How to Care for Roses
Here are a few simple tips on caring for roses, it's easier than you think.
Feeding Your Roses
Roses should be fed in the early spring just as their leaves begin to grow. Roses that bloom continuously are hungry and benefit from nourishment, so feed your roses every 2 weeks with a water soluble rose food, such as Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Rose Food. Or, for a longer lasting solution, use a continuous release plant food, such as Miracle-Gro® Shake 'n Feed® Continuous Release Rose Plant Food, which will feed for up to 3 months.
Pruning Your Roses
For roses that bloom continuously, removing faded blossoms will encourage your rose bushes to produce more flowers. Snip off the spent flowers below the bloom just above the first leaflet. Since leaves are the energy factories for your roses, leaving the foliage intact will result in more flowers. Stop removing faded blooms in early fall to encourage your rose bush to prepare for winter. If you grow roses that flower in clusters, like the grandiflora or floribunda types, you?ll notice a center bud that tends to dominate the cluster and flower first. If you remove it, the result will be a full floral spray without a hole in the center. Removing the center bud also helps prevent fungal diseases. On the other hand, if you grow hybrid tea roses, removing the buds that form below the flower bud at the top of stem will produce a larger flower.
Protecting Your Roses In Winter
Roses need a little time to prepare for winter. Stop feeding them in late summer and removing faded blooms in early fall. This will encourage them to slow their growth and enter the dormant stage before winter. After a hard frost has caused most of the leaves to fall of the plant, cover the base of your rose bushes with a 10 to 12 inch layer of well-drained compost or mulch. If you live in a particularly cold climate, you can also wrap your rose bushes in burlap or cover them with extruded-foam caps (also known as rose cones) to help protect your roses during the winter. The key is to not cover your roses too early - wait until the temperatures stay cold.