Roses are one of the most popular flowers grown in America. The rose plant name Rose comes from the German word “Hrod” meaning “fame.” Many varieties of roses are in fact named after European Royals. The rose plant is native to the Mediterranean area, North Africa and Western Asia, but is today cultivated in almost every part of the world.
Keep Your Roses Healthy
- Location: Plant in an area that receives full sun (at least 6 hours); preferably morning sun. Roses need very good drainage, so plant in a raised bed, about 6 to 12 inches above the ground.
- Soil: Build beds with a well-draining soil, or mix your own by using 2/4 Life Below, 1/4 sand, and 1/4 Acidified Cotton Bur compost. It’s a good idea to prepare the bed a week or two before you plant.
- Spacing: Know the mature size of the variety you are planting and place your roses with enough space to avoid crowding later. Good air circulation is a must.
- Planting: Dig a hole twice as wide as the container and deep enough so that the bud union is 2″ above the ground. Put a handful of bone meal at the bottom of the hole, andmix some in with the planting soil – this will encourage strong root growth. Fill in the soil around the root ball and water it down.
- Water your roses regularly, keeping soil evenly moist but not overwatering. They need at least 2 inches of water a week.
- Avoid watering late in the day – the earlier the better.
- DO NOT water the leaves! Water the soil only.
- Do not fertilize your roses right after you plant them – this will burn the roots you are trying to establish. Wait until after the first bloom cycle.
- Fertilize monthly from March to August with a good organic fertilizer like Rose-Glo..
- To apply fertilizer, rake mulch back to the dripline, then evenly spread the fertilizer over the exposed soil. Push the mulch back over the area, then water the bed well.
Clean your roses on a regular basis by deadheading spent blooms and removing dead or
diseased leaves before they fall to the ground. If left underneath the bush, this debris
creates a breeding ground for pests and disease. When cutting spent blooms, cut the
cane at a 45-degree angle at the juncture of an outwardly facing 5-leaf leaflet, as this is
where a new cane will come from.
- Antique Roses: Hard pruning is never necessary, but you may wish to lightly prune for shape, and it is also a good idea to cut canes that are crossing or growing into the center of the bush. If you do, prune after a bloom cycle and don’t cut back more than a third of the bush.
- Modern Roses: Prune them on or around Valentine’s Day. First, cut any dead or diseased canes. Second, cut away crossing canes. Third, cut canes that are smaller than pencil size. Finally, pick the best 4-5 canes in a vase shape and cut the rest of the canes away. Remember to cut canes all the way back and don’t leave stubs at the base of the plant.
- Use an organic soil amendment like Compost Tea. It is brewed fresh here at Buchanan’s, which creates a huge population of beneficial microbes that activate nutrients in your soil, rejuvenating it. Using Compost Tea on your roses will strengthen them against insects and disease.
- If you do have a problem that gets out of hand, we have good organic fungicides & insecticides like Revitalize and Safer Soap.
Need more guidance?
Read more about how to care for roses in Houston!
Rose Pruning Basics