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Rose Garden

Planting to Pruning: Grow Roses Better

Planting to Pruning: Grow Roses Better

Planting Roses

  • Choose a sunny location which allows for 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day away from tree roots with good air circulation.
  • Dig a hole twice as wide and 20 cm (8″) deeper than the container.
  • Prepare a soil mixture made of 1/3 3-in-1, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 manure, and 150 ml (10 tablespoons) of bone meal per plant. Place some of this mixture in the bottom of the hole. If your rose comes in a plastic pot, water and gently ease it out and position it in the hole so that the graft or bud union (the swelling just above the roots) is even with the final soil level. If there is no bud union, i.e. Shrub Roses which are now grown on their own roots; make sure that the root ball is above grade to allow for some initial settling of the soil.

Not sure what roses to plant? Let our handy rose guide help you.

  • Backfill the sides with more of the prepared soil mixture and firm into place.

roses and stems

  • Roses that come in brown fibre pots need to have the rims trimmed down to the soil level in the pot, the bottoms cut right off, and 4 equidistant slits cut up the sides.
  • Lower the pot into the planting hole but don’t try to remove the sides, leave them on since they’re biodegradable. Fill the sides with the same soil mixture and water the area well.

Fertilizing Roses

  • Spread 125 ml (1/2 cup) of granular Garden-All 4-12-8 around each rose bush about mid April after you’ve removed its winter protection.
  • Repeat this application after the first flush early in June and then again in August.
  • You can also fertilize every three weeks with a Flower Food 15-30-15 water soluble fertilizer. Do not fertilize again after mid-August.

Watering

  • Roses generally need to be watered deeply twice a week in summer. This means a good soaking of the area.
  • Since foliage is sometimes prone to Black Spot and/or Powdery Mildew, try to keep the leaves as dry as possible.
  • Water with a watering can or watering wand rather than leaving on an overhead sprinkler.
  • Water only in the morning.

White Rose

Pest Control

Roses, like all plants, can have insect problems.

  • Watch for aphids which are small, soft-bodied insects that can be bright green, brown, red, or black. They usually cluster around the new growing shoots or on young flower buds.
  • Spider mites are tiny and suck sap from the underside of leaves. Look for flecked foliage that turns yellow and drops off. Insecticidal soap is the easiest, most environmentally friendly solution to these problems.
  • Black Spot looks exactly like its name while Powdery Mildew is a white, powder-like covering of the leaves and stems. Try to grow roses that are labeled “disease-resistant” to minimize the occurrence of these 2 conditions. If this happens, it has to be treated or your rose bush will defoliate and be weakened in the process.
  • Sulphur Dust, Lime Sulphur and Safer’s Defender are three excellent organic fungicides. Start using one in early July, before you see any signs of disease, and continue every 2 weeks until late September. Safer’s End-All is an organic insecticide that can be used to control most insect pests. Dormant Spray can also be applied in March/Early April.

Pruning

  • For Floribunda, Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, and David Austin roses, prune out all dead wood (brown twigs and end of branches) in early spring (before leaves are fully expanded).
  • Prune healthy wood (green in colour) back to 30 cm – 60 cm (12″ – 24″) above ground, or higher if not winter killed, just above an outward facing bud.
  • Climbing and Shrub Roses should only have dead wood pruned out. Do not cut out much healthy wood as this will interfere with flowering. Limit climbers to 3-5 strong canes and prune out the rest right down to ground level.
  • When roses start their blooming cycle, remember that removing spent flowers (called “deadheading”) promotes more flowers. Cut back the finished flower stems to just above the first leaf with five leaflets.
  • Always remove injured canes or sucker growth from the bud union as soon as you see it.