Selecting & Planting Roses/ Pruning Roses

We have two great new articles:

Selecting and Planting Roses by MaryLou Coffman, Mike Jepsen and LeRoy Brady

Select varieties that grow to the size, height, width and depth of the garden area available for your roses. Matching the garden area with the rose selection will make life easier and reduce the required care and increase the long term enjoyment of your roses. The selected area should receive about six hours of daily sunlight.

Winter Pruning Roses by MaryLou Coffman and LeRoy Brady

Good horticultural practices tells us that through good pruning the results will be that as the rose comes out of the winter semi-dormancy it will have improved plant vigor, growth of new canes and higher quality and larger blooms.

We have these and many other excellent articles on growing roses on our Articles page.

Starting Roses from Cuttings by Rita Tall

Rose Cuttings by Rita Tall

Below is a picture showing clearly the foam cups (with holes on the bottom) covered with quart-size plastic bags, sitting in 8oz containers. Lately I have been using the see-through container (one at left in the picture) that makes it easy to see when the cutting has rooted and roots start poking out through the holes in the foam cup.  Keep in mind some roses are easier to root than others.
Rose Cutting Cups Rita Tall

Rita Tall lives in Tucson, Arizona. Download Rita’s article on Starting Roses from Cuttings.

Moving a Fortuniana Rosebush

I have a 7 or 8 year old Ingrid Bergman rose bush that I got from a nursery in the South on Fortuniana root stock by mail. It is a beautiful rose bush but my wife planted a peach tree in front of it and it butts against a high brick wall on the North side of my house. It needs to be moved. Advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

There is a great article on moving Fortuniana Rosebushes in our August 2007 Rose Lore newsletter, beginning on page one. My experience here in the valley is a little different, not unusual.

I agree with trimming the bush down to about 1/3 BUT I believe in leaving as much leaf as possible – my reasoning is the sooner photosynthesis can work and help generate new sugars the better.

Keep the ground WET for about a week (water every day), then back off slowly (every second day for two weeks) to your normal January watering schedule.

As we do not have winter here in the valley – I feel any time between December and February the best time to move a Fortuniana bush.

Steve Sheard, Consulting Rosarian MEVRS

Fertilizer and Planting Roses

Hello, I am preparing to plant some bare root roses this weekend. I would just like to know if i should mix rose food with the mound where the rose is supposed to “sit” on. The instructions from MCC Rose Garden states that I should scratch Disper-sul in the bottom of the hole and then add Triple Super Phosphate as a clump. Then form a mound on top of that with a mixture of forest mulch/compost, native soil and perlite. So would it be beneficial to mix in food with the compost/soil/perlite mixture?

Would it be OK to add gypsum and bone meal to either the mound or the backfill (or both)? I’m really excited to start some roses and I want to get right.

The Disper-sul is to help drainage with our heavy clay soil.

The Triple Super Phosphate is put in as a clump because it does not migrate through the soil and if it is mixed with the soil the chemical reaction with our high salt content makes it inactive (so the outside combines with the soil but the center remains available for the plant.

We do NOT add fertilizer to the mound when planting bare root roses because it will likely BURN the new hair roots. We recommend only fertilizing AFTER the first bloom.

If you use Disper-sul you will not need Gypsum. They do the same thing, so you can use either. Bone meal is OK to use as it is organic and breaks down slowy so will not burn the new roots.

Steve Sheard, Consulting Rosarian MEVRS