The rose is a very beautiful flower, often considered to be the queen of all flowers. The inherent beauty of the rose is peerless; no other flower can ever compare to it. Gardeners who have successfully cultivated their own rose gardens prize the fruit of their own labors highly and take a lot of effort to care for and maintain their gardens. For indeed, if you want to be able to enjoy the beauty of a rose plant, you must be prepared to exert the effort needed to cultivate, care for and protect these plants.
The task of caring for roses is no easy feat. To take care of roses can be arduous and can consume a good amount of time every day. But no matter how laborious cultivating roses can be, the effort exerted is very much worth it. To see a healthy and thriving rose plant in your garden is certainly very rewarding.
Caring for rose plants involves regular watering, pruning and constant protection from the weather and from disease.
Watering Your Roses
There are flowers and plants that do not require a lot of water. Just sprinkle a few inches of water on them every morning, and they will stay healthy. On the other hand, there are flowers and plants that need a lot of water. Such flowers and plants must have a steady drizzle of water over several hours to keep their roots soaked well and to keep the soil in which they are planted moist. The rose is one such flower that needs a lot of water.
Water is vital to the rose when it is newly planted. To encourage the growth of your new rose plants, you need to keep the soil moist for most of the day, but not soaking wet. When your rose plant becomes established, it would not need water as much as when it was still young, but it would need its root system soaked completely most of the time. Slow and steady watering over a period of several hours is necessary to do this. If you do not have the time to spend just watering your roses, you ought to put up a simple irrigation or sprinkling system that will make the task of watering much easier for you.
Pruning Your Roses
Taking good care of your roses also involves regular pruning. Pruning is beneficial to the rose because it promotes good air circulation, protects it from disease and encourages its growth.
Pruning is done best during the rose’s dormant season, usually in spring when the new leaf buds have begun to sprout from the stems. The dead branches and what appears to be weak growth must be cut off so as not to sap nutrients from the healthy portions of the plant. The branches that rub together must be cut off as well.
To stimulate a healthy growth, young and newly planted roses should only be allowed four stems or canes so that the nutrients would be more concentrated within the plant. Once they are established, they can have eight canes or more. When pruning the canes of a rose, you should cut them back around half or a fourth of their original height.
Pruning should also be done regularly during the rose’s growing season. The weak growth should be cut away at the base so it would not steal the nutrients from the healthier canes. Removing the dead flower heads and the dried leaves also encourage the plant to flower more and repeatedly. There are some gardeners who prefer to disbud their roses. In disbudding, only one rosebud is allowed per stem so the flower will grow as big as it can get.
Protecting Roses in Winter
The winter cold is not a friend of roses. So that the plant will not die during the winter season, it must be adequately protected. A common method of protecting the rose plant in winter is to bury it in soil and mulch for most of the season, especially if it gets very cold.
To do this, you have to dig a trench as tall as the rose plant itself, and then tip it down. You can put a mesh ring or a rose collar around it. Afterwards, you cover it up in a mound of soil up to 12 inches in height. Cover it further with a mound of organic mulch to protect it from the freeze. However, if it gets too cold and frosty, use a rose cone to cover the tips of the plant rather than mulch. If you do use a rose cone, make sure that you remove this covering whenever the sky is cloudy so that your plant will not get shocked and burned from the sudden exposure to sunlight. Remove all covering completely once the freezing is over.
Protecting Roses from Disease
Most roses available nowadays have been bred to become resistant from disease. Nonetheless, constant care is still necessary to keep the roses from becoming sick and defoliated.
To protect your roses from disease, you should prune your roses regularly. Remove all dead buds and dead leaves from the plants. Also, get rid of the weak and dead stems that can become breeding areas for spores and insects. Remember to cultivate the soil on a regular basis so that any insects and spores breeding there will be exposed to and killed by sunlight. Keep the weeds from growing around your roses.
A good spray of water mixed with baking soda and a little corn oil can also help keep disease away. Done regularly, such a spraying program will prevent diseases such as the black spot from infecting your roses. If you see signs of infection on a portion of your plant, quickly cut it away to hold it from spreading to the other sections of the plant. The appropriate pesticide is also in order in this case.
Roses are beautiful flowers, but they need constant attention and care. But no matter how taxing taking care of roses can be, it is always rewarding to see a healthy and thriving rose plant.