The Q&A Archives: Growing roses?

Question: What do I need to get my rose's to live and grow?

Answer: Successful rose growing begins with proper attention to soil, water, feeding, and sun exposure.

Roses prefer a soil pH ranging from 6.5 to 6.8. Soils with good drainage are best for rose growing. When improving the soil through the use of soil amendments, don't forget to promote drainage by incorporating peat moss.

Watering requirements depend greatly on conditions. But on the average, it is best to water rose bushes twice a week -- and to water them thoroughly.

A regimen of two deep waterings per week is preferable to four shallower, less thorough waterings.

Avoid late-evening watering, which could foster powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a very common disease among roses.

Rose growing in conditions where adequate spacing is not provided can foster black spot, as well. Let your roses breathe: don't plant them too closely together. Follow spacing requirements for each particular variety when purchasing rose bushes, as indicated on the plant label.

Roses like six hours of sun per day
Six hours of morning sun is preferable to six hours of afternoon sun.

Roses are heavy feeders. At a minimum, feed it at least monthly, from April 1 through Labor Day, with a balanced fertilizer -- 1 cup of 10-10-10 or 16-4-8 granular fertilizer per month is adequate for a hybrid tea, with proportionally less for miniatures. Liquid fertilizers work better for roses in pots, but are also appreciated by roses in the ground, and organic fertilizers are a nice addition for any rose. If you don't want to feed every month, look into all-season, time-release fertilizers like Osmocote.

Best wishes with your roses!

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