The Best Free Garden Tips for Growing Roses

The elegant beauty of the rose and the thorny nature of the rosebush seem to combine to make new gardeners think that growing roses must be complicated and expensive. Rose classification, on the other hand, can be difficult for the beginning rose grower as a trip to the garden center will prove. The sheer number of subclasses, categories and hybrids of roses can make it difficult to choose, but once the decision is finally made, most gardeners find that actually growing the rose is the easiest part.

Planting Tips

Take the time to prepare the soil when planting a rose bush. Roses do best when planted in well-drained soil. Make clay-based soil light and rich by adding compost, leaf mold or peat moss and sand. Plant bare-root roses when they are still dormant. Soak the roots in water overnight before planting, then inspect the roots and prune any that are too long or have been damaged. Encourage new growth by pruning a newly-planted rose back by a third. Remove dead and broken wood at the same time. Organic mulch will keep a newly-planted rose bush from drying out. When the new growth appears, gently wash the mulch away from the rose bush to prevent disease.

Maintenance Tips

The roots of a mature rose may be as deep as 18 inches, so make sure they get enough moisture while avoiding standing water by using drip irrigation. If this isn't possible, water the soil around the rose in the early morning to give the foliage time to dry out. Place organic mulch around the rose bush, but not touching it, to keep the soil and roots from drying out and to prevent fungal spores from splashing up onto the rose during watering. The mulch also keeps weeds at bay. Cut off faded blooms to encourage more buds and to keep diseases from finding a place to grow. Lure aphids away from the rose by planting a nasturtium within 10 feet of the rose bush. When the nasturtium is full of the insect pests, destroy it. Cut rose blooms and canes at a 45-degree angle, down to an outward-facing bud or leaflet, to encourage new growth to grow away from the center. This practice will keep the rose healthy by encouraging air circulation.

Winterizing Roses

Remove all debris around the roses so that insects and disease don't have a place to over winter. Protect the rose from harsh winters by adding soil or compost around the base of the plant. Protect the rosebush from wind damage by erecting a barrier. Minimize the drying effects of winter winds by wrapping the canes in burlap.

Keywords: rose growing tips, caring for roses, growing roses

About this Author

Patrice Campbell, a graduate of Skagit Valley College, has more than 20 years of writing experience including working as a news reporter and features writer for the Florence Mining News and the Wild Rivers Guide, contributing writer for Suite 101 and Helium, and promotional writing for various businesses and charities.