Caring for roses
There are four ways to ensure proper rose care—watering, fertilization, pruning, and winterizing.
In the summer, fully soak the entire root zone at least twice a week. Once new growth emerges, avoid watering from above to prevent the foliage from remaining too wet. Wet foliage encourages the growth of fungal diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew.
Lay two to four inches of mulch to help prevent rose roots from drying out. Leave about one inch of space around the base of the plant.
Feed your roses through the blooming season
Once a month between April and July, apply one cup of a balanced granular fertilizer (5-10-5 or 5-10-10) several inches from the stem. To encourage new growth from the bottom of the bush, add a tablespoon of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) to the fertilizer in May and June.
Prune roses every spring to remove all dead, damaged, and diseased canes and to make room for new growth. Make sure you remove all clippings to avoid spreading disease and insects.
Deadhead your rose bushes to encourage new growth, and keep the beds clean of faded blooms. Stop deadheading three to four weeks before the first hard frost to discourage new growth that will be damaged by the cold.
Whether you need to winterize your roses depends on your location’s climate, the type of roses you plant, and where they’re located in your garden. Because local climate is the most important factor, we recommend contacting your local nursery to ask about their recommended winterization methods.