Growing Roses: How Do I Grow Roses

When growing roses, one glance at the perfect form, good color, large size, strong stems and healthy foliage at a Rose show convinces many visitors that “this grower” really knows how to grow roses. Truth is each growers method of caring for their rose plants is as interesting as it is different.

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In this article you’ll hear from two old time rose growers – E Burke & RC Allen – and how they approach growing these colorful, cherished and loved garden flowers. You’ll find they have some things and common but approach things differently. Let’s begin with Mr Burke.

Mr. Burke shares that… I don’t believe you must follow all the hard and fast rules of planting as set down by experts. Find out what works for you, then use your own judgment.

The elaborate methods of soil preparation so often advocated are rarely necessary. If the soil is average, loosen and work it up with a garden fork to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. Mix in a cupful of bonemeal per plant. If the soil is sticky or heavy with clay, add a liberal amount of peatmoss or compost and some sand.

Growing Roses: Tips For Blooms And New Rose Plants

Plenty of organic matter in the well-drained soil is essential for producing good blooms, but I think it is a mistake to use a lot of fertilizer at planting time.

Plants come to us from nurseries with their roots pruned back to about 6 inches. During the first season myriads of tender roots must form. These roots can easily burn by contact with any unusual plant food, especially of a chemical nature.

I remove enough soil to accommodate the full spread of the roots of each plant and make a soil mound at the bottom of the hole; the plant is set on this. I place the plant so that, when planting is complete, the bud-union is an inch or two above the bed level. In due time the soil will settle and the bud will rest at about ground level.

I carefully cover the roots with earth until the hole is almost filled. Then I’ll pour in a bucket or two of water. When the water drains off, I fill the hole with soil and form a mound the soil 8 inches high around the base of the plant. Many rose growers tramp down a half filled hole of soil with their foot. I don’t.

How Much Space Do Growing Roses Need?

If you want roses to give their best performance don’t start them off by coddling them. I prefer to space plants 24 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart. However due to limited space my plants enjoy a spacing about 18 inches apart.

I must admit this compact planting, together with the shade produced by the trees, does create a high horizon. This coaxes the plants upwards to produce somewhat longer flower stems than they would otherwise.

Most rose plants appreciate afternoon shade. Large trees in the proximity of rose beds should have the ground trenched between their trunks and the rose beds. Completely sever all tree roots directed toward rose plantings.

Related: Growing and Care Of Sunny Knock Out Rose