A rose bush can provide years of enjoyment, but only if it is properly cared for. Here are some basic guidelines that we hope will help you be successful with your new rose. If you do not plant your rose bush right away, be sure to water it thoroughly daily until it is planted.
Soil: Dig the hole a few inches wider than the pot and deep enough so that the bud union (the central part at the base of the plant where new canes begin) can be set at 2 inches below soil level. (This is not necessary with hardy shrub roses such as Knockouts.) This will be about 14 inches deep or more and is important for survival through our Midwest winters. Prepare the soil by adding at least 1/3 of the soil back in the hole with good organic material, such as Cotton Bur Compost or Black Peat. One-half of a cup of systemic Rose Food may be added to each hole.
Planting: Always remove the pot from the plant. When removing a fiber or paper pot it should be torn away. Be careful to keep as much soil intact as possible. Fill the hole with the remaining soil and water well. Mulch should be added at this time to help prevent disease and to conserve water.
Week 1: Every other day
Week 2: Twice
Week 3: Once a week through September (unless it has rained). Water extra if it is hot and dry.
Your bushes require approximately one gallon of water per watering. In late fall or early winter the ground will freeze in Kansas and watering should be stopped until the ground thaws. If it is a dry winter and the ground is not frozen, remember to continue watering.
Feeding: Feed your rose monthly with a rose food that contains systemic insecticide or a Liquid Fertilizer formulated for roses. Water it in well. Roses love to eat so feed them well! Do not feed roses after August 1st when they begin to go dormant and prepare for winter.
Pruning: Cut off blooms when they fade, always cutting back to the first five-leaved side shoot. Select a shoot that is growing in the direction you want the bush to grow. Climbing roses should not be trimmed in the fall as the long canes have the bloom buds set for next year’s bloom. Hybrid Teas roses should be cut back in late fall to 3 feet to prevent them from whipping in the winter winds and breaking near the crown. Trim all roses (except climbers) back severely in the early spring (late March to early April) to a height of 8-10 inches. This will encourage new growth and the production of new buds and blooms! At this time the canes should be thinned and any dead growth should be cut out. Be sure and coat the ends of trimmed canes with Elmer’s Glue to prevent borers and Cutter Bees from laying eggs in the newly cut canes. This will prevent damage later in the season!
Managing Pests: Hybrid Tea or Floribunda Roses: Spraying or dusting with a rose fungicide (Immunox) and insecticide mixture once per week and after every rain should keep problems from developing. Be sure to read the entire label and follow its instructions.
Winter: Protect your Hybrid Teas & Floribunda roses from the winter cold by mounding cypress mulch or loose dirt up around the plant to a height of 10-12 inches in late fall, usually after the ground freezes. Winter protection helps protect the rose from freeze and thaw cycles that can hurt the roots and low temperatures that can kill the canes.
Enjoy the success of your new rose! Remember to enjoy fresh cut blossoms in your house!