Home & Garden

Hint for Rosy Results

Woman pruning rose bush outdoors, closeup. Gardening tool

Praised for their beauty and fragrance, roses are also known for  being difficult to grow and maintain. For healthy roses with a bounty of blossoms, take a few tips from the experts at the Gardener’s Companion. The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardener’s Companion All Seasons Garden Guide offers some rose rules for gorgeous plants year after year.

A totally carefree, truly “easy” rose doesn’t really exist outside our imaginations, but some are easier to grow than others, and a few tricks will help ensure success.

Choose varieties suited to your climate. When in doubt, AARS (All-America Rose Selection) winners are good bets.

Plant roses where they will receive a minimum of five to six hours of full sun per day.(They would like even more.)

Diligently water your roses. Soak the entire root zone at least twice a week in dry summer weather. Avoid frequent shallow sprinklings, which may encourage fungus.

Once a month, between April and July, apply a balanced granular fertilizer (5-10-5 or 5-10-10). Allow three-quarters to one cup for each bush, and sprinkle it around the drip line, not against the stem. In May and June, add an additional tablespoon of Epsom salts; the magnesium sulfate will encourage new growth.

Test your soil and follow the recommendations for adjusting its pH. Roses prefer a near-neutral soil pH, somewhere between six-and a-half and seven.

Deadhead religiously and keep beds clean.

Reprinted with permission from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardener’s Companion All-Seasons Garden Guide.