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Preparing to plant new roses

To the right is a diagram of a rose hole as suggested by Mike Thompson of Fairbanks Nursery.

The gravel at the bottom is to insure drainage, but it is always good to run a hose into each hole to make sure that there is good drainage.

The soil mix recommended is:
  • 1/3 Soil  ( your local soil )
  • 1/3 River Sand*
  • 1/3 Organic  (manure etc. )
*River Sand is not the typical play sand that you find at the hardware store. Unfortunately most sand has too high a salt content to be used for your roses.
hole diagram

March is Pruning Time

Toward the middle of March it will be time to prune our roses. If you need some help deciding how to go about this check out the three sources below. 

PowerPoint lecture This PowerPoint lecture was prepared by Joe Spruiell and covers the basics.

 Pruning Article This article prepared by Peggy Tippens specifically deals with rose types other than the hybrid teas, grandifloras and miniatures. This is an area that people often have questions about and Peggy has answered many of these questions in her article.

Videos from the Fine Gardening website demonstrate pruning all major categories of roses.

Video Pruning Hybrid Tea Roses Pruning hybrid tea roses
Video Pruning Floribundas Pruning floribunda roses
Video Pruning Climbing Roses Pruning climbing roses
Video Pruning Shrub Roses Pruning shrub roses

Early April

It's time to finish your pruning, adding soil amendments and organics to your roses and give them the first dose of chemical fertilizer. You may also wish to begin your spray program right away. We often see aphids and white flies this time of year that have been buried in our mulch. An insecticide such as Orthene will handle these pests. It is a good idea to begin your fungicide spraying as soon as the roses begin to develop new leaves. This will protect against blackspot and other fungal diseases.

Late April, 2007

Due to the very warm weather in March the roses came out early. But a late April hard freeze (22F) devastated the new growth on our roses. Unfortunately, this made it necessary to remove almost all of the new growth and let the roses come out again. If you haven't done this, check your roses to see if the new canes are damaged. This can be done by simply cutting into them as you would do when deadheading. If the canes are hollow, mushy, full of holes or brown, they need to be cut back until you see good solid white interiors. In some cases this may require that you cut back to the original old wood (i.e., reprune the bush). Withold any fertilizer containing a heavy dose of nitrogen for a while to allow the roses to recover from the shock they have experienced. Be sure to keep the roses well watered as they recover.

Early May

As the roses recover from the freeze and put out new growth, we can begin to think of fertilizing them again.

Here is a tip from Mary Bates for staking your tall roses:

I have been trying to come up with a stake for my roses. Everything I tried was too short or not strong enough. My husband who builds homes suggested that I use concrete rebar. I ordered 10 ft pieces and cut them to 5 feet.He insisted that I use the rebar caps as these stakes can be dangerous if you were to fall on one. We found green rebar caps and they work great. I tie my roses with bits of panty hose. The hose are flexible and the color recedes. Too bad there is not more of a market for green panty hose. See picture below.
rose staked with rebar