Rose Care Tips

Care tips and instructions about planting, fertilizing and pruning roses.

Planting
Bare root roses can be planted between October and late April. Roses in container pots can be planted all year round, if it’s not frosty. Roses grow well in almost every garden if the soil is well prepared and contains the necessary fertilizers.

Digging the soil and adding organic fertilizers like cow manure, dried cow manure or compost is beneficial for all soil types. On light sandy soil the organic fertilizers decompose much faster than on heavy clay soil, one should consider this while planting. Wet the pot rose well before planting. Dig a planting hole that is much wider and deeper than the rose pot and carefully remove the pot. Put the root ball in the planting hole at ground surface level and fill it up with soil. Firmly press the soil and water generously. Continue to water the newly planted roses regularly. Never plant them when the temperature is extremely high.

Bare root roses should be soaked in a bucket of water for a couple of hours before planting. Make sure that the ground is well prepared and moist. Before planting shorten the root end a little bit. Then make a v-shaped groove with a proper shovel wherein the rose roots can be placed vertically downwards. The grafting position of the rose plant must be just below the surface. Firmly press the soil and give plenty of water.

Fertilization
When you want to plant roses in the autumn it is advisable to mound the roses with soil or old farmyard manure until 10-15 cm. In this way the roses are protected against a possible harsh winter. In spring properly remove this soil. You can use dried cow manure to fertilize your roses in autumn/winter. Read the instructions on the package for the appropriate quantity. This is a slow releasing fertilizer. From early April one can start with adding rose-fertilizers. This is an active fertilizer.

After the first flowering season this may be repeated. After mid-July no more fertilizer may be added so the roses can ripen fully. It is also useful to add lime once a year in the autumn and kieserite (= magnesium) in spring.

Pruning
Anyone who loves roses should not be afraid of pruning. Regularly pruning is important to keep your rose strong and healthy. The more powerful you prune the roses, the more beautiful and stronger they become which means that you can enjoy these wonderful flowers even more!

The most necessary pruning-moment is after the frost period (about mid-March). It is important that you use a sharp pair of secateurs. Prune down all the weak and death wood and also the thin and not fully ripened branches until you reach the healthy wood. Also remove the wild sprouts that grow from the grafting point. Keep the healthy and strong branches and prune these until about 5 cm above ground level. Prune large flowered roses, bunch roses, and miniature roses until just above the second bud, counted from below. Standard roses are pruned the same as the large flowered and bunch roses.

Botanic and shrub roses do not have to be pruned back in general, a ‘rejuvenating’ prune every few years is sufficient. These roses do not blossom on old wood. Do not prune back the branches of Climbing roses in the first few years. But prune back the
side branches of the main branches that have flowered until 5 cm. Later on, for rejuvenating, frequently prune back one or a few old main branches until 15 cm above the ground.

Rambling roses may not require pruning at all, unless they get to large and for the purpose of rejuvenating. Furthermore, it is important to prune the roses frequently during the flowering season. We advise to prune the roses for about half, in this way the plant will keep its strength which promotes the second flowering. Do not prune blooming roses and roses that are planted for their hips. Almost all roses are grafted on a “foreign” rootstock (with exception of roses with own root). From this rootstock sometimes grow “wild sprouts”. These wild sprouts always grow upwards from the graft-point and stand out by their different color and leaf shape. These should be removed completely. This also applies for standard roses.

Leaf diseases
Leaf diseases as black spot, rust, real and false mildew are often caused by an unfavorable growing place, lack of nutrition, over-fertilization and adverse weather conditions. In case of these fungal diseases it is important to remove fallen and affected leaves and to spray preventive from the moment the roses start to leaf out in March/April. To prevent the build-up of resistance, frequently switch the type of pesticide. Never spray in direct sunlight (because of fire damage) or on wet leaves.

The best time to spray is in the evening hours.