Roses have long been one of the most popular of all garden flowers and hybrid tea roses especially so, with their tall, straight canes and beautifully shaped fragrant blossoms. Contrary to popular belief, roses are not difficult to grow, simply requiring a sunny spot, water, food and protection from disease and pests. Hybrid roses, however, tend to be more susceptible to problems than the Old Garden varieties, but the extra care is not excessive even for the beginning rose gardener.
Select the site for growing the hybrid roses. They need at least six hours of full sunlight every day. If the site doesn't receive full light all day, then six hours of morning sunlight is better than six hours of afternoon sunlight.
Test the pH of the soil. Roses need slightly acidic soil, in the 5.5 to 6.5 range. Do not guess the soil pH, advises Louisiana State University horticulturalist Allen Owings. Soil testing kits may be purchased at most garden centers or you can take a sample to your local agriculture extension agent. Based upon the test results, add sulfur products to lower the pH and add lime products to raise the pH; this should be done at least a month before planting the rose to allow the soil additives time to amend the soil.
Dig a hole for the rose that is 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide. Place this soil in a container or wheelbarrow and add approximately the same amount of peat moss, quality potting soil and mulch well-rotted manure or compost. Mix well and use this soil mixture to plant the rose.
Place 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the rose. This retains soil moisture and reduces the growth of weeds. Replace the mulch as it decomposes; when organic mulches decompose they bind up the nitrogen, according to the University of Illinois.
Water the rose 4 to 5 gallons once a week. Direct the water to the roots of the rose and avoid wetting the foliage to reduce fungus. During periods of drought and extreme heat, water a second time in the week to a depth of 1 inch if the soil is dry.
Fertilize the rose once active growth has begun; this is indicated by the bush putting out red leaves. Use a complete rose food, that is either a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 and use ½ to 1 cup per rose bush.
Watch for diseases on the rose. Hybrid roses tend to be susceptible to black spot, powdery mildew or viruses. Diseases are caused from excessive humidity, pests or from leaving rose petals and leaves on the ground. Remove affected leaves and petals, clean up fallen leaves and petals and treat the bush with a fungicide.
Watch for pests that attack the rose, including aphids, Japanese beetles, mites and thrips. Treat the rose with pesticides or insecticidal soaps.
Deadhead spent rose blossoms and dispose in the trash; do not add to the compost. Remove all blossoms and foliage and prune canes thinner than a pencil width after the first freeze in fall. Remove dead wood and prune roses by 1/3 of overall height in the spring after last freeze in spring.