Rose bushes are a common plant in flower gardens and are easy to care for once you have basic information. Roses are available in several types and almost every color known. The plants are susceptible to disease, but will grow without problems if you take preventive measures. Many find growing roses rewarding as the plants add beauty and color that is not found with other plant varieties.
The hybrid tea rose variety is the most common rose. The plants are a bush style with short stems and grow to approximately 4 feet in height. A single stem will produce up to three full blooms with multiple layers. The climbing rose varieties are known for their vinelike appearance, and they grow well supported on a fence or trellis. This type of rose blooms prolifically; however, the blooms are not as full as a hybrid tea rose. Climbing rose bushes will grow up to 10 feet in one growing season. Miniature roses are the smallest rose type and grow well in rock gardens and areas where space is limited. This type will grow 1 to 3 feet in size and produce masses of colorful blooms.
Rose bushes are available in many colors and color mixes. Nurseries that specialize in rose production have put a lot of effort into creating new colors to stay competitive. You can purchase a rose bush in almost every color except black.
Roses grow best with full sun in a soil that drains well. Always water rose bushes at soil level without wetting the leaves. Do not overwater during humid conditions, as this will promote disease growth. The amount of water needed is based on the soil drainage conditions. The soil should be moist but not wet. Rose bushes require the application of fertilizer and organic matter for nutrients and food. When planting, add manure and compost to the current soil in the hole. This will add nutrients and help the plant hold the correct amount of moisture. Add a layer of mulch to prevent weed growth and assist with moisture control. Rose bushes should be pruned regularly to keep disease away and promote bloom growth on the healthy branches.
Rose bushes are susceptible to many types of insects and diseases. It is best to follow a prevention plan instead of waiting until an infestation occurs. Common diseases are powdery mildew, black spot, and rust. These diseases are caused by fungus that sets in during hot and humid weather. Prevention includes pruning to allow air flow through the plant, which dries wet leaves, and removing weak leaves and stems. If the disease sets in, treat with a fungicide specifically for rose bushes along with removing and destroying all infected leaves and branches.
Common problem insects are aphids, Japanese beetles and spider mites. Aphids and spider mites are sucking insects that attach themselves to the stems and leaf bottoms. To remove aphids and spider mites, spray the plants with a garden hose and apply an insecticidal soap solution. Inspect roses regularly for new infestations. Japanese beetles are black and orange colored bugs that are easy to pick off the plants. To destroy, pick the beetles and drop into a soap solution, as smashing attracts more beetles. The larvae of the beetles live and grow in the lawn, so also treat lawns to prevent a new infestation. Lawns can be treated with parasite nematodes or milky spore.