Roses are bursting into bloom all over the country. And if they aren’t, they soon will be. Here are tips to keep your roses blooming and healthy.
Choose locally adapted varieties. Do some research to make sure you plant the best roses for your area. Not all roses grow well everywhere. In certain areas, some varieties are more susceptible to insects or disease. Others don’t bloom well under particular temperature regimes. Even the color of a rose can be slightly different depending on where it’s grown. Local chapters of the American Rose Society are a good source of rose information. Public rose gardens are also great place to learn exactly how roses grow in your area.
Plant in full sun. Most roses need a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. Less sun means fewer blooms and more disease problems.
Water and mulch. In midsummer, most roses do well with one good, deep irrigation per week during dry spells. Newly planted roses may need more frequent irrigation. In hot summer climates like the desert southwest, watering twice a week may be necessary. Water early in the morning and try to keep the foliage dry. Drip irrigation is best to water slowly, thoroughly, and deeply without wetting foliage. Mulch with compost, bark chips or other organic matter to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
Fertilize. Roses are heavy feeders and need regular applications of nitrogen fertilizer to keep blooming. Feed every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.
Prune and deadhead. Roses need annual pruning during dormancy to keep them healthy and vigorous. For more information, see the rose care page on this web site. To keep roses blooming during the growing season, remove faded flowers (deadheading); cutting stems back at least to the first leaf with five leaflets. Varieties that bloom in clusters, such as floribunda and shrub roses, can be lightly sheared to removed spent blooms.
Control Insects and Disease. Insects, including Japanese beetles, aphids and whiteflies, can be serious pests of roses. Diseases like black spot, powdery mildew and rust can be even more troublesome. To control insects, diseases and fertilize at the same time, use BayerAdvanced™ All-In-One Rose & Flower Care. One application applied to the roots feeds and protects for up to six weeks.