Stop And Smell The Roses


Caring for roses takes very little effort once you have the routine down pat, with huge rewards of fragrant blooms through spring and summer and even into autumn.


The first step to growing great roses at home begins with choosing an area in the garden where they are sure to thrive and selecting a rose to match your garden’s micorclimate and soil. Start by choosing a location to grow your roses even before you buy them, you will be on a better path towards rose growing success. 

Once you have selected your garden location, go about working up the soil. The soil can be built up by mixing in some well rotted compost prior to planting, if you have a pH kit on hand, the ideal pH is 6.5 for roses.

You may want them to climb a wall or a trellis, or fit into a nice rose bed or even be used as ground cover. Keep these points in mind when making your selection. Potted roses are also perfect for small areas, such as an apartment balcony, limited garden area or just for setting on a patio, with the added benefit of bringing your sweet smelling roses closer to the eyes and nose.


Sunlight is very important for roses so selecting a spot that gets six hours of sun a day and has good drainage is best. Any-less sun than that and you’ll have fewer flowers, leggier plants, and more disease. Even roses labelled “easy care” need some tending to. 


Adequate space is imperative. Roses require excellent air circulation to prevent disease and to ensure you have enough room to tend to them. Each rose bush should have space to flourish and spread its roots and branches. If your roses are potted then your roses will thrive for roughly three years and then will need transplanting. Roses in pots tend to deplete the soil of its nutrients more rapidly than if they were in the ground. Often they can outgrow their containers and need a larger home. In this case one can provide the rose with a container one or two sizes up from the previous one.


Roses also need one to two deep waterings a week during warm, dry weather. Drip irrigation is ideal and avoid overhead watering to help prevent disease and to protect blossoms. To keep them blooming, most varieties should be fed every four to six weeks with a with a specialist rose fertiliser or a organic liquid fertiliser to encourage micro-organisms in the soil.


Since most landscape roses are hardy, they don’t require winter protection. In the coldest areas, choose hardy varieties grown on their own root stock. These roses also don’t need intricate pruning. Simply cutting back plants by half to two-thirds in late winter and thinning crowded canes will keep them compact and under control and promote new growth in spring. A good rule of thumb when pruning roses is to leave no wood on the bush that is thinner than a pencil. Then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the colourful summer show.

Note: Roses are highly susceptible to diseases and pets, so spray the foliage with eco oil if necessary on a regular basis or on the first signs of destress. Its also important to deadhead your roses once they bloom to promote further growth and a spectacular array of roses, and if your roses are grown organically then these blooms can always be used to make some sweet tasting rose tea or jam.

Everyone can grow roses, no matter where they live. If you can grow grass, you can grow delightful roses for your own indulgence.


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