It's that time of year, when planting new stuff and taking care of what we have is on every gardener's mind.
Roses are one of the most popular garden plants, and one of the oldest. Don't let a few mishaps discourage you from choosing a new Rose plant for your garden. Some thrive with neglect and others need babying!
1st: Plant them with an Eastern exposure. They love morning Sun; it dries up the dew and prevents mold and mildew...preventing a sickly plant that is susceptible to disease and pests (mites!).
2nd: Not all roses are created equal! Some are for cutting, some are for climbing, some are for specimens, and some just won't live. I have never had good luck with bare root Rose plants They have a waxy coating, and every one I have purchased, has died.
3rd: Prune out the sucker stems and branches. These grow vigorously, and take up nutrients and water, with no blooms. Eventually, the Rose seems to go 'wild'; few flowers and more simple blooms. Look for branches with no buds and vigorous growth; snip them out where they begin.
4th: Some say banana peels below the rose bush will improve flowers, it's probably the Potassium. It can't hurt, bury the peels if bugs are a nuisance in your book!
5th: Forget about pesticides. Just use the many homemade remedies like Ivory dish soap or Garlic/Cayenne and water, in a mister/spray bottle; and remember to plant with morning Sun on them for best results.
6th: Cut the flowers as they die off. Removing old flowers encourages new blooms; unless you want the Rose Hips, (the round ball left after the bloom disappears), then leave the plant alone and enjoy free Rose Hips and the Vitamin C from it.
Have a Rose bush you want to move? Dig it up at night, after a thorough watering (if possible), transplant immediately and water generously for several days. Do not transplant on a sunny day or in the heat of the day. If your not a nite owl, transplant on a rainy day or overcast, to reduce the risk of shock and the death of the plant. Planting at night gives the plant time to begin to set roots and take on water, before the heat of day begins to do damage to a shocked and weakened plant. This is true for any transplanting, much better results with a few hours to rest before the sunshine bakes it.