Rose Care Basics
If you have a warm, sunny outdoor spot that gets at least 5 hours of sun each day, you can grow roses. Roses grow successfully in the ground and in pots, in courtyards and on fire escapes, from the Arizona desert to mountainous Montana. Below are some of the basics for growing healthy, flourishing roses.
Provide good soil drainage. If growing roses in pots, use containers that have drainage holes in the bottom. This prevents water from collecting at the bottom and potentially harming rose roots.
Water roses at the base of the plant to avoid getting the leaves wet. Wet foliage encourages disease growth. If you do water from above or squirt the leaves to wash off aphids and other pests, do so early in the morning to allow the leaves to dry before nightfall.
• Feed roses regularly with fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium as well as micronutrients. Good organic sources of fertilizers include seaweed kelp, manure, and fish, blood, alfalfa and bone meals. These break down in the soil slowly and will provide a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season. Apply once every 1 – 2 months according to the directions on the label.

Dilute inorganic sources of fertilizers such as ammonium, potassium phosphate and potassium nitrate provide a good nutrient supplement when applied every 2-4 weeks to leaves or roots. These inorganic nutrients are immediately available to leaves and roots and encourage a quick response. Follow the directions on the package to avoid over-fertilizing. Before applying fertilizer, make sure that plants are well watered.
Stop fertilizing in late summer or early fall to prepare roses for dormancy.
Ensure that roses receive at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Adequate sun promotes healthy growth and more blooms while discouraging disease.
Roses do best when they have adequate air circulation. Leave some room between roses and other plants.
Each rose variety performs differently according to heat, humidity and winter conditions. Choose rose cultivars that grow well in your geographical location. Visit public rose gardens and talk with friends, local nurseries and rose societies to choose roses that you like as well as those that appear to be performing well in your area.

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