ROSES ARE SOME of the most popular and beautiful flowering shrubs grown, but starting a rose garden may seem to be a daunting task to new gardeners. There are over 300 species and thousands of varieties of roses. The more commonly grown are the hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses. The hybrid tea are the most recognized, as these are the ones that produce a single rose atop a long stem. The floribunda produce a cluster of roses atop the stem.
January is the time to plant roses. When growing roses, it is important to choose a well drained site that receives at least six hours of full sun daily. Often a raised bed is best. When preparing the bed, loosen the soil and mix in some well composted manure fertilizer. You can plant either bare root roses or roses already in pots. If you are planting bare root roses, presoak them in water for 24 hours before placing them in the ground. Both bare root and potted roses need to be planted about two feet deep with a hole large enough to accommodate the roots. Set the plant in the prepared hole, then backfill the hole with a soil/manure mix and water thoroughly.
Roses prefer a slightly acidic soil and mulching the bed heavily with pine straw will keep them happy. Roses require at least an inch of water weekly. It is best to water in the morning and only water at the soil line. Try not to wet the leaves of the plant as this will lead to mold and fungus problems. A monthly feeding with any number of commercially available rose fertilizers is recommended. As your rose bush begins to produce flowers, keep the old flowers pruned off. This will generate more flowering.
For more information on growing roses, visit: lsuagcenter.com or stop by your local feed and seed store for expert advice.