Here are some of the questions that we have been asked from time to time. The answers include links to pertinent pages on this website about planting and caring for roses. Please let us know if there are other topics you would like us to cover.
Q. Aren’t roses hard to plant and maintain?
Not necessarily. The most important thing to consider before planting roses is your climate and soil conditions. Certain roses will not grow well in certain climate conditions and all roses like light, rich slightly acidic soil. You can fix the soil, but you can’t change your climate. Some roses bushes and plants are harder to maintain than others, so research the care requirements of any roses you are considering.
When you buy a new rose plant, dig a hole about twice the size of the plant’s roots and slightly mounded in the center. Set your plant in the center of the hole and spread out the roots. Now is a good time to add some manure or lime to the soil as you fill in the hole. Water well and continue watering about every other day for two weeks, then water about once a week. After three months, mulch around the base of the stem. Always plant roses in a sunny spot. They need about 6 hours a day of sunlight.
Q. When is the best time to prune roses?
The best time to prune roses is usually in the early spring before the plants come fully out of their dormant state. This varies depending on the particular type of rose bush you are pruning, but for most roses, either the early spring or late fall before the first frost is the optimum pruning time.
Q. Do roses really grow on trees?
Not really, rose trees are actually formed by grafting two plants together. The result is a single slender cane of 30 to 36 inches tall which has no foliage or blooms. The classic rose tree is shaped like a lollipop, although there are also weeping rose trees and high low rose trees. Rose trees do require a bit more care than shrubs or climbing roses.
Q. Do rose trees need to be pruned to keep their shape?
Rose trees need to be pruned not only to maintain their shape but to avoid damage to the delicate cane from the weight of the foliage and blooms. Rose trees do require special care in pruning and should usually be pruned either in late fall or early spring.
Q. Is it hard to train climbing roses?
Not at all. In fact, vigorous varieties climb so well that you must make sure to carefully prune them. Anchors for climbing roses should be set in cement, as within a few growing seasons they will become so heavy they can overwhelm their supports. Climbers can be used against walls, fences, and arbors to great effect.
Q. What are Knock Out roses and are they hard to grow?
Knock Out roses are amazingly easy to grow. They are disease and drought-resistant and self-cleaning so it isn’t necessary to do any deadheading. The foliage is dark purple and changes to burgundy in the fall. The blooms come in a variety of colors to suit any gardener. They attain a height of about 4 feet and a width of about 3 feet. For gardeners worried about caring for roses, these are a perfect choice.
Q. Do Knock Out roses need to be pruned?
All roses need to be pruned and the Knock Out rose is no exception. Deadwood can and should be cut out whenever you find it. Ideally, Knock Out roses should be pruned ins early spring, but they can be pruned in summer. Summer pruning will slow their growth.
Q. Are carpet roses a ground cover?
No, Flower Carpet roses are a hardy low growing shrub rose. They reach a height of 24 to 32 inches and a width of about 4 feet. They are disease-resistant and low maintenance and will grow in just about every climate zone in the continental United States. They come in six colors and add beautiful and easy-care roses to any garden.
Q. I have some problems with my rose garden, do I have to start again from scratch?
No, you can redesign your rose garden by removing plants that are not doing well and transplanting others to new locations. It will take some research and planning. Start considering the changes you want to make in the late fall or winter so that by early spring you are ready to start. The best time to transplant existing rose bushes is in the early spring while they are still dormant. It”s also the best time to plant new ones. Don’t try to tackle this project when your plants are actively growing.
Q. I have a beautiful rose bush in my yard, but it’s in an awkward spot. Will I kill it if I try to move it?
It is possible to transplant roses, but it should be done in early spring when the plant is still dormant. Prepare a hole for the rose and fertilize, then very carefully use a spade around the rose bush to be transplanted. Go wide around the plant and deep into the soil in order to avoid cutting any of the roots. Gently remove the plant and move it to its new home. Do make sure the new location has at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.