Roses forum: Rejuvenating Rose Bushes

Views: 207, Replies: 5 » Jump to the end
Name: Kelly
Louisiana (Zone 9a)
Image
TeacHerGardening
Jan 28, 2018 6:23 AM CST
Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum and gardening in general. Almost three years ago I moved into my home and I'll be the first to admit that I haven't taken care of the rose bushes the previous owners planted the way I should have. (The most I've done is prune them and lay down mulch.)

I don't know the exact type they are, but I've noticed that they are pretty hardy in general considering my neglect. One of my goals for 2018 is to rejuvenate and take better care of them. We're just coming off of a hard freeze which is very unusual in southern Louisiana/Zone 9. I've read that I shouldn't feed them until the spring, but considering that they haven't been properly fed for three years, I have no idea where to even begin after pruning. I was thinking of using the specialty soil for roses once it becomes available, but what can I do now to better prepare them for the work that lies ahead?

Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated.

Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
Image
IrisLilli
Jan 28, 2018 7:31 AM CST
Welcome! Kelly!

(I'll let someone more familiar with your growing conditions answer your questions.)
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Jan 28, 2018 1:46 PM CST
@TeacHerGardening
Welcome to the forum!
Lots of good rose growing gardeners/info here.
Enjoy!

Tisha
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Jan 28, 2018 3:06 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA, Kelly ... Big Grin

I don't know the exact type they are, but I've noticed that they are pretty hardy in general considering my neglect. One of my goals for 2018 is to rejuvenate and take better care of them. We're just coming off of a hard freeze which is very unusual in southern Louisiana/Zone 9. I've read that I shouldn't feed them until the spring, but considering that they haven't been properly fed for three years, I have no idea where to even begin after pruning. I was thinking of using the specialty soil for roses once it becomes available, but what can I do now to better prepare them for the work that lies ahead?

If your roses are once blooming roses, and some of them may be, those roses are pruned after flowering because these roses bloom on old wood. For the repeat blooming roses, according to rose literature, the general rule of thumb is that they should be pruned as soon as the sap starts to rise in spring. Some people will prune these "modern" roses when they are dormant. There are a lot of right ways to grow roses, so you may get a lot of different answers to that question ... Smiling The best answer is that "it depends on the rose."

My preference is to wait until spring to prune the repeat blooming roses because the pruning wounds heal faster. However, roses can handle being pruned earlier and even handle our pruning mistakes quite well. They are survivors.

As for when to feed them ... again, you will get a lot of different answers, but generally, when you see the buds swelling, that means the cellular activity within the plant is more active. Taking it further, the soil is warmer and the soil bacteria are also active. That is the best time to give your roses their first feeding of the year. Any plant foods that we supply to the plants in our gardens has to be broken down by the soil bacteria into a form that the plants can use whether it is organic or chemical. It takes the bacteria longer to break down organic fertilizers than it does chemical fertilizers.

When I lived in zone 10, I gave my roses their first feeding in January. Now, that I live in the mountains of northern California, I give my roses their first feeding near the end of March. When you feed your roses depends on your climate and your soil ... and the rose ... Smiling

You may want to do a rejuvenation prune on your roses. If they have not been properly pruned for years, you may want to do it in stages rather than doing it all at once. Again, it depends on the rose and how healthy the plant is right now.

There are several threads which mention rejuvenation pruning on the Rose Forum. Just enter "rejuvenation" in the search field and you will find them. Feel free to ask more questions.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 28, 2018 3:20 PM CST
It would really help if we could figure out what kind of rose you have.
Porkpal
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses Irises Lilies
Image
Steve812
Jan 29, 2018 8:42 AM CST
Of course, the answer depends completely on the kind of rose, the condition of the rose right now, the expections (i.e. that the rose be full of bloom in May of this year or next year), and the upcoming weather.

If the rose came through an unusually hard frost and has lost a lot of good wood, or if it has a lot of dead wood by virtue of being neglected for many years then it would be reasonable to prune out all the dead wood and much of the weak wood. The rose will not care what time of year it is when this part of pruning is done. And it doesn't make much difference what cultivar it is.

When it comes to removing productive canes, timing can be a little trickier because the best advice is to prune while the rose is dormant: after the last hard frost but before the plant starts setting new growth. My own guess is that by the second or third week of February one might be safe in pruning a rose in LA. I cannot imagine waiting much longer than that: when I lived in TX zone 8b, I had a lot of roses that were not at all dormant in late winter. Bear in mind that removing productive canes tends to stimulate new growth, so it is not long after one prunes that one will want to fertilize the rose generously. And it is for this reason that we try to do this after hard frosts are gone: a rose growing vigorously when frost hits is often a goner.

I would also adjust my expectations a bit. Sometimes it can take more than one full season for a new or a very old neglected rose to show what it can do. So a bit of patience is useful.

Hope this helps.

---
Edited for spelling.
When you dance with nature, try not to step on her toes.
[Last edited by Steve812 - Jan 29, 2018 10:35 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1630573 (6)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Roses forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Mexican Sage"