How To Take Care Of Bonica Shrub Roses? - Knowledgebase Question

Malta, NY
Avatar for molborsha
Question by molborsha
April 6, 2000
This is my second year with them. They are supposed to grow to 4to5ft high and 5ft wide. What should I do in the summer for growth and protect them in the winter? I live in Albany NY.

Answer from NGA
April 6, 2000
Bonica is one of the easiest roses to care for and very rewarding to grow Pruning is limited to removing any branches damaged by the winter and then possibly tip pruning or shearing lightly for shape in the spring. After that, you may remove spent flowers periodically to help keep the shrub blooming all season. In early spring and again about six weeks later you might give it a top dressing of compost along with a complete fertilizer or a rose fertilizer according to the label instructions. During the summer, keep the rose mulched with several inches of organic mulch and water it as needed to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. By next year the shrub should be established well enough to limit your watering to dry spells, but water is important to establishment as well as for ongoing bloom production. Asuming your plant is on its own roots rather than grafted, a year round layer of of several inches of mulch should be sufficient to see it through winter. Your rose should grow well for you with this type of care, but in my experience, the dimensions you list seem a bit on the high side.

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