The rose is prized for its beauty in most countries and cultures. It's thought of as the most romantic flower there is. Different varieties are even named after famous people, such as Audrey Hepburn (apple blossom pink hybrid tea rose), Don Juan (red large climbing rose) and George Burns (yellow blend floribunda rose). Besides its popularity, it is often thought that roses are difficult to care for. With a little homework, however, you can plant and care for a rose garden of your own.
Planting Time and Location
Choose a time when the soil is soft and moist, late winter or early spring, to plant roses. Make sure to choose a location that receives 6 to 8 hours of daily sunshine, starting with morning sun. Set them away from other large plants. Larger trees and bushes can entwine their roots with rose bushes, causing the rose plant to become stunted. Any other plants, including other roses, should also not be planted too closely, as roses need air circulation. Be sure to learn about the mature span of the rose bush you choose and plant with that spacing in mind. Yet, roses need wind protection. Place your rose bush in a place that will offer this protection with trees, large bushes or structure walls, but not so close that it inhibits the plant.
Take out the winter mulch that was place on the roses for protection. Start in early spring removing small amounts at a time, over a 2-week period. Prune away all dead branches and shape the plant. Now is the time to feed your rose bush. Use a fertilizer specifically for roses. This flowering bush is a heavy feeder, in most cases. It needs certain nutrients that are configured properly by rose fertilizer manufacturers. In late spring, replace fresh mulch around the ground under the bush. This is to help the roots retain moisture as warm summer days approach.
Remove dead roses, with a sharp knife or garden clipper, as often as possible. This will help nutrients go to the new blooms. Give the rose bush a frequent soaking, close to the ground, once a week and more often if the weather is hot and dry. Continue to fertilize every 3 or 4 weeks, or as the fertilizer manufacturer suggests for their product. Keep an eye on the mulch and replace some, if necessary, to keep a 2- to 3-inch height through the summer.
Cease feeding the rose bush about 6 weeks before the first frost is expected in your location. This will allow the plant to move into a dormant stage, slowly. Clip off any spent flower heads and pick up fallen leaves and flowers from the ground. Give the rose bush one last deep watering just after the first frost and before the ground is frozen.
Allow the rose bush to become used to the cold weather for a couple of weeks. Spray it with a fungicide to protect it from winter spores. Then, cover the plant with mulch up to about 18 inches high, for winter protection.