Plant breeders have given us roses that
grow well under difficult conditions and bloom almost
continuously from early summer to frost. Proper plant
nutrition is easy and simple to provide with the use
complete plant food that supplies all the vital elements
needed from the soil. Insect and disease problems can
be prevented easily with regular use of insecticide-fungicide
that controls most chewing insects, sucking insects,
and fungus diseases. With these aids, you can grow roses
GOOD STOCK: Buy good plants, preferably
No. 1, two years old, field grown and budded plants.
Plants that are not pruned should have 3 or more
heavy 18-inch canes. Pruned plants should have
canes with a diameter of at least 1/4 inch at
the top. Plants potted in tar paper pots are preferred
by many gardeners since they can be transplanted
most any time of the year.
PLANTING: Select a sunny,
well-drained location. Trim off all broken and
bruised roots, cut top growth back to 6 to 8 inches.
Dig planting holes at least 6 inches deeper than
needed for the plant roots. Make holes large enough
to accommodate roots without crowding or bending.
Place a handful of small rocks or pebbles in the
bottom of holes to facilitate drainage. Mix 1
tablespoonful of fertilizer with the soil placed
over the drainage material. Cover this mixture
with plain soil, bringing the level to desired
planting depth. Make a mound in the center to
receive plant. Set plant roots over this mound,
spread roots, and fill in with soil. Firm the
soil tightly 2 or 3 times while filling the hole.
FEEDING: Hybrid Tea, Polyantha,
Floribunda Types: The first feeding should
come in early spring as soon as leaf buds begin
to swell. Clear away mulch and work plant food
into soil around the plant. Use 1 rounded tablespoonful
of fertilizer per plant (or 1 pound per 25 square
feet of bed area). Second feeding should be made
at the same rate and immediately following the
first heavy bloom. Third feeding, also at same
rate, should be made in late summer ... northern
areas not later than August 15. In soutern areas,
where blooming extends into October and November,
a fourth feeding should be made about the first
of October. Many growers follow a regular monthly
feeding program during the growing season with
Tea Roses: Use one half of the above amounts,
applying in a similar manner and at the same times.
Hybrid Perpetual, Climbing, Shrub Roses:
Feed 1 rounded tablespoonful of fertilizer to
each square foot of space around the bush in early
spring. Feed again when blooms start to appear.
In both cases work the fertilizer lightly into
the soil to within 4 inches of the plant.
SUMMER CARE: The cultural practices
differ but little in various sections of the country,
with exception of timing of operations that depend
upon climate. Artificial watering may be necessary
if summer rainfall is insufficient. If soil is
well drained, there is not much danger of overwatering.
When watering, soak the soil to a depth of 6 to
8 inches ... do not merely sprinkle. CULTIVATION
is necessary to eliminate weeds and keep soil
loose. Deep cultivation in midsummer is harmful
when the roots are close to the surface. MULCHING
during the summer will eliminate weeds, necessity
of cultivation, and reduce moisture evaporation.
Mulches should be applied 2 or 3 weeks before
roses come into bloom.
DISEASES AND PESTS: Black-spot,
mildew, and blight together with insects, such
as aphids, thrips, and red spider, are some of
the more troublesome rose disease and insect problems.
Control is easy and prevention is practical with
the regular use of chemicals, that controls most
fungus diseases and chewing and sucking insects.
Regular dusting every week or 10 days will make
the disease-insect problem easy to handle.
PRUNING: Bush type roses should
be pruned in the early spring when the leaf buds
begin to swell, but before growth starts. Follow
these basic principles:
- Remove all wood killed or injured during the
winter, cutting back to solid tissue.
- Remove all weak, twiggy growth.
- Shape plants by cutting strong canes back
to -a uniform height, removing as little healthy
wood as possible. Remove very old canes by cutting
off at the ground level.
- Cut ordinary hybrid varieties back to about
18 to 24 inches. Ramblers should be pruned after
blooming by removing old unwanted canes at the
WINTER PROTECTION: It's not extreme
cold that kills roses but rather the frequent
alternate freezing and thawing that heaves the
plant, thus breaking the roots. The winter sun
and dry winds take moisture away from the canes
and make winter injury more of a problem. Winter
mulching with straw, peat moss, or other material
is advisable in all but the extreme southern sections
of the United States. This mulch regulates the
soil temperature and tempers the effects of freezing
and thawing. Pull soil up around each plant to
a height of about 6 inches after the first frost,
then after the ground is frozen r mulch.