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Rose Care

Planting Potted Roses

1.) Dig a hole approximately 1 1/2 times as large as the rose container in height and width. 

2.) Carefully remove rose bush from its container keeping the root ball as undisturbed as possible. With roses purchased early in the season (April & May), new root development may not be far enough advanced to ensure holding all the soil together. In this case, when the soil does fall away, no setback will be incurred as long as the plants are well watered immediately after planting.

3.) Place root ball in hole and adjust depth till graft is just below the soil surface. Then fill and firm around root ball with soil or peat moss till 2/3 full.

4.) Water thoroughly. Let water soak into the soil. 

5.) Fill remainder of hole with soil and peat mixture. 

6.) Water thoroughly again. 

7.) Do not put fertilizer in hole. 

8.) Mulching about 3 inches deep around each bush keeps the roots cool and moist, and discourages weeds. 

Rose Care

Watering- Roses like a moist, loose soil, but not soggy. Normally a good deep watering every 5 days should suffice. Mulching about 3 inches deep around each bush keeps the roots cool and moist, and discourages weeds. Do not water roses late in the day.

Feeding- To keep your roses growing and blooming heartily, fertilizer should be applied monthly from March to September. We recommend a monthly application of high quality rose food, such as Rose Tone.

Spraying- To insure healthy thriving rose bushes, maintain a systematic program of spraying with proper insecticides and fungicides. For insect control we recommend Systemic Insect Control and Liquid Copper Fungicide to keep fungus disease in check. Do not spray in the heat of the day. Plants should be watered well the day before spraying! For best control, begin treatment 2 weeks before disease normally appears or when disease is first visible, and repeat every 7 to 10 days. 

Winter Protection- During winter months (Dec-Mar) rose bushes are susceptible to injury from frost and freezing temperatures. To help prevent such problems, we recommend mulching your roses 6" to 8" above the graft with any suitable mulching material such as cedar mulch.

Watering & Disease Control

Hand watering is better than overhead watering. Make a catch basin for water around the perimeter of the plant and water the base of the plant for approximately 25-30 seconds or about 2 gallons. If you have a large garden or time limitations that preclude hand watering, it may pay to install a drip irrigation system or soaker hose(s).

Information on Pruning- The key to maintaining strong, healthy roses is pruning. Pruning ensures that your plant stays healthy and vigorous while producing large flowers with strong stems. Pruning also eliminates dead, diseased and damaged canes which ensure health of the plant. 

When to Prune- The optimal time to prune a rose is late winter, (January and February), after the last frost or early spring to prevent cold damage to your plants. If you are still unsure where or not to prune, base your pruning off of bud growth. When the buds have begun to swell, it is normally a good sign to begin pruning. 

How to Prune- Tools: You will want to protect your hands, arms, and legs from the thorns. It is recommended to use rose or leather gloves for protection. Next, a good pair of bypass hand sheers will be needed to clear out the smaller foliage (branches about 1/2" or thinner) and a pair of long handled bypass loppers for the larger, thicker canes. It is important to note that the sheers and loppers should both be bypass and not anvil head (anvil heads tend to damage the plant wheres bypass makes a clean cut).

Instructions: Before you begin the process of pruning, take the time to decide on a shape or height for the plant. Although the traditional Urn/vase shape allows for optimal air circulation within the bush, you may have some other style or design which bests suits your needs. Make sure you have an idea outlined prior to trimming. Next, you are going to want to remove any form of winter protection (e.g. mounted soil, burlap, rose cones) which may have been placed in order to provide superior work room. Once that has been completed, you should begin pruning out and removing any dead canes. Dead canes can be determined by their shriveled, blackened appearance. In contrast, a live healthy cane has a nice green outside and a cream or green color in the center of the cane. If only part of the cane is damaged, try to prune as close to the base or bud union as possible.

In addition, search for and remove any rootstocks (suckers) growing from your plant. Suckers are new plants growing up from the roots of the old plant (host plant). If left alone, they will suck vital nutrients from the host plant and hinder its growth process. Take away the soil from around the sucker, find where it is growing and sever it from the plant. If just cut at ground level, the rootstock will grow back even stronger. Prune any remaining canes which are thinner than a pencil, cross or rub against each other (crossing or rubbing of canes are prime spots where diseases occur). 

Next we can focus on the remaining healthy canes. Start by selecting four to six canes and prune to created the desired shape, leaving anywhere from one to four feet of cane. 

When your plant begins to bloom, you may want to trim away some of your new crop for personal use or remove the spent bloomed flowers from the plant. This process is called deadheading, is very healthy and encourages the plant to re-bloom throughout the summer. Search for a cane that is large enough to support new growth. and has at least five leaves above the bud eye. Make your incision at that location, removing any left over debris. Once winter begins, place any form of winter protection you may have for the plant and start the whole process again next year.

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