My Hobby Page - Roses are Fine Art (Link)
Most of my relaxation time is spent feeding, watering, grooming
and talking to over 120 rose bushes in my home garden.
I have been growing roses for over 35 years and am very
proud to be a Consulting Rosarian of The American Rose
Society, and an Accredited Horticulture Judge.This is the time
of year (February-March) in our zone to begin planting
the new bushes and thinking of pruning the old bushes.
For those of you who grow roses or for the novices, I
will give a few tips on rose culture.
Follow the instructions
given to you by the grower. Most roses come with
planting instructions....follow them. I will add
one note and that is to "mud them in" when adding
water to the newly planted bush.
The Old Bushes
Hybrid Teas, Floribundas,
Grandifloras, and most Old Garden Roses are cut to about
24-30 inches. don't be afraid to cut them back.
The reward will be many new canes and many buds later.
With the spring sunshine there will be some new growth.
It is tempting to leave this growth on the long spindly
canes. Resist this temptation and cut. Climbers
should not be cut in the spring. They will bloom
on last year's growth. Cut any dead wood or wayward
canes which are difficult to tie back or could whip into
other plants. Mini roses are cut just like the larger roses.
Some Rosarians spend a lot of time and cut each cane individually.
I cut mine with the pruning shears and they do just fine.
Be sure to cut out the dead wood and any crossing canes.
Open up the inside of the bush for good air circulation.
This will help prevent the spread of backstop etc.
of the New Growing Year
The first feeding
should be around the first of March in our Zone.
Don't feed until the danger of last frost is about gone.
Pruning is the signal to start growing and food will sustain
For this first
feeding I use two cups/bush of a good organic mixture
like "Rosetone", "Mills Mix", "Echo
Joy", Shealy's Purely Organic, etc. Mix this organic fertilizer into
the top 2-3 inches of soil with a small rake or garden
The second ingredient
is 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Epsom salts/bush, depending on the
size of the bush. Mix into the soil as well.
The third food
this time of year is a tablespoon/gallon of water/bush
of "Rapid Grow" or "Miracle Grow"
or "Peters", with trace minerals.
The fourth ingredient
is 1/4 teaspoon/ gallon of water/ bush of chelated iron.
"Sequestrene" or similar type is fine as long
as it is chelated. There is not enough iron in the
trace mineral count in the above liquid fertilizers.
The fifth ingredient that I use for this
first feeding is two cups of alfalfa pellets around the
base of the bush. Work then into the soil as well.
One last ingredient is to add 1/3 cup
9 month Osmocote or similar fertilizer. This gives
the bush a constant steady source of food.
THEN: water the mixture into the
soil well...with at least one gallon of water. I
usually put the dry fertilizer around the bush, and work
it into the soil. I then pour the gallon of water
with Peters or others and the iron mixed into the gallon
This is a good time to spray with a Dormant
Spray. Do this before the new shoots begin. Spray
the mulch and the canes also. If you don't have
Dormant Spray, then use Ultrafine Oil spray. This
is good to suffocate some of the spores and eggs of the
diseases that come along later. I don't use the oil spray
when the temperature rises above 80 degrees since it will
burn the leaves.
As soon as the new shoots have grown a
couple of inches, it will be time to start your regular
spray plan and I will put that up for you in a few days.
SPRAY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE SMALL
Blackspot and Powdery Mildew
Funginex on a 7 - 10 day cycle
Alternate with Mancozeb, Daconil, or Banner
Maxx. (There is a new suggestion of adding 1 Tablespoon
of Miracid per gallon of mix with the Banner Maxx.)
I used this last year with excellent results.
Insects and Aphids
Merit...a new, great insecticide
Orthene is also very good. Use the
wetable powder: it won't burn the leaves.
Avid or the water wand. It is expensive,
but Floramite is a grand miticide. It kills the
active mites and the eggs.
New All In One Fertilizer and Systemic Insecticide and
Bayer has a new product which is "All
One". It seems to be working well. For the small
garden, I recommend it. As the season progresses,
supplemental spraying may be necessary for outbreaks of blackspot or insects.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL ROSES
The initial feeding can be done between
the first and fifteenth of March . I will repeat
this formula about mid June and early September.
