Plant your roses in an area with full sunlight and well-drained soil and you'll get them off to a good start. The work does not stop there, however. To provide the best care, you'll need to implement some extra rose care tips to establish a beautiful, healthy rose garden.
Roses thrive when given plenty of water but can become waterlogged if given too much water. Roses do best if watered two to four days each week for 30 minutes each time, unless it has rained within the last day. Test the soil to determine when watering is necessary. Stick the tip of your finger in the soil, and if it feels dry, it's time to water. Water the soil deeply, soaking the soil 12 to 18 inches deep. Keep the water at soil level to avoid splashing it onto the foliage, which can spread disease.
Roses benefit from a few fertilizer treatments throughout the year. Use rose food or a general-purpose fertilizer purchased from a garden center or nursery. Feed roses when it first leafs. Feed them again after each bloom flush. Fertilize the roses for the last time within two months of your expected first frost date.
Mulch helps the soil around roses retain moisture, so that watering is necessary less often and it controls weeds and keeps the soil cooler. Mulch a 2- to 3-inch layer around each bush in the spring when the soil starts to warm and before weeds emerge. The All-America Rose Selections, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of exceptional roses, recommends organic mulch as the best option. Use wood chips, pine needles, peat nuggets, shredded bark, chipped oak leaves or cocoa-bean hulls. Add more mulch throughout the year, as it settles and deteriorates.
Pruning roses helps to promote blooms to keep them blooming throughout the season. Use a pair of bypass hand shears to prune smaller foliage and long handled bypass loppers for larger canes. Clip the canes at a 45-degree angle. A good time to prune any rose is late winter in January or February; this protects the bush from cold damage.
Remove dead canes from the bush that appear black and shriveled. When only part of a cane is dead, prune it to the cane's bud union or base. Prune suckers growing from the roots of the plant by removing the soil around the sucker and cutting it from the plant. Prune weak canes thinner than a pencil.
Apply white glue to the cuts to prevent disease or cane borers from entering open wounds.
Cover the bushes after the first frost has forced the bush to drop its leaves. Remove all foliage before covering for winter. Pile a 10- to 12-inch mound of compost over and around the plant. Once the mound has frozen, top it off with a layer of straw to insulate it.