Monday, June 11, 2012

Roses: Top Tips


Keeping them in tip top shape.

Fame, a grandiflora

Roses, favorites in the garden and the vase, take a little bit of attention to keep them blooming and looking their best.  Here are some tips to keep them the showpieces of your garden:

Fertilizer:  Feed after each bloom cycle with a fertilizer that promotes bloom (look for a fertilizer that has a higher phosphorous content, that's the middle number in the three ingredients, 4-6-4: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium).

Angel Face, floribunda

 Disease Control:  Roses are subject to fungal diseases such as blackspot, powdery mildew, and rust.  To prevent these diseases, keep foliage dry by using drip or soaker irrigation, or watering early in the day if overhead watering.  Spray with fungicides per directions to prevent or reduce occurrence.

Joseph's Coat, Climber

Pest Control:  The best pest control method is you in your garden!  If you see pest damage early, it's much easier to control.  Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which means using the least toxic method to control pests.  Keeping plants healthy with proper watering and feeding keeps plants resistant to pests.  A strong squirt of water from a hose nozzle is often enough to get rid of aphids.   Insecticidal soap usually controls a number of pests.  Avoid broad spectrum insecticides if possible as they also kill beneficial insects.

Deadheading:  Pick your roses often!  This encourages new blooms.  Cut off spent blooms from the plant at an outward facing five leaf leaflet.  This will result in the growth growing out from the bush rather than towards the center of the bush.

Happy Gardening!

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