Growing Great Roses

Monday, July 18th, 2011 by Jenny Watts
    • Star jasmine is an evergreen vine that prefers some shade. The fragrant blossoms fill the June air with their sweet scent.
    • Petunias, in bright pink, red and purple, will add beauty and color to sunny borders all through the summer.
    • Azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons can be pruned now without sacrificing next years bloom. Ask at your nursery if you need help.
    • It’s time to set out Brussels sprouts for fall harvest.
    • Attract birds to your garden with a concrete bird bath. They come in many attractive styles and make good gifts.

Roses Love Water
The Secret To Their Success!

Gardeners all over the world know that roses return more to you for your time and effort than any other flower. To grow roses successfully in any climate, you only need three things: plenty of sun, water and fertilizer.

Nothing is more important for a rose bush’s survival and performance than water. Roses absolutely love water. But the amount of water a rose needs depends on sun exposure, type of soil and the method of watering.

In general, roses should be watered deeply, but infrequently. Since the original planting hole was 15 to 18 inches deep, water which does not reach that level will only encourage the growth of surface roots that will be less hardy than deeper roots. The soil around the roots should always be damp but never saturated with standing water. Add water when the soil is dry in the upper 1 to 2 inches.

A mature, average-sized rose bush can lose up to 5 gallons a day when it gets really hot and dry! Roses should not be allowed to wilt as wilting indicates root damage has occurred.

For container roses, keeping close tabs on the soil’s moisture condition is very important. Initially, water the plant well to get it firmly established. During the growing season, stick a finger in the soil to check for moisture. If your finger comes out literally dry, it’s time to add water. Muddy soil means the plant is getting too much water. Moist soil should be an indicator that the water amount is just about right.

Here are some other basic rules to follow for watering your roses:
• Roses should receive 1 to 2 inches of water, or 5 to 7 gallons, each week for a mature bush.
• Avoid wetting the plant’s leaves during regular watering, which can spread disease.
• Spray bushes with water about once a week to wash off dust, dirt and spider mites or other harmful insects. But never sprinkle bushes in the late afternoon or evening, which can promote disease.
• Water in the morning to help prevent black spot and mildew.
• Mulch (2 to 3 inches around a bush) to help retain moisture from watering and reduce watering needs. Mulching also helps keep the soil cool and helps control weeds.

Treat your roses right and they will reward you with gorgeous, fragrant blossoms all summer long.