The maintenance of roses requires as much willpower as patience and begins right after planting. If care is not provided as intended, the roses could easily wilt and even die. To prevent this from happening, maintenance must be conducted year-round to get a nice bloom. Indeed, maintenance differs in each season and different specific techniques foster their growth.

Maintenance of roses is both necessary and vital to allow the flowers to bloom beautifully. The various steps of maintenance include the usual methods for maintaining a plant, including pruning, watering, hoeing, mulching, weeding and fertilizer supplies. However, some differences arise regarding the techniques and methods to be applied.

Maintenance of roses: regular actions that are well-appreciated by the plants

For beautiful flowers and a long persistence, you need copious watering your roses during the first year and at the time of flowering. But avoid soaking the flowers and leaves as they are fragile and may burn in the sun.  Watering should be done early in the morning or after sunset in the evening. From March to September, hoe monthly, breaking up the bulky clods of earth that prevent irrigation water from seeping in the ground. In the spring, keep and mulch pine bark because it preserves the plants’ moisture level and effectively protects them against weeds.  For soil fertilization, use fertilizer in liquid or granular form and pour it at the base of your rose bushes. Then hoe moderately to mix the soil and fertilizer thoroughly. Be aware that a handful of fertilizer per plant is more than enough.

Slow-acting fertilizers are ideal for secondary residences. Do not allow weeds to grow at the base of your roses to avoid any contamination. If despite these precautions, your plants are invaded by insects and parasites or are infected with a disease, think about treatment that resort to natural methods before using chemical agents.  Thus, if your rose bushes are invaded by scale insects, just to use cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to clean the infected parts. A mixture of detergent and alcohol that you spray in small doses on the infected parts can also be effective. For aphids, just use soapy water to clean the contaminated parts.  If this technique fails, spray a mixture of pyrethrum and soapy water on the rose bush. Finally, if your roses’ leaves have some yellow or brown spots, it’s rust.  To remedy this, use a fungicidal treatment that you will use to spray the plants at a rate of once every three weeks.  If your roses are infected with root rot, which dries out the rose bush until its death, the best solution would be to completely uproot the contaminated plant and change the soil.

Pruning your rose bushes

Pruning roses varies depending on the nature of the plant although the main principles remain unchanged. It primarily consists of eliminating dead leaves that can spread to the surroundings, cutting off misplaced branches that may hamper blooming, and removing suckers that do not flower. Thus, only the branches in good health and of similar strength will be kept.  Pruning, however, should not be carried out carelessly. Indeed, the cuts should be oblique and 1/3 of an inch (1 cm) above the eye of the cutting.  However, each species of rose is assigned specific pruning instructions. Thus, leave rose bushes with 7 main branches, giving priority to new shoots and keeping the height of the rose bush at 8 inches (20 cm). For weeping and climbing roses that rise in height and have several outbreaks during the year, it is advisable to keep 3 to 5 main branches by cutting off the side shoots to a height of 12 inches (30 cm).

For climbers that do not grow in height and that only bloom once a year, keep the seven main branches and then, cut the side parts above the cuttings, making sure that you do so two eyes above the pruning cuts. Rose shrubs only need to be pruned 3 to 4 years after being planted.  As for old rose bushes, simply remove the dead branches and leaves, as well as those that hinder other branches.  For such roses, avoid pruning them every time.

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Published in Rose bushes by Alexander on 31 Aug 2011