The Q&A Archives: Roses

Question: What can I do with my one-year old rose bush? It's not doing well and I want it to grow and flower this summer.<br>

Answer: You didn't say what kind of rose you have, and each type has slightly different pruning requirements. But general rose care includes: full sunshine (8-10 hours a day in summer), good air circulation (to avoid diseases), ample moisture (about 1-inch of water a week), mulch over the root system (to help retain moisture and help protect the roots), and fertilizer during the growing season. If you keep the old flowers picked off, the plant will produce more blossoms.<br><br>If your plant is a hybrid-tea rose, you can prune it just as it begins to set out new stems. Cut back any canes that are gray-looking, and any that are crossing or rubbing others. Also remove any canes that look diseased. You want to have an open center with 3-5 strong, vigorous canescoming from the graft above the root stock. Cut the canes down to a height of 12-18 inches. These canes will then grow new stems which will produce flowers in the summer. You can fertilize with a commercial fertilzer every six weeks. (An 8-12-4 ratio will help encourage blooms.) <br>Inspect the plants for signs of disease and insect damage. If you find any, give us a detailed description of the symptoms, and we might be able to help you determine if you have a pest problem. Just submit another question via the web site.

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