Learn about the basics of planting and growing roses with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
If you’re looking for something new to add to your garden, try growing roses. The beautiful, fragrant flowers come in a wide variety. With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can learn about the basics of planting and growing roses.
Choosing the Right Roses
The first step to planting and growing roses is choosing the right type(s) for your garden. The variety of roses available can be a bit overwhelming–climbing roses, English roses, heirloom roses…the list goes on.
Before you start browsing through seed catalogs and nurseries, you need to know which roses will work in your climate. Learn more about which roses will thrive in your area with our guide to USDA hardiness zones and gardening.
Before you plant roses, you’ll need to also test your soil’s pH. Rose bushes need a near-neutral pH range of 5.5 – 7.0 on the pH scale. You can use a soil pH test kit to test your soil. If it’s too acidic, limestone can be added to the soil. If it’s too alkaline, ground sulfur can be added.
Roses need a minimum of five to six hours of full sunlight per day. If you plan on cutting back or transplanting roses, do it either in the spring or fall. Summertime is too hot, and can weaken and eventually kill the plants. It’s important you don’t crowd the roses.
Roses need plenty of water, but be careful not to overly water them. The entire root zone should be soaked twice a week during the dry summer months. Provide your roses with adequate drainage; they can die if the soil gets too wet. The best way to retain moisture and conserve water is by using mulch around your rose bushes. Use 2 – 4 inches of mulch, keeping about an inch of space between the base stem and the mulch.
Roses also need fertilizer to bloom and grow. The three nutrients that roses need from a fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you’re looking at a fertilizer label, you’ll see a three digit hyphenated number. The numbers are the percentages of those three nutrients. For example, if a fertilizer is listed as 12-4-8, it means that it contains 12% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus and 8% potassium.
Newly planted roses can be fertilized once they’re established, which is about three or four weeks after they’ve been planted. For older plants, feeding can begin in the early spring when new growth appears. Roses should be fed every two weeks with a water soluble rose food. You can also use a continuous release rose food, which feeds for a few months at a time. With any fertilizer or plant food, always follow the directions on the label.
For more tips on caring for your flower and vegetable gardens, visit our Gardening blog.