Rose bushes? - Knowledgebase Question

Hesperia, Ca
Question by kaysie323
March 19, 2010
I have a black thumb and have moved into a home with several rose bushes in the front yard. I really would like to keep them alive, what tips do you have for me that will give these plants a fighting chance?


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Answer from NGA
March 19, 2010

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Roses will thrive when planted in full sunshine and watered deeply on a regular basis. You can feed your roses with a specially formulated rose food (amounts and frequency of application will be listed on the package). Aside from watering and feeding, roses should be pruned in the early spring. There are only a few things to remember about pruning roses: Blooms are produced on new growth, so retaining the old growth won't be beneficial to your rose bushes. You can safely cut hybrid tea roses to about two feet above the graft (swelling on the stem). Standard roses are usually grafted onto a 2-3 foot understock, so prune these about 18 inches above the graft. Try to prune some of the old canes out and leave three to five vigorous canes on each plant. Always use sharp pruners when cutting roses, and always cut to anoutside facing bud in the direction you want the plant to grow. If you remove all of the dead, crossing and rubbing canes, plus all of the long, unruly stems, you should end up with a sturdy, compact plant. Prune in January or February before the spring surge of growth and don't fertilize until the plants start putting out new growth. Rose buses should receive at least one inch of water per plant per week. Form a basin around the stem of the plant to hold water and then water deeply enough for the moisture to penetrate all through the root area. Best wishes with your landscape!

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