Roses have a reputation for being fussy. However, roses have been around for at least 3,000 years, growing from England to China. This hardly seems like it would be possible for a plant so hard to care for. According to the website Old Garden Roses and Beyond, so many problems that novice rose growers encounter are due to misinformation, not a lack of care by the gardeners.
For the past 100 years, the most widely available rose was the hybrid tea rose. Hybrid tea roses are notable for being hardy up to zone 6 of the USDA plant hardiness zones. However, more than half of the United States is located in zones that get colder than this. Despite this, tea roses were the only rose sold to consumers in zones that were rated colder than zone 6. If your rose seems to be dying, the first thing to do is check to make certain that you were not sold a plant that is not hardy for your growing zone.
Like bulbs, bare-rooted roses are best planted in the fall. This is because the roses will spend the winter developing a new root system. Additionally, roses should not be fertilized in the first year after they have been planted. Fertilizing roses in the first year of growth can damage the young, tender roots and cause harm to the plant.
Although roses are not fussy, they have basic minimum requirements that must be met so that they can stay healthy. If any of a rose's basic needs aren't met, they will turn yellow, drop their foliage and eventually die. Roses require at least five to six hours of sunlight daily. Additionally, a rose should be watered two to three times a week and fertilized after its first year. Roses require well-drained soil. If a rose has "wet feet," it will wilt.
Powdery mildew, mold and black spot are some of the biggest problems that affect roses. Roses are so sensitive to these diseases that vintners often planted rose bushes at the end of rows of grapes as an early warning system against mildew that could affect their crops. Many species of roses are resistant to these diseases, but roses are more resistant if they are planted where they get adequate sunlight and lots of air circulating around them. Additionally, fertilizing your plants after the first year will help to increase their vigor and make them more resistant to diseases.
Pests can also be a major problem for roses. Japanese beetles, aphids, leafcutter bees, cane borers, spider mites, thrips, caterpillars and a host of other insects can weaken your plant. Most roses can stand a few insects. But if these insects feed off of more than 30 percent of the plant, it can weaken your roses. Identifying pests early and controlling them will help prevent your rose from dying. You can control insects by manually picking them off your roses or spraying the roses with an insecticidal spray.