How to Grow Roses

Caring for and Growing Rosaceae Rosa

A simple to follow tutorial on the care and maintenance of roses.

Roses are not as finicky as people have been led to believe; they’re actually very easy to grow. Just follow these simple instructions and in no time big, bold, and beautiful blooms will follow!

Preparing the Ground for and Planting Roses

In an area with full sun clear out all other vegetation and till in plenty of well rotted manure and compost. Till several inches deep to create a good loamy, loose soil base; this way the roses will easily take root. Dig the holes deep enough that the crown of the plant rests a few inches below the surface of the soil. Tamp the dirt around the roots and water in very well. The addition of mulch is very important as roses do not like getting too dried out, a few inches of leaf litter or compost is perfect for this. It may be helpful to trim each rose back before planting; this helps to form bushier growth and creates less stress on the newly planted roses.

How to Propagate Roses

Roses can be grown from seeds, cuttings or by root division.

Growing Roses from Seed

First one must cold stratify the seeds; this is a simple matter that will aid in the germination process. Rinse the pulp from each seed and then place the damp seeds in a moist paper towel sealed inside of a plastic bag. Place the seeds in the refrigerator for 4-5 weeks before potting them up. In a pot with well draining, sterile potting soil evenly space the seeds and then cover with a light topdressing ¼ inches deep of sand or loose soil. Place in a protected spot until the tiny plants are growing well and have several sets of true leaves. Keep in mind; roses grown from seed will not be guaranteed to be true to the form of the mother plant; you will get a wide array of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Growing Roses from Cuttings

Take cuttings from healthy growth and gently scrape the outer bark off until the lighter inner bark is showing in some places. Dip each cutting in a rooting hormone and pot into individual small containers. Place in a shady location and keep watered (not waterlogged). In several weeks roots should form and the newly growing roses can be planted in the garden. Feed with a half strength fertilizer mix for a couple of weeks and then treat as one would normal roses. Roses can also be rooted in one large container with several cuttings to each pot.

Growing Roses by Root Division

When a clump of roses begins to take over an area it is time to divide it. Simple dig the plant and carefully remove several rooted pieces. Often rose limbs will fall to the ground and root naturally; simple cut the rooted limbs from the mother plants and pot up as you would cuttings. Rooting hormone is not required as they have already rooted themselves. Roses like this can also be planted in the garden immediately after removing from the mother plant. It is helpful to cut back the transplants to reduce the shock of being dug and moved.

How to Feed Roses

Roses are truly some of the hungriest plants on earth; they love to eat! Feed roses every few weeks with a good quality fertilizer, they respond well to foliar feeding as well as a time released fertilizer and especially compost. Try and feed them early in the morning so the leaves and blooms have time to dry before nightfall; wet leaves in the night can cause some serious problems for roses. The addition of fish heads under the roots of roses really seems to make them happy; this is an old trick that has stood the test of time.

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