Roses are an age-old garden favourite but for many of us, they can be an intimidating addition to our gardens as they're considered rather difficult to care for. Fortunately, they are a lot easier to care for and prune than most people think. Here are the six tricks you need to know for a beautiful and well-maintained rose garden.
Know which Rose to buy:
Knowing which varieties of roses to buy is the first step towards having a beautiful rose garden. Most reputable garden centres and nurseries in your area will stock the correct variety for the soil and weather you will experience for years to come. You will want to look for hardy roses that will be able to stay standing if you forget any of the steps below as well as roses which are bred to be resilient to pests and diseases.
Prepare the soil:
Before you plant your new, gorgeous blooms into the soil, you will want to provide a good grounding for them to grow into luscious, healthy plants. Prepare the soil with aged manure and bone meal beforehand for a nutritious and effective plant platform.
Watering and sun time:
All plants need water and sunlight, this isn't news to anyone, but certain plants can have very particular water and sunlight requirements. Luckily roses aren't that pedantic. Your new blooms will need to be watered weekly with about 2 inches of water per week. A deep soaking of the soil will be a lot more beneficial than a shallow watering that only penetrates the first few layers of soil. Your roses will also need about 6 hours of sunlight, so select a place that receives enough light during the day in either direct sun or bright partial shade.
There are dozens of rose foods available on the market that promise brighter flowers and greener leaves, however, you don't need to buy food just for your roses. An all-purpose organic garden fertilizer works well for roses as it has balanced nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus levels ideal for all garden plants. Feed your roses before and throughout the blooming season to ensure the flowers look their best.
Pruning a rose bush is where many people become hesitant because this is the most difficult part of taking care of your roses. Luckily, it's not as difficult as you may think. Cut back any branches or canes which are dead, sprouting in the wrong direction, or trailing along the ground from where they start to protrude from the soil. If any of the stems are damaged, prune them back to about 2cm into the healthy wood and prune back any stems which are touching each other by selecting the stronger stem and cutting away the weaker one. Prune your rose bushes in the early spring before the buds begin to show to prevent frost damage on exposed wood.
The goal of any plant is to produce seeds or rose hips in the case of roses. Once this has occurred the plant will stop flowering as the plant has accomplished its mission. You can encourage a longer blooming period by deadheading spent flowers before they begin to develop into rose hips.
With a little time and love, roses can grace your garden all year round. Make sure to follow these six guidelines and you too can be a rose guru.
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Author: Lillian Rencken