Your Roses From Blooming
With a little prevention or a couple of fixes, you can grow great flowers from spring to fall—and have a lot of fun doing it.
When you think of roses, you may think of a garden full of velvety, snow-covered flowers that often look like they belong in a magazine photo. However, that vision quickly turns to frustration when the roses you're trying to grow don't live up to the ideal. Here's the good news: By making a few changes during planting and care, you can have picture-perfect roses. The first step? Adopting a Balanced Mindset – Put aside the fear of getting poked or making a mistake, so you can start giving your roses the care they need. From there, consider these nine common pitfalls when growing roses.
1 Choosing the wrong location
There are all kinds of roses – from big ramblers to mini bushes – so it's a good idea to read the label carefully before you buy. A naturally large and spreading rose will not do well if it is constantly pruned to fit into a small space. Likewise, a rose that needs full sun will not thrive in shade. As much as possible, place your rose in a place where it can adequately meet its needs. Trust us: you'll both be happy.
2 Avoids soil amendments
Even if you've chosen the perfect location for your rose, you still need to improve the soil for optimal growth. Dig a hole two feet deep for each rose and mix in a bag of manure or compost. If you have heavy clay soil, you can loosen the soil to a depth of about a foot and add bark or coir to the soil to improve drainage and structure.
3 Not accounting for wildlife
You might think that deer don't like thorns, but young rose stems, leaves, and flowers are actually one of their favorite treats. If you grow a lot of roses, installing a tall fence may be the best option for your needs. However, if you only have a few roses and the deer population is small, odor-based repellents are often enough to persuade them to go elsewhere for a snack.
4 Skimping on water
Most types of roses love water but hate wet roots. In dry weather, watering at least once a week will get more flowers from your plant. You can use a hose, watering can, or drip irrigation system, but try not to wet the leaves. This can encourage certain diseases that cause your plant to drop its foliage. If that happens, your rose will spend energy changing leaves instead of blooming, but it's usually not dangerous.
5 Delays deadheading
Removing faded blooms from your rose bushes encourages new blooms and maintains a clean appearance. Since most roses rebloom from spring to late fall, maintaining deadheading can be a chore. To make this tedious task effective, turn old flowers with your hand every time you walk near the bush. If a rose is so densely flowered that it takes forever to remove each flower, after most of the flowers are spent, you can cut the entire plant back a few inches with hedge shears. In a couple of weeks, new flower buds will appear.
6 Putting off pruning
A more thorough cleanup than deadheading, pruning can reshape the entire plant and encourage healthy new growth. This should be done only once a year, usually in the spring. Thorns can also be avoided by sweeping clippings using telescoping pruners, pliers, and a makeshift cardboard dustpan.
7 Use of harsh pesticides
Many roses attract butterflies, bees, and other beneficial pollinators. Of the insects that feed on roses, most cause minor damage and are not worth treating, as you will often harm pollinators as well. If the damage gets out of control, try using non-toxic organic pest control options like insecticidal soap or neem oil to take care of the problem.
8 Does not feed often
To get the best blooms from your roses, apply fertilizer after the last spring frost and after the first bloom. You can repeat once a month until September, but if you fertilize too late in the season, the plant will continue to grow and try to flower while it is dormant over the winter.
9 Leaving disease untreated
If you see a rose with abnormal growth, it could be a sign of rose rosette disease (also known as RRD), a more serious rose disease. Check out roserosette.org to see if it's spread in your area. You can upload photos of your rose to their database to get an expert opinion. You can also call your local extension office. If one of your roses has RRD, remove it immediately and dispose of it in a trash can, trash can, or other waste so it is less likely to spread.