Roses are a time-tested garden favorite. We carry many easy-care varieties in the garden center that are both self-cleaning and disease resistant. However, all rose bushes need a little attention. Here are some tips to keep your rosebushes happy and healthy.
While we try to provide helpful advice, much of the care tips in this article is generalized. Please feel free to ask an associate for specific rose care help by calling 219-462-TREE. Additionally, if you know the type of rose you purchased, we have provided links to more helpful tips from the growers themselves toward the end of this article!
During the summer months in particular, deep watering is very much encouraged. An exact amount is hard to advise because it depends on if it has recently rained or how well your soil drains. If it has not rained for a while, go ahead and flood the base of your plant with several gallons of water. You can repeat the next morning if your soil is quick to drain. In general, you can repeat this every 10-14 days, but you should become familiar with your soil drainage and plants’ watering needs to adjust accordingly. Overhead sprinkler watering and/or daily watering is not recommended.
During the fall, keep track of rainfall amounts and water as needed until the ground freezes. This is to prevent your rose bushes, or any shrub for that matter, from going into winter dehydrated. Hydration helps prevent winter burn damage.
Self-cleaning rosebushes, meaning the varieties that don’t develop rose hips, do not require deadheading. Some varieties of reblooming roses do require deadheading to rebloom throughout the season. To deadhead, cut the bloom back to the first five-leaflet. You can lightly prune roses throughout the growing season to keep a groomed appearance.
Old-fashioned and heirloom climbing roses usually bloom on old growth, so prune those after they bloom as opposed to early spring.[Additional resource: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/roses/prune.cfm ]
To avoid powdery mildew, black spot, or other fungal diseases, it is best to water plants at ground level in the morning. Prune your rose bush to allow air to circulate through the foliage. Remember to sanitize your pruners and gloves, particularly after pruning an infected plant.
If you do notice signs of infection, remove infected leaves immediately and begin a preventative spray treatment of a fungicide. It is important to follow the label instructions for application amounts and times. In most cases, a 3-in-1 spray product is all you need to serve as an insecticide, fungicide and miticide.
Most insect garden “pests” can be combated with Neem oil or insecticidal soap. You can also remove Aphids by simply blasting them with a water hose. Often times you can hand pick Japanese Beetles off your bushes as well.
Advice from the growers themselves if you know what kind of roses you have.
Rose Care Calendar
After the last frost date which is typically the end of April for our region, clear away any winter insulation. First prune your bushes to remove any winter damage. Hybrid tea roses can be pruned back . Apply fertilizer.
After the first bloom period, go ahead and fertilize your rose bushes.
Fertilize roses for the last time this year with a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer. Fertilizing after August 1 is not recommended as it could leave the plant susceptible if new growth gets damaged by frost later in the season.
Continue to deadhead roses cutting back to the first set of five leaflets.
Consider mounding a foot to foot-and-a-half of lightweight peat moss or compost at base of roses. Some people opt to cage their rose bushes with chicken wire and leaves.
Hybrid tea roses can be cut down to about your knee in length. Other roses can be pruned in the spring.