I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds 'round my neck. Emma Goldman
Beautiful and sweet smelling, the rose is the gem in any flower garden with a long-held association with love and romance.
Treat your roses like royalty, and they will return the favor by giving you a lavish show every summer ....
Most popular rose varieties
Hybrid tea rose
With more than 15,000 varieties of roses grown and cultivated around the planet, most roses can be categorized into easily identifiable groups: These include the large and showy floridbundas and grandifloras which are often the envy of the neighborhood!
More commonly, shrub roses - including the very popular Knockout rose - are chosen by homeowners for their colorful blooms and ease of care. Next come the traditional hybrid teas, climbing varieties and, finally, miniature roses perfect for the urban landscape when grown in pots or containers.
How to plant roses
Start out in spring by preparing a special place for your new rose bush.
For the best blooms, pick out a bright spot that will get at least 6 hours of sun a day. Plan on choosing a cloudy day to plant roses. This will make it easier for the plant to adjust to its new surroundings and help avoid transplant shock.
DEEP WATERING will help keep roses blooming throughout the height of the summer.
Use a spade to turn over the soil to a depth of at least 12" depending on the size of the root ball. Don't forget to add lots of mulch and organic matter. This serves a multitude of purposes including nutrition, aeration and drainage.
Plant roses in the prepared ground - root ball and all - up to the level of the bud union (the swelling near the base.) Very lightly tamp down the soil and water well. Keep watering for the first several weeks after planting to encourage root growth and help your rose to settle in to its new home.
NOTE: Roses love lots of water during the heat of the summer. Just be sure not to overdo it. At worst, you may drown the plant or at best leave it vulnerable to black spot and other fungal diseases.
Roses are voracious feeders, so it's best to begin fertilizing as soon as new growth appears. Use any good NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) fertilizer with ratios of about 1:2:1. That said, DON"T OVERFERTILIZE, and don't assume stronger fertilizers mean better blooms and stronger growth. Roses like to feed early and often, but in light doses!
Continue to feed throughout the summer. When using liquid chemical fertilizers, be sure to carefully follow directions. (HINT: Pay special attention to the part about diluting it with water. Proper dilution will carry the fertilizer down to the depths of the roots, resulting in stronger growth.)
DEAD-HEADING: prune just
above a five-leaflet leaf to
help encourage blooms.
As your rose bush begins to flower, you'll want to encourage more new blooms by regularly cutting off spent roses in a process called "dead heading".
While there are different rules of thumb for this type of pruning, the traditional way is to cut the stem at a 45° angle above a five-leaflet leaf -- to encourage new growth and starting the blooming process anew.
Throughout the summer, you'll also want to prune any diseased, damaged or dead wood. This will also encourage new growth, and help to prevent disease and bug infestation.
Rose pests and diseases
Black spot: Of the many types of diseases to which roses are prone, black spot is probably the most common, and fear-inducing!
BLACK SPOT: a mixture of baking soda, soap and water will help keep it from reoccurring.
Potentially fatal, black spot is a fungus that goes by its scientific name Diplocarpon rosae. It is most evident by black spots - measuring anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" in diameter - which appear on branches and leaves. It usually occurs after a heavy rain, when moisture helps the fungus to flourish.
The cure? Simply remove any effected leaves IMMEDIATELY to keep the disease from spreading. To prevent black spot, the safest method is application of a mixture of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of liquid detergent mixed in a gallon of water. Spray both sides of the leaves thoroughly with the solution, especially after a spell of wet weather to help prevent re-occurrence.
Rose pests: Japanese beetles are among the number of garden insects that love to feast on roses. Evidence of their arrival usually shows up in once-green leaves that turn into lace-like skeletons due to Japanese beetles' voracious feeding habits.
While there are several methods to control them, probably the most effective way is simply to pick them off infested canes and leaves and destroy them. To prevent infestation, also try making Japanese beetles feel really unwelcome with edge plantings of geraniums, catnip or garlic which the little critters are said to have a strong aversion to.
Other rose-specific pests include rose scale, rose leaf hoppers, rose midge, rose weevils, gall wasps. aphids and thrips.
Rose fun facts - Did You Know?...
• The rose is the favorite flower of 85% of Americans.
• The oldest rose bush in the world -- planted in the 9th century and still growing -- is located in Hildesheim, Germany.
• About 60% of the roses grown in the U.S. are produced in California.
• Rose hips contain more Vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable.
• Roses not only smell good, they taste good! Added to salads, they add a sweet tangy flavor reminiscent of green apples and strawberries.
Check out an online encyclopedia of rose knowledge with historical facts
& folklore, tips & advice on their care & feeding,
pruning, mulching & fertilizing, plus how to's on controlling
pests, black spot & other common diseases, a guide to
rose varieties with related resources & references.
Here's the online home of the print magazine with dozens of feature
articles on growing, caring for and exhibiting roses along
with an active forum, photo gallery, online store.
Rose Society - Consumer education offering rose care
articles, extensive Q&A, directory of local societies,
Roses - Informative fact sheet on their cultivation
and care, a guide to a range of species including hybrid,
floribundas, tea, miniature and Chinese roses with additional
tips on related rose diseases and pests.
and Care of Climbing Roses - Complete overview on
rose climbing varieties, including planting depth and soil
preparation, advice on disease control, pruning and winterizing
Roses - Illustrated guide to "dead heading"
along with the basic fundamentals and related resources for
pruning climbers and ramblers, shrubs and ever-blooming rose
To Grow Roses in Pots - Find a good intro to the topic with
information on potting up roses for the home suburban garden.
Includes advice on ideal potting plants along with tips on
their care and feeding.