The Q&A Archives: MY ROSE BUSHES

Question: Hi, I still have some questions. It seems like my roses are dying off. They used to bloom really nice but they are losing branches and do not bloom so well any more. Why? Is it the soil here in Portsmouth? I'm new at this but I love flowers. thank you, Margot Powell

Answer: If your roses were growing well in years past but are beginning to decline now, the likely causes are changes in the growing environment or an untreated disease or insect infestation. Roses need at least 8 hours of direct sunshine and grow best in rich, well draining soils. Over the years tree canopies can expand, shading a bed that was once in full sun; well amended soils can become depleted over the years and soils can compact and make it difficult for roots to get the moisture and minerals they require; roses are susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases, which can cause decline and eventually kill plants if the diseases are not treated. So, if your roses are in a state of decline you may want to assess the growing site to make sure it is getting adequate sunshine. You might also want to dig the rose bushes up, amend the soil, then replant. Finally, pruning will remove some diseased plant parts and open the shrubs up to better air circulation. Once you determine whether the problems are cultural or caused by disease, you can take the necessary steps to nurse your rose bushes back to health.

Good luck with your roses.

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