Roses can be a tricky plant to master and require year-long attention. With the right advice and some quick tips, you will be rewarded with great looking flowers that will be the envy of your neighborhood. Whether you are just getting started or have had roses in your garden for years, these simple tricks will have your roses thriving this year!

Starting New Roses

·         Winter and the dormant season is the perfect time to select and plant new roses. Select your bushes based on desired characteristics.

·         Abundant sun will produce abundant blooms, so choose a spot with plenty of sun exposure. Open and airy locations can also help ward off diseases. Also look for a location with good soil drainage as roses will not grow in “swampy” conditions.

·         Once you’ve selected your location, dig a hole about twice as wide as the pot and slightly deeper. Amend the soil with a good planting mix (not manure or top soil) and backfill with half planting mix and half existing soil.

·         Water the fresh soil to tamp down air pockets. The new bush should sit slightly higher to compensate for settling.

·         Prune to your desired shape; most dormant new plants have not been pruned yet and could use that extra touch.

·         Start feeding once the plant begins to grow and continue to feed it throughout the growing season.

·         Prune lightly throughout the season and watch for diseases or insect infestations, treating if anything should occur.

Caring for Existing Roses

·         The dormant period is the perfect time to spray roses that may have had a disease or insect issue in the last season. Spraying with dormant sprays now will help treat and protect the plant over the next growing period. Copper-based sprays will help with disease and oil-based ones attack insects and their eggs.

·         As the weather begins to warm, it’s the perfect time to prune. Typical roses appreciate a heavy pruning, to facilitate growth and maintain shape. Groundcover roses require pruning only to reach your desired size and shape, while climbing roses require little to no pruning. Continue with light pruning over the growing season to remove dead stems and to keep the shape just right,

·         Adding fresh mulch will help replenish nutrients in the soil that roses need to thrive. Roses can eat up these nutrients quickly and adding a nice layer of fresh amendments is an easy way to provide. It can also protect the plant during cold weather and heavy freezes.

·         Just like new roses, feed your existing roses once they begin to show new growth and continue regular feedings throughout the season.

·         Most roses require water once or twice a week; some varieties require less. Soaker hoses are a great way to save water and deliver water directly to the soil where it’s needed. It can also reduce the possibility of disease. A good layer of mulch will also decrease the amount of watering you’ll need to do.

·         Keep an eye out for insect infestation or disease. Both can spread quickly and can ruin your garden in a flash. If you are not sure what you’re dealing with, bring a sample in a closed container or bag to one of our stores and our Expert Advisors will help you determine the best course of action.

Roses can be tricky yet beautiful things. With proper care and maintenance, they will bring color and life to your yard and garden. Ready to learn more? Attend our Rose Clinic on January 23, 2016 to find out everything you need to know about creating and caring for your roses!