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Rose gardening has given many people the impression that roses are difficult to grow and maintain. Growing roses can be challenging, but you don't have to leave it to the experts. Here is a brief tutorial on rose basics for beginners.
Roses are available in three types for planting:
Roses are defined by their growing type.
If a grafted rose is heavily pruned or cold-damaged, the rose that grows back may be of the rootstock's variety, not the grafted one you purchased. Under the same circumstances, the own-root rose will grow back true to its variety.
Bareroot roses are graded according to the quality of their growth. Grades also designate the future size and productivity of the rose. Grades are established by the American Association of Nurserymen and should be noted on the plant tag. The three grades are:
For the best of the best, look for The All-American Rose Selection (AARS) designation. These roses are judged to be the superior in disease resistance, flower production, color and fragrance. With all of the varieties available, you're sure to find a variety to fit your taste and garden style.
When planting roses, whether bare-root or container-grown, the procedure is the same as for other shrubs. Remember a few key factors that especially affect roses:
Roses are heavy feeders and need several applications of fertilizer during the growing season. Use a fertilizer formulated especially for roses and follow the instructions on the package. In general, begin feeding when new growth starts in the spring and discontinue feeding in early fall. Feeding too late will stimulate new growth that is susceptible to winter injury. Do not exceed the recommended application rate. Water thoroughly after each feeding.
Roses need a lot of water. Remember how deep you planted the rose? Water needs to reach that level to get to the roots and keep the plant healthy and blooming. Water thoroughly at least twice a week if there is no rainfall. Set a watering schedule and adjust as dictated by the weather.
Summer especially brings a need for vigilance. Even though you may see fewer flowers during the summer, cooler weather will bring more, so keep up the watering schedule. To discourage black spot and mildew, water in the morning and avoid wetting the leaves.
A three- to four-inch layer of organic mulch will control weeds, retain soil moisture and help maintain a constant soil temperature. As organic mulch breaks down, it improves soil structure and adds nutrients.
Proper pruning increases blooms and promotes healthy plants. In general, prune when growth just begins; from midwinter to mid-spring depending on where you live. Your signal is when the uppermost buds begin to swell, but leaves are yet to appear. Each variety has specific recommendations, so check yours before cutting.
|Black Spot||Circular black spots with fringed margins and possibly yellow edges appear on leaves. Leaves may drop prematurely.||Spray foliage every 7 to 10 days throughout the growing season with a chlorothalonil fungicide*. Don't water with sprinklers. Rake up and destroy fallen leaves. Spray entire plant with lime-sulfur dormant spray in late winter. Apply 1 to 2 inches of fresh mulch atop the rose bed each spring.|
|Rose Virus||Yellow spots or patterns on foliage and malformed new growth.||Rose virus is transmitted during grafting or budding at the nursery. There's no successful way to control this virus with chemicals. Remove and destroy an infected plant if it becomes too weak to bloom properly.|
|Powdery Miwdew||Thin layer of grayish-white powdery material forms on young plant parts. Infected leaves may distort, curl or turn yellow or purple and drop off.||Spray foliage with fungicide at first sign of mildew. Spray again at intervals of 7 to 10 days if mildew reappears. Rake up and destroy fallen leaves.|
|Japanese Beetle||Holes appear on leaves and buds. Beetles are red, green-spotted, brown or metallic green and up to 1/2" long.||Remove small numbers by hand and destroy. If the infestation is severe, spray flowers and foliage with carbaryl once a week from June until September. It is best to spray during evening to avoid killing bees.|
|Thrips||Leaves, flower buds and flowers distort and may be flecked with yellow or brown streaks and spots.||Shake infected flower over white paper. Tiny yellow or brown insects will be easily seen against white background. Remove and destroy infested blooms and buds. Spray flowers, buds and foliage with acephate insecticide three times at intervals of 7 to 10 days.|