Adored around the world, roses are a stunning addition to any garden. However, they can be notoriously hard to grow because of their sensitivity to weather and disease. Today, we’ve got 7 essential steps for growing show-stopping roses.
Lots of sunlight
Roses love the sun. Be sure to plant them in an area in your garden where they will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. This will ensure that they grow to their full potential and look gorgeous.
Plenty of room
Enough space is also vital when growing roses. These plants need a good amount of air circulation. Each bush needs a three-foot diameter for it to flourish. You might want them to climb the wall or trellis, so keep this in mind when you’re choosing the position of your rose patch.
Getting the soil right
Roses require rich, well-drained soil, so be sure to have compost on hand to mix in. This is especially important if you have a lot of clay or sand in your garden.
Meanwhile, the optimum pH for roses is 6.5. You can easily adjust these levels with a special product or by doing it yourself. For example, for more acidic soil, add organic mulch that consists of citrus and vegetable peels or coffee grounds. These will all lower your pH.
Alternatively, if you have to make your soil more alkaline, use lime, hardwood ashes or even crushed eggshells. This will take a few months to raise your pH level, but it will be worth it when your roses begin to bloom.
Watering your plant
Be sure to water your roses regularly, especially in the first few weeks after planting. Roses require a lot of water, so if the weather has been particularly dry, you may have to commit to watering them daily.
You must be generous with the amount of water you give them. Make sure you wet the entire roots, as well as the top two inches of soil. Just be careful not to wet the leaves as this can cause disease.
Feeding your roses
On top of this, roses also need to be fed regularly. Make sure you feed them in the spring, after they have been pruned, whilst they are in bud and during midsummer. The last feed should be carried out at least six weeks before the first expected frost.
You can buy a range of organic fertilisers for your roses, or make your own. Natural Living Ideas have a selection of organic fertiliser recipes for all sorts of plants, including roses.
The right time to prune
Pruning is important as it naturally improves the health of your roses, as well as keeping them looking great. When they’re out of bloom, cut off any dead or diseased branches and remove any leaves that remain on the plant. You can also take this opportunity to shape the plant to fit in with your garden.
Protecting your roses
Extreme weather and pests can damage a rose plant, so it’s important to protect your bush. Once the frost arrives, add a layer of insulation around the roots to prevent winter damage.
And to keep aphids and caterpillars at bay, use a shop-bought pesticide or homemade soap-oil spray. This can be made by mixing a teaspoon of vegetable oil with a cup of water and liquid soap.
Mulching is essential
Mulch is possibly one of the key ingredients to beautiful roses. Adding it to the base of each shrub prevents moisture from escaping and keeps the plant hydrated. You can make your own mulch from grass cuttings, wood chips and leaves.