It's Time To Stop And Smell The Rose Garden!

Roses are awesome plants with many rewards for their owners: rose plantings last for many years and are beautiful, fragrant and available in a myriad of colors.
With so many varieties, choosing one can be a little thorny! Seven different types of rose bushes are available. Hybrid tea are single stem beauties, like what you would see at a florist. Floribundas are bushy shrubs with flowers on every stem instead of just one. Grandifloras are single stem roses with multiple flowers. Climbers are more aggressive and, with a little help, can be trained over an arbor or on a trellis or fence. Miniatures are hardy little plants that do well in containers or small spaces. Tree roses are typically grafted onto a stem and resemble a lollipop and can be quite stunning. Last, but certainly not least, are the shrub and groundcover roses. These low-maintenance shrubs come in many colors and are blooming machines. Mine actually bloomed through mid-December this past year and were covered with flowers.
Roses need sun and a minimum of 5-6 hours is best. A well-drained soil and fertilizer are required for optimum performance. Feed your roses approximately every 6 weeks with rose tone fertilizer. This all-organic slow-release provides all the minerals and nutrients they crave. 
When blossoms fade, remove spent flowers and prune above the first 5-leaf set below the flower. This is the best area to prune to encourage more blossoms. Use a bypass pruner to make a clean cut so you are not tearing the stem. Wear gloves, as most roses do have thorns and could scratch you. Other tips you should consider when dealing with roses are to water in early morning and try to avoid wetting the leaves. Roses can get black spot (a fungal disease) or powdery mildew and you should never let water set on the leaves overnight.
My father always taught me that an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. I love a product by Bayer called All in One for roses. This product protects plants from disease and insects for up to 6 weeks. Simply mix 2 ounces in a gallon of water and dump on the roots of your plant. The active ingredient will systemically be taken up throughout plant and you will be protected for a month and a half. A little charge of fertilizer helps speed the uptake in the plant. I would still recommend the rose tone in addition to All in One for roses. This tag team combo will assure you have awesome roses for years to come! Enjoy!

Submitted by J R Pandy, the "No BS Gardener" at Pandy's Premier Garden Center. For answers to questions, email

J R Pandy

The "No BS gardener" at Pandy's Premier Garden Center in Elyria, OH and contributor to online.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 10:52 PM, 05.14.2013