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Planting tips for roses

Roses need bright sun and good soil to grow and bloom to healthy, glowing and abundant excellence. Instructions regarding planting, included with your rose plants, provide guidance for a successful rose bed.

Rose petals
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Examine the soil in your rose bed because Chicago’s soils tend to be heavy clay soils. Heavy clay soils are very fertile, but they have tiny particles that become waterlogged and compacted when wet. This compacting trait reduces the amount of air to a plant’s roots. These soils warm up slowly in the spring, and they need to be improved for a rose bed.

Roses require moderately fertile, humus-rich soil that drains well so heavy clay soils need to be amended with compost or manure or both. Compost and manure increase the humus content and enable it to hold nutrients more efficiently.

After amending and tilling the soil thoroughly, remove your roses from the containers. Inspect the bushes before you plant them. Thick roots need to be cut back to ten inches. Reduce the top growth to 3-5 strong, healthy shoots and prune branches to 8-10 inches in length. Large bushes, ramblers or dwarf variants need pruning to 16 inches. Don’t cut back climbing roses, but you need to remove any dead, weak, damaged, diseased or crossing shoots.

Dig the planting hole and blend in a small amount of environmentally friendly rose food into the hole. Mound the soil into a hill shape and arrange the roots of the rosebush over this mound, anchoring it in place with soil, before filling the hole halfway. Add water and wait for it to drain completely. Straighten the bush, if necessary. Fill in the hole and add mulch.

In a bright, sunny location with good soil and balanced fertilizer, your roses will thrill you. Follow the above suggestions for lavish roses.

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