Planting and Pruning Roses

Planting Your Roses

  1. Determine the type of rose you have. There are over 150 varieties of roses and knowing what your specific type needs or doesn’t like will benefit it greatly.
  2. For best results before you plant new roses, check the pH of your garden soil and add soil amendments if necessary. The ideal for roses is around 6.5.
  3. It’s important to choose a site receiving at least six hours of sun each day.
  4. Rose bushes must also be located in well-drained, fertile soil.
  5. Plant dormant roses in early spring (or fall).
  6. Potted plants can be planted any time between spring and fall, but preferably spring.
  7. If you’re planting bare root roses, presoak them in water for at least 24 hours prior to placing them in the ground.
  8. Both bare root and potted rose bushes need to be planted about 2 feet deep, with the hole large enough to accommodate the roots.
  9. Backfill the hole with soil, adding some well-rotted manure in with it and water thoroughly. Then mound up additional soil around the base of the plant.

Watering Your Roses

  1. Roses require at least an inch of water weekly throughout their growing season, beginning in spring or following spring planting.
  2. While overhead watering is suitable before the onset of new growth, it is often better to water these plants at the soil line using soaker hoses or similar means.
  3. Rose bushes are very susceptible to fungal diseases, such as black spot and powdery mildew, especially when their foliage is kept too wet.

Fertilizing Your Roses

  1. Fertilizer for roses should also be applied in spring, following the label instructions carefully.
  2. However, with the addition of well-rotted manure each spring, this is usually adequate.
  3. Mulching your rose bush will help retain moisture and may also offer some winter protection.

Pruning Your Roses

  1. Start at the bottom of the bush and work up. Prune less in the beginning. You can always go back and cut away more unwanted growth.
  2. Cut at a 45-degree angle, about 1/4-inch above buds that face away from the center of the bush. Your goal is to open up the center, so the plants get plenty of sunlight and good air circulation.
  3. Remove any shriveled, diseased or broken stems and other wood. Cut off twigs or branches that rub across or cross each other.
  4. Leave three to five strong, healthy branches, each six to eight inches long, when cutting back hybrid tea roses.
  5. Leave eight to 10 branches on floribundas, each eight to 12-inches long.
  6. Remove any suckers, which are stems that sprout from the roots. Cut them as close to the main root as possible.
  7. The best time to prune most roses is in late winter or very early spring, before the plants break dormancy, or when the plants are just starting to send out new growth.
  8. Most climbing roses are the exception to this rule. They should be pruned just after the flowers finish, although you can remove dead or unwanted branches at any time.
  9. In the summer, prune rose bushes to remove dead or diseased branches. Make the cuts one inch below the diseased branch, so only healthy wood remains.
  10. Summer is also the time to look for any branches in the center of the bush that are growing across each other. Prune away the weaker of the branches that cross each other.
  11. Also remove any suckers you find growing during the summer.
  12. Small or unhealthy branches can be removed anytime during the season.