Tips for Caring for Roses
- Water wisely
Roses are actually waterwise and thrive with good soil drainage. Depending on weather and soil type, the experts recommend a deep watering that soaks the entire root zone once a week with supplemental watering during the summer months. To help decrease the risk of disease, water the soil rather than the foliage. For extra measure, add two to four inches of mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and control weeds.
- Simultaneously fertilize and prevent diseases
Fertilizing is key to ensuring roses boast an abundance of blooms. To keep things simple, gardeners can prevent disease while also fertilizing the plants. The experts at Pike Nurseries recommend using the natural product Bayer All-in-One Rose and Flower Care to fertilize the roses while preventing fungal or insect issues, treating the plants about every two weeks. Gardeners often don’t realize that diseases can be spread with everyday tools! After pruning a diseased plant, be sure to sterilize the pruners with a bucket of water and a bit of bleach before moving on to healthy plants. Of course, planting disease-resistant varieties of roses will reduce the number of times treatment is needed.
If roses present unknown problems, gardeners are encouraged to bring a photo or sample of the plant into any of the 18 Pike Nurseries locations, where the in-house experts can help identify the cause and find a solution.
- Prime, prune and deadhead
Maintenance pruning is necessary throughout the growing season to keep roses blooming steadily. Be sure to deadhead by picking off faded blooms, which will tell the plant to produce new flowers instead of wasting energy on spent blooms, stopping in late fall just before the first hard frost. Remove dead wood and shape the bush, cutting back stems that are not strong enough to support a new bloom (smaller than a pencil) to the main branch. Some types of roses, such as shrub and landscape roses like Knock Out and Drift varieties, thrive best when cut back about every six weeks.
For more information on roses and how to care for them, please visit pikenurseries.com or stop by any of the 18 Pike Nurseries locations and speak to the garden experts.