rose gardening

A Gardenerís Guide to Care for Roses

There are few additions that are more beautiful in a garden landscape than blooming rose bushes. Unfortunately, many inexperienced gardeners shy away from these fragrant bloomers because they are unsure of how to properly grow and care for the plants. While care of roses will require some research and effort on the part of the tender, the steps involved in the process of rose care are not generally as difficult as one might first think. The key is in arming yourself with good information about proper rose care before you bring one of these plants home from the nursery to be introduced into your home garden.

Watering Basics

Roses do not like dry conditions, but they also do not thrive when they are too wet. While this may sound like an insurmountable contradiction, it is easy to resolve the watering issue when caring for your roses with a few basic steps. First, the soil around your plant should only dry out in the top inch or two. If the dry soil goes deeper than this, your plant is not receiving enough moisture. Second, roses like a good long drink of water on a regular basis. The best method for this is to provide a sprinkling that will offer an appropriate soaking without too much runoff. Avoid a hard stream of water, since this will compact the soil, and could lead to disease and erosion.

Another piece of information to keep in mind when watering your roses is the fact that the foliage of these plants should not remain wet. This means that when caring for your roses, watering should take place in the morning or early afternoon hours, so that your plant has time to dry sufficiently before nightfall. A plant that has wet foliage too often will become vulnerable to diseases like black spot. Another method of watering that works well in the care of your roses is a drip irrigation system. Mulching is another wise step in the watering care of your roses to keep moisture at the root area where it is needed.

Feeding your Plants

Roses like to be fed regularly, so a big part of the care of your roses should be in selecting the proper fertilizer and applying it as needed. You can opt for an inorganic fertilizer that is high in phosphorous, and apply after the danger of frost and every six weeks after. You can also select an organic fertilizer that could include manure, fish fertilizer, bone meal or blood meal. Many of these types of fertilizers will offer the necessary nutrients over a longer period of time. Lime is another element of the soil that roses enjoy, so care of your roses should include a lime supplement once a year if your soil makeup calls for it. For specific questions about caring for your roses, contact your local nursery or extension office.

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Gardening Tip #6

Overwatering kills most houseplants. Looks can be deceptive, so to see if your soil is dry enough to water, try the finger test. Insert your index finger up to the first joint into the soil. If the soil is damp, don't water it.