9 Tips to Grow Roses
- The soil needs to be well drained
Roses need to be well watered and the recommendation is around one inch of water on the plant every week. A neutral pH of about 5.5-7 is the perfect conditions to grow roses and you should test your soil before planting. To make sure water can get right down to the roots of your rose bush, turn over the soil and aerate it with a garden fork to add in air holes and create the right environment. You can also sprinkle in some compost as you turn the soil over to help improve the level of nutrients.
- They need a lot of sunlight
A rose bush is unlike a lot of other garden perennials in that it needs a lot of sunlight. It is recommended that rose bushes have around six hours of light every day so think about this when you are choosing where to put it. Some types of roses can flourish with less light but no rose plant will do well in a shady area.
- Mulch will help the rose plant grow
Roses can dry out quite quickly so it is best to use mulch to keep moisture in. Cover the soil around your rose bush in around two to three inches of mulch before watering. The mulch will hold moisture and prevent the soil from drying out as well as stopping weeds growing around your plant. Mulch is also a great way to stop diseases that might be present in the soil infecting the leaves on your plant. Ensure there is a one inch space around the base of your rose bush and the mulch as this will hold in moisture but prevent damp getting to the base of the plant itself.
- A rose plant needs lots of water when first planted
When you first plant out a rose bush, you need to “deep water” the plant which means letting the liquid seep right down deeply into the ground. It might seem like you’re giving them too much water, but by making sure the soil is moist right the way down it encourages the roots to grow longer and healthier. When watering your rose bush routinely, the best tool to use is a soaker hose. This is a system that releases water slowly to let it gradually wet the ground. The important feature with this is that it keeps the leaves dry. Wet rose bush leaves can attract diseases.
- Pests and diseases – how to spot them
Before planting your roses, check with the local nurseries or garden centres to find out if there are any diseases in the local area and which are the most common. By being prepared before you even start planting, you can learn to look for the signs and get any products or antifungal treatment ready. The most common problems facing rose growers are stem borers, Japanese beetles, aphids, black spot or powdery mildew, spider mites, thrips, rust and even deer. Look for signs of wilting, damage on the leaves which might look like holes or discoloured patches.
- Dealing with aphids and Japanese beetles
A great tip to deal with these tiny pests in a natural way is to plant garlic and mint around your rose bush. The pungent smell of these plants will repel the insects and keep your rose bush healthy. The added bonus of using these plants is not only will they look great in your garden but you can harvest them to use in the kitchen as well! It is also a great alternative to using harsh, chemical based pesticides which can be harmful to the environment.
- Stopping mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which appears on leaves as a white substance. It is very harmful for rose plants as it takes away nutrients. This can slow down your plant’s growth and, if left untreated, it can kill the rose entirely. If you start to see white circles on leaves then it is a clear sign you have a powdery mildew infection. The best and quickest way to deal with it is simply to remove those infected parts of the plants. Just cut away leaves and remove them. But if the infection has spread too far and you find that most of your rose plant has these white spots, then you may have to use a chemical fungicide to deal with the problem.
- Difference between bare root and container roses
There are two ways you can buy rose plants – bare root or container grown. The bare root roses are usually on sale around early spring and they are just roots packed into a peat moss or other compost which has been soaked with water. They are dormant but sometimes you can see shoots starting to appear as they begin to grow. The other other type of rose plant is grown in a container and these are more expensive than bare roots as they are easier to plant. They need to be planted in a hole which is double the size of the pot and then the roots need to be freed from the packed soil so they are spread out in the hole evenly.
- When to plant roses