according to Rose Magazine. Next comes the mold, which looks like a white or grey powdery substance on leaves, stems and buds. Spray the Tropicana with lime sulphur during the spring maintenance when you fertilize and prune. During the growing season, spray the shrub with fungicide soap, according to package directions.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you live in an area that experiences late spring freezes, wait until they are over to prune and fertilize the Tropicana. New growth can be severely damaged by the freezes.

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