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Romancing the Rose

Romancing the Rose

Feb 19 2015

Roses are one of the most popular flowers in the United States and for good reason. The delicate petals, rich colors and light scents of roses appeal to many hopeful gardeners who plan to include the flowers in their outdoor spaces. Including roses in a garden takes some effort, but a little love and care will transform the buds into healthy plants for all to enjoy in warm weather. Preparation

  • Purchase roses that grow well in the local climate. Roses need a lot of sun, so gardeners in the Pacific. Northwest, for example, need a variety that can withstand the lack of sun and take advantage of sunnier days.
  • Make sure the soil is within a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. A soil test determines the acidity or lack thereof, of the soil. Limestone and ground sulfur treat soil types that are too acidic or too sweet.
  • Gardeners plant potted or container-grown roses in May or June, the most ideal time for those types of roses. Bare-root roses, which are dormant, should be planted after the gardener buys them. Most gardeners purchase bare-root roses in December or January.
Planting
  • When planting roses in pots, keep in mind that roses require large spaces. Choose a pot that is at least 20 inches tall and 20 inches deep. Mix soil and organic planting matter inside the pot, water it and fertilize the pots once a month to support the roses’ growth.
  • To plant roses in the ground, dig a hole two feet deep and two feet wide. Then, fill the hole with water. Allow the water to drain, and then mix the backfill with rose planting mix.
  • Plant the rose in the hole covering it with about two inches of soil. This kind of planting encourages growth and discourages root pests.
Feeding and Watering
  • Roses need regular fertilization during the growing season, which generally takes place between April and July. Feed the roses with a granular fertilizer once a month during that time. Make sure to sprinkle the fertilizer around the drip line, not up against the roses’ stems. A bit of Epsom salts helps the roses with new growth in May and June.
  • Roses require plenty of water, and gardeners should check on them every week. The presence of dry, weather means the roses need water more often, especially in the heat. Add a few inches of mulch to the base of the roses to help them grow in a healthy way.
Pruning
  • Prune the roses in the spring, and remove dead material and debris. Without that material, roses grow more freely in the spring and summer. Most gardeners regularly remove dead buds until about a month before the first winter frost so that roses will stop their growth process in cold weather.
  • Wear protective gloves and safety goggles when working with roses. Otherwise, rose thorns and branches can cause scratching and other damage to the body.
Roses require regular maintenance, but the beautiful addition of these flowers makes the labor worthwhile in most gardens. With roses flourishing the garden, visitors can soak in the flowers’ color and vibrancy for many months.

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