Rosetone, Ecojoy, Mills Mix or good organic....2
cups per bush
Miracle Gro, or Peters, etc with trace
minerals...1 Tblsp per bush per gal of water
Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt)..........................1/3
cup per bush
Alfalfa Pellets or Alfalfa Meal..............................1
Cup per bush
Mix this food into the first 2-3 inches
of soil and water well.
April 15-May 1.
Your roses should be blooming the first flush of the year.
It's time to be on a regular schedule
of spraying, feeding and cutting the spent blooms off
the bush. In most areas, the first blooming cycle
is about over or soon will be. If you live in the
northern areas of the USA or the world, you may have a
few weeks before your roses have their first blooms.
This is the time of year when Powdery
Mildew is at its worst. The cool nights and morning
dew is perfect for mildew. Spray with Funginex,
Banner Maxx, or Rubigan. Weekly spraying may be
necessary for control. When the daytime temperature
rises above 75 degrees Farenheit the mildew will not be
a problem. However, blackspot will, so continue
with the spraying. Be on the lookout for aphids
and thrips. Some Orthene or Merit will do the job on them. Spider
Mites come with the temperature above 75-80 degrees.
You may need to spray with the water wand and if this
does not work, try Avid or Floramite. You may find
the Floramite on www.rosmania.com.
I usually feed every 2-3 weeks, alternating
with Fish Emulsion, Miracle Gro for Roses with trace elements,
and one of the organics mentioned above.
Water is a must and as the temperature
rises, more water will be needed. For moderate temperatures,
1-2 gallons of water per bush is good. When the
temperature gets up above 85-88 degrees then a gallon
of water per bush per day may be necessary.
Cut your spent blooms and start the next
blooming cycle. Most Rosarians suggest that you
go back to the first 5 leaf cluster and cut just above
that area. I will often just cut the spent bloom
away and "let the bush declare itself", or wait
for the bush to make its next stem. If you are just
cutting for the house and arrangements, don't cut too
severely...about 10-12 inch stems. If you are cutting
for exhibits at a rose show, then cut as needed for proper
Look for the next update.....Good Growing
With the nice rain we have had, the roses
are growing well and actually blooming very well.
They are still "summer roses", very small and
quick to open. It is probably a good idea to cut very
little and just dead head this time of year. Leave
as many leaves as possible so that the bush can get through
the summer with good roots.
Now is a good time to feed again.
The Rosetone or other organic is essential. A second
application of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) is a good
idea. There is still a lot of growing to do and
we want see the new canes. Miracle Gro for Roses is always
good and if the leaves look a little less than deep green
give them some Iron. Look up the original feeding
suggestions and follow them.
Water well if you have not had good rains.
Remember, the bushes need plenty of water with this hot
weather. When the temperature gets up in the 90's.
I water mine every day and give them about a gallon.
Time to cut back some of the summer growth...about
1/3 of the bush. The idea is to get some great blooms
in time for the fall rose shows. Some of your
largest and greatest roses will be in the October bloom.
Feed....Give them a fall perk-up with
Miracle Gro for Roses 1 tablespoon per gallon and a gallon
Two cups per bush of Rosetone or other organic.
Magnesium Sulfate (epsom salt) 1/3 cup per bush.
Iron (chelated iron) 1 teaspoon per gallon of water and
a gallon per bush.
Give them the Miracle Gro weekly for about 5-6 weeks and them every other week until about
mid November. They will also like a feeding of Fish
Emulsion....give it at the same time as the Miracle or
Keep the spray routine going. As
the temperature drops be on the alert for the fall mildew.
It loves the cool wet mornings.
LOWCOUNTRY ROSE SOCIETY
The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society
meets the first Monday night at 7:30 pm at Village
Church of Christ on Savage Road. We meet every month
with a couple of exceptions. www.charlestonrose.com
Good Growing for the fall.
Rose Gemini: #2 Exhibition Hybrid Tea over past
For more information about growing roses
go to the American Rose Society Web Site www.ars.org and to www.charlestonrose.com .
For Information about Rose Art and other
Fine Art, visit: www.roses-fineart.com