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How to Grow Beautiful Healthy Roses

Roses are my favorite f. Not only do they look beautiful in a vase with some greenery, but they're perfect for drying and using in a dried f arrangement or potpourri. And since roses come in such a wide variety of colors and types, you can find a rose bush to fit virtually any landscaping need. And you don't need to be an expert gardner to grow beautiful roses. They're a fairly hardy plant, but the following tips can help you make sure your roses grow lush and healthy.
Types of Roses ...
When planting roses, you'll need to consider the space you want the rose bush to fill, as well as the climate you're in. Some roses are hardier than others. Below are some common rose types to choose from:
  • Hybrid Teas: These combine the ever-blooming quality of old tea roses with the hardiness of hybrid perpetuals. They come in a wide color range, have large, fragrant Flowers, and will survive temperatures as low as 10-20° with winter protection.
  • Floribundas: These usually require less care than hybrid teas. Large clusters of Flowers from June to frost. Best for mass plantings and landscaping. Will survive temperatures as low as 20-30°.
  • Grandifloras: Because of their robust growth, healthy foliage, and profuse bloomage, these are excellent roses for beginners and can survive temperatures as low as 10-20°.
  • Hybrid perpetuals: Rose collectors prize these roses. They bloom mainly in the spring and are very hardy in the winter.
  • Polyanthas: These average 18 inches in height. They produce small Flowers in large clusters and work well in mass plantings and borders. Very hardy.
  • Climbers and Ramblers: Some shrub type roses can be trained as climbers, and you can find hybrid tea, floribunda and polyantha climbers. Generally a climbing rose will produce relatively little growth from the base of the plant. They need good circulation and, of course, good support.
  • Creepers: These provide cover for banks and walls. Most varieties are quite hardy, but the Flowers aren't as pretty as some other roses.
  • Miniatures: These carry one-inch blooms and reach only 6-12". Good for rock gardens, borders, edgings and containers.
Planting Tips ...
When to Plant: Generally if your winter temperatures stay above 10°, plant any time of the cool season when plants are dormant (no growth is visible on the canes). If your winter temperatures stay above -10°, plant mid to late fall, or early spring. If your winter temperatures regularly go below -10°, wait until spring to plant. Plant just as soon as the ground thaws.

Where to Plant: Roses like at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. If you have to choose between morning or afternoon sun, morning is best. Dewy leaves will dry sooner, cutting down on the possibility of some diseases. Most shrubs require plenty of space - plant 2-2 1/2 feet apart. Climbers may require up to 6 feet spacing.

Prepare the Soil: If your soil is good enough to grow grass, shrubs and Flowers, it will probably grow roses. But you may want to add organic matter such as peat moss, compost, or decomposed manure. (Try this: Save old hair from your hair brushes and combs. Spread a handful of old hair in the bottom of the hole, then cover with organic material.) Fertilize entire bed at a rate of 3-5 lbs per 100 square feet. Use a plant food containing nitrogen,sodium phosphorus and potash in a ration of 1-2-1.

Planting: Keep roots moist until you're ready to plant. The hole should be deep and wide enough not to cramp roots. Trim away dead or broken root tips, then spread roots over low mound in hole. Adjust depth so that the graft "knob" is one inch below surface in the North, or one inch above in the South. Firm soil over roots to within 3 inches of ground level. Fill hole with water and let it soak in. Refill, then add soil to proper depth. Prune tops back to six inches using slanting cuts 1/4" above strong outside buds. Treat stub tips with wound compound. Mound soil over stubs and leave it all winter if you plant in fall. Hose mound away in spring when new shoots are 1/2" long. Spring planting may require mounding too, especially in temperatures.

Caring for your roses ...
Fertilize: During the growing season, fertilize twice - once after spring growth starts and again in midsummer.

Winter Protection: During the winter, protect your roses with an 8-12 inch mound of soil or mulch. Fabric or plastic can also be used to surround the base of plant.

Pruning: Avoid pruning roses in freezing weather. Wait until mid to late spring, when new growth appears. First, cut back all winter-killed dead-wood to live, green stems. Then, choose an outward-facing bud and cut at a 45 degree angle about 1/4 inch above the bud.

Thinning: Keep your rosebushes healthy by thinning out straggly, overly long shoots. Cut away any dead or diseased stems and remove faded blooms (deadheads) to encourage new growth.

When Cutting Flowers: Leave two healthy five-leaflet leaves on remaining stem to help the plant maintain its vigor.

Propagation ...
You can start a new rose bush by taking cuttings from your favorite bushes. Propagating roses just requires some tender loving care...

First select vigorous new growth canes. Make a slanting cut on stem and leave a bud just above the cut.

Next remove leaves and buds and place the cutting half it's length in water or moist vermiculite. A rooting compound added to the water or vermiculite can speed up root development. Leave in a well-lighted place at a temperature of around 70° for around 4-6 weeks. Keep from direct sunlight by shading with cheesecloth or nursery netting.

Then when roots are developed, plant them carefully in pots containing a mixture of 1/2 sand and 1/2 compost. Bury the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot and water regularly. Wait until plant is growing vigorously before transplanting

DID YOU KNOW...

In Ancient Greece and Rome it was believed that roses were all originally white until Venus, the goddess of love, pricked her foot on a rose thorn as she hurried to save her imperiled lover. A drop of her sacred blood fell on the rose petals and dyed it forever red.

The 15th Century conflict between the English royal houses of York and Lancaster is known as the War of the Roses because the men of York supposedly wore a white rose as their badge while those of Lancaster wore a red rose. In fact, Lancaster didn't adopt the red rose as its badge until the wars were over.

In 1986 Congress adopted the rose as the official f of the United States, despite Senator E. Dirkson's long campaign for the marigold.

INSECT GUIDE

For insect remedies you can make at home, visit Formulas for Insects in the Garden.

APHIDS
Small brown, green yellow or red colored insects with pear shaped bodies. Aphids cluster on buds, leaves and tips of shoots. They feed on plant juices causing poor plant growth and distorted leaves. Insecticide containing malathion can take care of these pests. Systemic insecticides can also be used. These help the plant combat buts from the inside.

LEAF TIERS
Small, green caterpillars that feed like slugs. They spin a web and roll the leaf around their bodies. Crush tier inside leaf roll or remove infested leaves and burn.

SPIDER MITES
Reddish-brown, greenish or yellow, barely visible oval bodies found on the undersides of leaves. Mites suck plant juices, causing whitish or yellowish speckled areas on tops of leaves. Heavy infestations produce frail, silky webbing and can cause plant to die.

SLUGS
Slugs skeletonize leaves, giving them a lacy effect. Larvae are easily recognized by yellowish-green color and 1/2" tapered bodies. Start spraying early to prevent.

JAPANESE BEETLES
About 3/8", metallic green with coppery-brown wing covers. Appear on Flowers and leaves usually in mid to late summer.

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