Revered around the globe, the rose is undoubtedly the world’s most beloved flower. They have been depicted in history, art and architecture and most importantly grown in our own gardens.
Growing roses can seem daunting, but there are simple tips you can follow to help get you started.
Chris VanCleave’s rose growing journey began as a young boy working in the garden with his mother. It was there, working alongside a rose lover, that he learned some valuable tips to ensure rose gardening success. Now, he writes and speaks whilst traveling the country, helping others to do the same.
Growing roses – tip #1: Buy good plants
One of the very first things I learned was to buy good plants. As much as I’m tempted to buy bargain roses, time and again I have learned that purchasing good plants with at least three healthy canes will go a long way to ensuring success with a rose.
Plant your roses in good soil. A soil that is rich in organic matter with a pH balance of about 6.8 is ideal.
Growing roses – tip #2: Prune and deadhead your roses
People ask me all the time, ‘what’s the secret to a full season of blooms?’
Don’t be afraid to prune your roses. Once-blooming and climbing roses should be pruned and shaped AFTER the blooms have faded. These types of roses bloom on previous year’s growth, so lightly prune and shape AFTER the boom cycle.
Repeat-blooming roses are a little different, prune and shape BEFORE blooms arrive, removing any dead, damaged or diseased canes. I usually prune these roses down to about 24” tall or shorter. This actually invigorates the plant and will encourage it to produce new growth.
Here in the south eastern part of the United States, it’s not unusual to experience at least four bloom cycles a year from our roses. As blooms fade, snip them off to encourage new ones to appear. We call it “deadheading”.
Growing roses – tip #3 and tip #4: Fertilise and water your roses
Want to keep those blooms coming? Water deeply at least once a week and fertilise your roses.
I love to eat and drink. And so do my roses. I feed them after each bloom cycle, alternating organic and inorganic fertilisers and halting about six weeks before the first frost of the year.
Growing roses – tip #5: Enjoy your roses
Most importantly, enjoy your blooms. Cut them and share them with the world around you. Everyone knows somebody who needs a rose.