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Rose Gardening FAQ

For many new gardeners who want to grow roses, the task might seem daunting perhaps because roses have unfairly been labeled as difficult to grow. Here we offer some answers to your most frequently asked questions on roses and how to grow them. Here are some common rose gardening FAQ’s.

What is the first thing I should do once I decide to add roses to my yard?

Choose the location that provides your rose plants with direct sunlight, ideally in the morning, for at least six hours. You want to give your roses a good start in the best spot possible to avoid transplanting them later, which is traumatic to the plants.

What do I need to know about the soil in my garden?

The soil you use to nourish your rose plants should have a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. The soil should have a low clay content and no sand. Use soil that is firm enough to maintain its shape when gently gathered in your hand, yet crumbles easily. Good drainage is critical to growing healthy roses, and adding peat moss to the soil can help. Also, pre-treat your soil with compost and organic nutrients before placing your roses in the ground or pot. Since the roots of rose plants grow deep, the soil you use needs to allow for deep watering for the plant to properly hydrate and draw nutrients

How often should I water my roses?

Watering roses is not complicated, but it does require that you take its deep root system into account. Ideally, two deep waterings weekly should be fine. Make sure your soil is rose-friendly, and that you saturate it well so the water can become available to the deepest roots. Surface watering does not provide adequate water for roses. Additionally, make sure to water during the day. Late evening waterings leaves them susceptible to powdery mildew, a common disease in roses.

Are there rules for spacing my rose plants?

There are guidelines that come with your rose bushes that give you proper dimensions for spacing your plants in order to get proper air circulation. Spacing your rose plants too close together can leave your plants vulnerable to troublesome powdery mildew. Rose varieties usually fare well in combination, but follow spacing instructions carefully. If you have questions along the way, take the time to ask an expert at your local garden center.

How often should I prune my roses?

Depending on the variety, most roses need some seasonal pruning, or deadheading, to keep the blossoms plentiful and flourishing.  Climbing roses require very little pruning: just once in their first year, and after that they need only be pruned once every two to three years for maximum blooms.  All other varieties of roses require pruning in spring, when they are almost ready to leave winter dormancy, as well as periodic deadheading throughout season. Keep in mind that over-pruning climbing roses will lead to fewer blooms, while pruning other varieties of roses in spring, and deadheading them through season will keep your roses flourishing into fall.

Pat Sheriden is a Rose Gardening enthusiast. For more great information on Rose Gardening, Visit Rose Gardening Central.
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