Growing roses successfully can be daunting for many, but once you understand what roses require, you will find it much easier to grow these beautiful and elegant flowers.
The following list of questions can be used as a quick reference guide to growing gorgeous roses.
Q: My neighbor has nice roses. I'd like to plant some roses, too. Are roses difficult to grow?
A: No, roses are not as temperamental as many think. There are some simple steps that will make your experience with roses a good one. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day - find a location in your yard where they will get that. Roses also need good soil (full of nutrients and not too acidic) and plenty of water. Be sure to give them ample room. With careful planning you should do well.
Q: There are so many rose varieties to choose from. How will I decide?
A: It is difficult to decide which rose to plant - I recommend visiting a local rose garden to view some varieties up close. Being able to see them growing and having the opportunity to smell them will inspire you and give you ideas. Since roses vary dramatically in color, fragrance, size and shape - much of your choice will based on your personal preference. Do you want a bush, tree or a climber? What colors do you want to see in your garden? Make a list of what you like, and then depending on your available space, you will be able to make a good choice. Also and most importantly, you will need to determine your climate zone. Check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map get that information, and then purchase a rose that will do well in your climate zone.
Q: What type of soil do I need to grow healthy roses?
A: Healthy roses need healthy soil - you can test the soil with a pH test kit - but this isn't absolutely necessary unless you've been unable to grow plants in your soil in the past and you suspect an imbalance in the soil's pH. Also, soil with good drainage is very important - you can do a simple test by scooping up a handful of dirt, then squeeze and release it. Ideal soil will clump together loosely and then fall apart. You can add organic matter when necessary to amend problem soil.
Q: How often should I fertilize?
A: You should fertilize at the time of planting, and then again as your rose puts out blooms. The more they produce the more nutrients they will need. There are many synthetic (man-made) fertilizers available for roses, but you may want to consider an organic approach.
Q: How often should I prune?
A: Pruning promotes good health for your roses - pruning depends on the type of rose and where you live. Most varieties require a good pruning at least once a year after their blooming season and periodic trimming as needed throughout the year.