The first rule is for success with your rose plants is not to over-complicate things but rather to consider these organic care guidelines that have produced great roses for me over the years.
Let me deal with the obvious issues first. The impression that roses are hard to grow is, quite frankly, wrong. Roses are no harder to grow than any other plant but they do require some specific care and perhaps an attitude adjustment on the part of many gardeners.
What Attitude Adjustment?
Roses come in two “flavors” – tender and hardy. So if you insist on growing tender roses in your cold climate, then you’re going to have to understand that while there are techniques that will prolong their life, you are going to lose them if you insist on growing them in the “traditional” way.
This means you have to treat them as a half-hardy plant. Some years you’ll lose them and some years they’ll survive. And you have to readjust your thinking to simply accept this.
Or you can adopt some of my techniques for success with tender roses in cold climates and manage them appropriately.
Simply Grow Tough Roses
The easiest thing to do of course is restrict your collection to tough roses. Grow rose plants that survive in your area – not matter how cold it gets. A perfect example of this class of plants are the shrub roses and Explorer roses.
Can I grow those roses from seed myself? There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t grow hardy roses from seed but the more tender types won’t survive tough winters.
What About Disease?
Oh yeah, some rose plants are really prone to a problem called Black Spot but here again, there are specific techniques that reduce this issue.
I note some roses are sold as ‘Black Spot Resistant” and this doesn’t mean the plant won’t get black spot. It means it resists getting it – likely for a few weeks later in the season.
What About Pruning?
I tend to prune my shrub bush roses every few years. I whack them right to the ground and let them start all over again. Otherwise, they “fight” me back with their thorns.
Hybrid tea roses are pruned right after they finish their blooms and the research I’m familiar with suggests you cut off about a foot of stem below the spent bloom to encourge new growth and the next flush of blooms (you should get three separate bloom flushes on a hybrid tea rose.
Can I Grow Roses In Containers
Can You Tell Me About Getting Free Roses?
One way to get more roses for free is to grow them yourself from seed. Here’s how.
What About Feeding?
Oh yeah. Roses are greedy feeders in the garden and you’re going to want to feed them right after the first two sets of blooms. This will give them the strength to produce another set of blooms.
Do not feed after the third set (unless you’re using the deep planting system) as you want the plant to “harden off” for winter.
How Much Water Do Rose Plants Require?
They require deep waterings twice a week. Cut back on the water and you’ll cut back on the blooms.
How Do I Grow Miniature Roses?
Or even how to grow them
Do Roses Need Great Soil?
Note that roses are one of the few plants that thrive on heavy clay soils and will grow quite nicely on them.
They’ll also grow well on better drained soils but they do struggle on sandier soils (those with sandier soils are going to have to really watch their watering and feeding as the soil will dry faster and the heavier waterings needed will drive the water-soluble Nitrogen fertilizer down and away from the rose roots.
And yes, for the record, I’ve written on two print books about growing roses – my own “Tender Roses in Tough Climates” (about how to grow tender roses in very cold areas – see image link below) which was distributed by three book clubs and sold very well (still on Amazon) and rewrote “Roses for Dummies” for the the Canadian market.
Many home gardeners want to grow long stem roses and here’s why it’s tricky to do (but what you need to do if you want to try)