The Basic Steps
- Choose a site which gets 6 hours of sun daily
- Prepare the soil to assure adequate drainage, proper composition, and PH
- Plant the roses at the proper depth and add super phosphate
- Provied adequate fertilizer and water
- Keep the plants pest free
- Remove spent blooms during the growing season
- Provide winter protection
Roses produce best if they get at least 6 hours of sun daily. Morning sun is preferred over late afternoon sun so
that moisture on the plants can dry as soon as possible.
Soil serves to anchor the plants and to provide an environment from which the roses can absorb the nutrients dissolved
in water. A good loam is ideal, which means around our area most of us will need to ament our natural soil with
peat and other organic material. Roses are dry land plants. They like rain to fall, percolate through the
soil and drain away. They will not tolerate "wet feet," so drainage is important. PH of the soil is also improtant
and should be slightly acid, 6.0 to 6.5 being ideal. Soils which are very acid or very alkaline will cause the
necessary minerals in the soil to become bound up and the roses will be unable to use them.
There are differences of opinion as to the depth to plant grafted roses. I believe to enjoy more carefree roses in
our area it is best to plant the bud union 2 to 3 inches below the surface of the soil. This will reduce winter kill by protecting the
bud union. When planting a rose, mix a handful of super phosphate with the soil in the bottom of the planting hole. Phosphate is slow to
down through the soil, so it is best to put some in at planting time. Make sure to allow adequate space between roses when
planting. Hybrid teas should be spaced 24 to 30 inches apart. Floribundas can be planted 18 to 24 inches apart, and miniatures as close
as 12 inches. Apply a 3 inch deep mulch around the plants to save some work weeding and to conserve moisture.
A newly planted rose should not
be fertilized, except for the super phosphate in the planting hole, until after it has bloomed. For existing plants, fertilize
when uncovering in the spring, around April
15 in our area. There are many formulations available and any balanced fertilizer will do. Another work saver is the use of
time release fertilizers, like Osmocote, which need to be applied only once per season. The use of organics is good for improving
soil structure and providing a long term source of nutrients.
of the nutrients roses get out of the soil must first be dissolved in water; therefore, adequate water is vitally important. Roses need
1 to 2 inches of water per week. If you can not feel moisture an inch below the surface of the soil, it is time to water. Contrary
to what you may have heard, roses can be watered from above as long as the foliage can dry quickly.
Rose pests come in two broad categories,
insects and fungus. The two main fungus diseases in our area are black spot and mildew. To keep your roses free of fungus,
you must prevent the fungus, not try to eliminate it after you see its effects. As soon as the bud eyes start to swell in the spring and you
have pruned your plants back for a new growing season, begin your spray program. There are many commercial products available
and you should follow the label directions as to the amount to use and the frequency of spraying. Some choices are Funginex,
Defense (neem oil), and Banner Maxx. Remember—Prevention, not cure is the secret
to fungus control.
Insect pests can be approached a bit differently than fungus. I would recommend not spraying
for them until you see them, and then I would use the least toxic method to get to your level of tolerance
for insect pests. Some serious exhibitors feel they must have "perfect roses," while most of us can accept some damage before
we take up arms. Major insect problems in our area and methods of control are:
- Aphids - Two or three
times in the spring, at two-week intervals, apply malathion or pyrethrum. They can also be washed off with a garden hose.
- Usually a problem on light colored roses. Spray two or three times in early spring with carbaryl or malathion.
Mites - Washing them off with a water wand is effective. The use of a miticide, like Avid, is effective but costly.
Borers - At spring pruning, seal the ends of the canes with Elmer's glue.
Beetles - These beasts have hit the top of the Hate Parade around here. If you have a few, pick them off by hand and destroy
them. The best way to control them is to attack them in the grub stage. Some ways to kill grubs are to use nematodes, chemicals
and bacteria (Milky Spore). The nematodes are effective, but expensive and have to be sprayed each year. The Milky spore takes
a couple of years to build up in the soil, but lasts many years once established. Chemicals are less expensive, but need to be applied
each year. The use of pyrethrum sprayed on the adult beetles is also effective.
During the growing season, remove spent blooms. Cut above
an outward facing 5 or 7 leaflet set. This will keep the center of the plant open and will encourage repeat blooms.
by September 1 to allow the plants to harden off for winter. After a hard freeze, tie the canes together and cover your roses 10 to
12 inches up the canes with mulch or compost. It can be held in place by a simple paper collar. If the plants are extremely tall, they
be cut back to 3 feet to prevent the wind from whipping them around during the winter.
The Belleville Area rose society
Monthly newsletter, Rose Talk
Meetings at SWIC with informative programs on all phases of rose culture
Annual plant auction
Annual Rose Show
installation Banquet with guest speaker
A chance to meet with others who share our interest in roses
by maintaining the West End Square Garden in Belleville
If you would like to join, please send a check for
$10.00, made out to the Belleville Area Rose Society, to David Sturgill, 5668 U.S. Rt. 66, Il 62069. the annual fee
covers all members of your family. If you are not sure, call 233-4609 to find out the time of our next meeting and come
check us out. We always have cake and coffee after our meetings, and we would love to chat with you.
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