Rose bushes will provide years of blooms if they are properly cared for each year. Growing rose bushes requires four main ingredients: light, soil, food and water. However, the amount and type of these ingredients are important if you wish to have a beautiful rose garden. It isn't difficult to care for rose bushes, but it does take some time and effort each week to have a successful growing season.
Keep the soil around the bushes healthy. The pH balance of the soil should be kept between 6.5 and 7.0. You could have the soil tested, but this is only necessary if the leaves start yellowing and showing signs of wilting. If the soil needs to be tested, take a soil sample to your local County Agriculture Agent for testing. The county agent will tell you if the soil has too much acidity, in which case, lime must be added to the soil. If the alkalinity is causing the problem, the agent will recommend adding sulphur. The agent will advise you how much lime or sulphur is needed and how to add it to the soil.
Water the roses so that they have at least 1 inch of water a week. This is equivalent to 1 gallon of water per plant each week. If the area does not receive enough rain, water the plants to make up for the lack of rain. Do not over-water the rose bushes or leave standing water around the base of the plant, or the roots could rot. The soil should never dry out between waterings.
Use a fertilizer that is slow-releasing so as not to burn the roots. A rose fertilizer that has equal amounts of nitrogen, which promotes new growth; phosphorous, which helps with flowering; and potassium, which helps increase the strength of the canes; will work the best.
The ideal rose fertilizer will be 10-10-10, which can be purchased as a slow releasing formula. Note: Compost will work very well for fertilizing the rose bushes organically. Apply fertilizer in spring before the growing season and once a month thereafter until 6 weeks before the first frost.
Place the roses in an area that will have plenty of sunlight. The perfect location is the east side of a building, where the rose bush will get at least 6 hours of cooler sunlight. The south and west sides of the building will provide too much sun and the rose plant will require more watering every day to keep the plants healthy.
Prune the dead branches from the bush in spring. If after a few years, you may notice fewer flowers, prune back to 10 inches from the base in fall to promote new growth and more flowers the next growing season.