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Gardening

Growing Roses


Red Roses

 

Roses are generally lumped together with other flowers, but growing them requires some special consideration.

For one thing, they require 6-8 hours of full sun every day, and that factor alone disqualifies a lot of shady areas.

We've listed other considerations in the following sections which you can link to directly or scroll through one by one.

 

Preparing a Rose Bed

conditioning rose soilExperts recommend conditioning rose soil to a depth of 2-3 feet for roses.

Dig down about 1 foot in your rose bed and dump the soil off to the side on plastic or plywood to protect the lawn.

Spread a layer of organic amendment (like compost, peat moss or manure) about 3 inches thick over the bottom of the hole.

Dig down into the soil another foot or so and turn that over, basically mixing in the organic amendment.

rose soilDump the first foot of soil back into the bed and spread another 3 inch layer of organic amendments over that.

Adding bone meal at this point will hasten root growth and development, and there are fertilizers especially designed for roses you could also add at this point.

Then use a roto-tiller (which you can rent for a day) to blend the layers and rake the surface smooth.

 

 

Planting Container Roses

container roseBefore planting, prune away any dead, brown wood from the rose cans. Don't touch any green wood. That's the new growth.

Dig a hole about 6 inches wider and 6 inches deeper than the rose container.

You risk damaging the roots if you pull the container off completely and dump the rose in the hole, so follow these steps instead:

cut bottom of rose container
container roses
container roses
container roses
  • Cut the bottom off the container with a utility knife.
  • Level the base of the rose canes with the top of the hole, using a stick as a guide.
  • Add soil below the plant as needed to hold that position.
  • Cut the side of the container halfway up from the bottom.
  • Add soil to top of that cut, pressing out air pockets.
  • Finish the side cut to the top of the container.
  • Fill up the rest of the hole.
  • Pull out the loose plastic.
  • Pack down the soil and water thoroughly.
  • After planting, add a 4-inch layer of mulch to the rose bed (bark, chips, leaves, even grass clippings).

That'll help keep the roots cool, moist and relatively weed-free.

 

Maintaining Roses

commercial product application to combat insects and disease

Roses are susceptible to certain insects and diseases, but there are commercial products available to combat those.

Many of the products can be diluted in water and sprayed on every 7-10 days to protect the roses. Always follow package directions closely.

 

Most of the conditions stem from problems caused by extreme heat or humidity, so be especially vigilant during those times.

Consult your local nurseries for information tailored to your area and climate.

fading rose bloomAs rose blooms fade, it's a good idea to nip those off in order to encourage new buds to bloom elsewhere on the plant.

TIP: When you cut roses to display inside, catch them just between budding and blooming. They'll last longer in the vase.

 

Preparing Roses for Winter

cut bottom of rose container
container roses
container roses
container roses

In our northern climate, rose growers use what's known as the Minnesota Tip to protect roses during the winter.

 

  • Gather up the rose canes and tie them into a tight bundle with nylon string.
  • Spray the canes with dormant oil to kill bugs.
  • Dig a trench to the side as long as the rose is high.
  • Loosen the rose's roots on the side opposite the trench.
  • Carefully tip the plant and guide the canes down into the trench.
  • Cover the trench, leaving the end of the string visible for recovery in the spring.
  • Keep the soil moist till the ground freezes.
  • Cover with protective mulch like leaf bags after the freeze to prevent thawing and refreezing.

Of course, milder climates won't require such drastic measures to protect roses. So ask your local experts for the preferred method in your area.

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