Roses are one of the most romantic flowers, given by husbands and boyfriends on Valentine's Day, birthdays and anniversaries. They lend an elegant air to the home, but especially to the garden. Growing your own roses doesn't have to be a difficult procedure, when you have tips to help you.
Plant your rose bushes so they will not crowd each other in maturity. Rose plants need good air circulation to keep them dry and prevent mildew and disease. New rose plants should come with a tag that gives information on mature size and spacing. If you have inherited a rose garden and the plants are too close together, keep them trimmed, allowing for air circulation.
Roses need good soil drainage. If your soil has too much clay, it will need to be amended. Before planting your rose bush, dig down 18 inches into the soil and mix compost with it. When you can squeeze a handful of dirt and the clump breaks apart easily, the soil is in the correct condition.
As long as your soil has good drainage, you can give your rose plants plenty of water. Make sure the bushes get a weekly soaking from early spring to late fall. Shallow watering will cause the roots to grow toward the surface and weaken the plant. Water your roses at ground level without splashing water on the foliage.
You may have your soil tested for nutrient deficiencies. Generally, a balanced fertilizer (equal parts nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous) is recommended. If you decide on a granular or dry fertilizer, spread it over the ground under the rose bush. Watering will work the food into the soil. If you choose a liquid food, follow the manufacturer's instructions; usually it is diluted with water.
Your rose plants will stay healthier if you prune dead areas away. Left on the plant, they attract insects and diseases. Pruning actually stimulates the growth of a rose bush. Cut just above where a leaf is attached to the stem. Prune rose bushes in early fall after they have finished blooming.