7 Steps to Success with English Roses
1. GIVE THEM A GOOD HOME TO LIVE IN!
Dig a hole that is as close as possible to 2 ft. x 2ft. x 2ft. deep. Also, Roses love organic material, so add well-aged Cow Manure to your soil. It will enrich and improve any type of soil! This is also a good time to add a timed-release fertilizer and some bone meal to your soil mix.
2. PLANT YOUR ROSE DEEPLY SO THAT THE TOP OF THE GRAFT HAS 3-4” OF SOIL ON TOP OF IT.
The rose will be hardier and happier if it is planted deeply in the soil. (A grafted rose is one that has its canes from the desired variety, and the roots from a strong root variety. The graft is the knot-like thing that connects the canes to the roots.
3. WATER YOUR ROSE!
Roses need 2 gallons of water when they are first planted, and do best when watered every day until they are established (twice a day in really hot weather!) Once they have leafed up, be sure that they are watered regularly. They are thirsty creatures!
4. SET UP A SCHEDULE FOR REGULAR FEEDING AND PROACTIVE SPRAYING.
By scheduling these two routine tasks, your rose will be happy, healthy and beautiful! Begin spraying fungicide in spring, as soon as your rose has its first leaves. This will help to prevent black spot. If you use a pump sprayer, you can add Miracle-Gro Rose Food to your mix, and feed them at the same time!
When the Japanese Beetles arrive, hand pick if there is a manageable amount of them. However, if you are completely outnumbered, add Ortho Max Insect Killer to the mix. (If you are looking for an organic product, try Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew.) I spray fungicide and liquid fertilizer on my roses every week, and add the Ortho Max during Japanese Beetle season.
Rose Tone is a good organic fertilizer that can be sprinkled onto the soil around the roses once a month. Scratch it into the soil just before we are expecting a good rain.
5. DEADHEAD YOUR ROSES!
Like most re-blooming plants, cut off your spent flowers. Don’t worry about where to cut, you really can’t hurt your rose. It looks best to cut just above a leaf. When pruning your rose, the general idea is to encourage a vase shape so that the sun and fresh air can reach the inner parts of the rose.
6. PROVIDE "FRIENDS" FOR YOUR ROSES!
English Roses look best when planted in groups of 3. If you have room to do this, I highly encourage planting 3 roses in an 18” triangle so that they grow into one large shrub!
7. WINTERIZE YOUR ROSES!
Take the time to do it right, and your efforts will be rewarded.