Growing roses can be a very enjoyable experience. There are many different varieties of roses in the world, from heritage roses to hybrids. They come in an astounding variety of sizes, fragrances, and colors. Some roses are more fussy than others, but with a little care and tending they can be coaxed into blooming to their fullest potential during the growing season.
Roses need four to six hours of sunlight everyday. They thrive best with as much direct sunlight as possible. They require soil that drains well and is acidic. A soil pH of 5.8 to 6.3 is the best for roses. If your soil is a bit basic, add pine needles to raise the acidity. Make sure roses room to grow, especially when planting more than one bush at a time in a single area.
How to Plant
Plant roses in early spring, either in March or April. Start by weeding the area thoroughly. Prune back the roots of the new rose bush to encourage growth. Dig the hole twice as wide and half as deep as the bush and at least 2 square feet in diameter. Mound up some dirt in the center of the hole's bottom and rest the roots on this. The crown of the rose should be at least 1 inch deeper than the original level of the soil. Plant bare-root roses (those sold in boxes) with the bud union or start of the main stem 1 inch above the soil level. Colder climates require the rose bush to be planted a bit deeper than this. Place a small handful of bone meal into the bottom of the hole. This fertilizes the bush. Cover with soil and water well. Then cover the surrounding area with mulch, leaving several inches bare around the rose bush itself. Water daily for the first week directly after plantation. Then water every two to three days depending on the weather.
The type of soil determines how often roses need to be watered. They tend to be thirsty plants, especially during the hot summer days. Be sure to water them every day, either in the early morning hours or during the evening after the sun has left it's zenith. Water roses at ground level, beneath the foliage of the plant. Most gardeners use soak hoses for roses because some species develop black spot fungus on their leaves if watered directly.
- Photo Credit blue rose image by Earl Robbins from Fotolia.com
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