Are you ready to learn rose gardening? Here are some basics to help you start growing healthy, vibrant roses. It’s a great thing to do for yourself and your garden!
In any rose garden, there are some overall needs. Roses do need good garden soil, sunlight, and the availability of water. So let’s begin to learn rose gardening with where your roses will “live.”
The Rose Bed
Almost any soil is or can be made into, good garden soil. The best soil for your rose bed is a well-drained, fertile, light soil at least two feet deep. A pH between 6.0 – and 6.5 is ideal. Make sure your rose bed will get at least 4 hours of full sunlight a day, with 6 hours being best.
Purchasing Your Roses:
Roses can be easily bought from nurseries and garden centers. They will come as either “bare root” roses, or in containers (packaged).
Bare-root roses come with the roots protected in a moist packaging substance. Purchase these roses as close to planting time as possible, and plant them while they are dormant. Depending on your climate, the best planting time is late winter or early spring, after any frozen ground has thawed.
How To Plant Bare Root Roses:
1. Before planting, soak the roots in water overnight.
2. Dig a hole and make a mound of soil in the bottom of it. Set the plant on the mounds, spreading the roots evenly around the mound.
3. Place the rose, so the bud union is at the same height as the ground surface.
4. Cover the roots with loose soil and press lightly. Add more soil until the hole is half full, then fill with water, letting the water soak in.
5. Fill the hole with soil, and you’re done!
How To Plant Container, or Packaged, Roses:
1. To plant the rose while it is still dormant, take it out of the box and plant it like a bare-root rose.
2. If the rose is growing (showing leaves and flowers), cut the bottom of the container off, and cut several openings on each side. You want the roots to be unrestricted.
3. Set the rose in the planting hole to the right depth. Fill the hole with soil and water.
Mulching your roses is good for any soil and in any climate. It is extremely helpful in dry areas. Mulch keeps the soil temperature steady and prevents heavy rain from causing the topsoil to cake up. Mulching also helps to control weeds.
Roses need to receive 1 inch of water per week. What’s the best way? Watering deeply once a week, instead of watering lightly more often. Overhead sprinkling is great when done in the morning. This lets the foliage dry out before nightfall. Using soaker hoses or other drip-irrigation systems may be a more convenient way to water your roses.
It’s fairly easy to help most roses get safely through winter. Start by shoveling a protective mound of soil around the base of the rose. Then add a few scoops of mulch around the base, and they should stay well insulated.
As you learn rose gardening, you’ll find that much satisfaction comes from pruning your roses. By pruning, you remove old wood and encourage sap to flow into younger and stronger branches.
Most roses need moderately light pruning. Prune roses in late winter or in early spring, as soon as the buds begin to swell, but before they start to open. In warm climates, pruning can be a year-round activity.
Of course, there is more to learn about rose gardening… but these basics will see that you’re off to a good start. The main thing is to enjoy the beauty and blessings our roses bring us every day!