The rose is indisputably the queen of flowers. This is not least due to its large, elegantly shaped flowers, which often also have an intoxicating scent. The splendor of flowers, the scent and the selection of different varieties make them so popular, even though caring for roses is not easy. With roses, the choice of variety and the right location is extremely important. If these two things are right, roses are robust and easy to care for. There are both beginner varieties that are easy to care for and real divas that require a practiced gardener’s hand. Here you can find out everything you need to know about caring for roses.
Table of Contents
The growth, abundance of flowers, susceptibility to disease and care required of the rose depend on the ideal location! If no suitable location is available, then you have to choose the right rose for this location! Compromises in rose selection are better than diseased roses. There is a suitable rose for almost every location, just no rose for every location.
- Roses love sunny and airy locations.
- Sun for at least half the day is ideal.
- East and west exposed sites are best.
- South exposure can lead to heat build-up.
- Do not plant under trees (drop fall)!
- It is important that the air can circulate so that the leaves can dry off quickly after precipitation!
Proper soil for roses is the second most important factor in rose care. Roses are deep-rooters and heavy feeders, which is why a few conditions should be observed. If the choice of plants, location and plant substrate are right, nothing can go wrong when cultivating the rose.
- Deep, humus-rich soil is ideal.
- No compacted subsoil!
- Well-drained soil, but nutrient-rich
- Absolutely avoid waterlogging, even in lower regions!
- A pH between 6 and 7 is good.
- Add rock dust on sandy soils, sand or gravel on heavy soils.
A distinction is made between bare-root roses and roses with plant balls. There are some differences in planting. It is important to note the following: If you had to remove a rose and want to plant a new one in its place, the soil must be replaced over a large area!
- Autumn is the best time to plant roses.
- Planting can also be done in spring, but flowering usually occurs later and more watering is required.
- Loosen up the location deeply with a digging fork!
- Improve soil with compost (increase humus content)
- Soak bare root roses in water for a few hours first!
- Then shorten their roots a little and cut back all shoots to 20 cm!
- Planting hole at least 40 x 49 x 40 cm.
- Grafting point must be 5 cm or a hand’s breadth below the soil surface!
- Fill up the planting hole with a mixture of soil and compost, line up and muddy it!
- Also water the roses with roots and plant them 5 cm deep (grafting point).
- Water well!
watering and fertilizing
Roses like neither too much moisture nor too little. Then they get stressed. The result is an increased susceptibility to fungal diseases. You are powerless against the weather, but there are things you can do to make the rose feel good. When caring for roses, it is important to always keep the surface of the soil nice and loose so that the roots get enough air and soil water cannot evaporate.
- Always keep the soil slightly moist!
- Allow the top layer of soil to dry before watering again.
- 10 to 30 liters of water per square meter
- Especially freshly planted roses need plenty of water until they are established.
- Do not wet leaves when watering!
- A layer of mulch keeps the soil moist, loose, and crumbly.
- Fertilization is important.
- Organic or slow-release fertilizers are used.
- Long-term fertilizer consists of mineral and organic components, has an immediate and long-lasting effect.
- Fertilization is ideal in the spring when they sprout, then with mature compost and a few handfuls of horn shavings.
- Second fertilization in summer for the main flowering period.
- Stop fertilizing with nitrogen from the end of July so that the shoots can mature.
Annual pruning is important for roses. It ensures that the plants maintain their willingness to bloom and vitality. Use sharp scissors, preferably rose scissors. Pruning takes place on a frost-free, precipitation-free, but overcast day.
- In autumn you can easily shorten the roses.
- The actual pruning takes place in the spring. Dead and diseased wood is cut out of all roses.
- Crossing shoots rubbing against each other are thinned out.
- Every few years the oldest shoot is cut off close to the base so that the rose does not become bare and remains floriferous.
- All other pruning measures depend on the growth group and the flowering rhythm.
- If you regularly cut off the faded flowers, the rose will always produce new buds.
- Remove wild shoots directly at the base!
Most roses are hardy. Before the onset of winter, there are a number of measures you can take to take care of roses so that they can survive the frost periods better. The grafting point, which is just below the surface of the earth, must be protected in particular.
- Mounding – mound garden soil about 20 to 25 cm high around the “trunk” (mound shape)
- Provide additional sun protection for noble, bedding and climbing roses so that the wood is not damaged by the contrast between sun and frost.
- Cover branches with spruce sticks!
- Climbing roses can also be covered with jute or linen.
- High trunks have their grafting point in the crown. This must be protected.
- Put sticks in the crown and put the whole crown in a cloth or jute sack.
- Do not use a plastic bag!
- Potted roses need a lot of protection. Balls of earth must not freeze!
- Place the pot in a protected place, preferably on styrofoam and wrap it up thickly!
Roses can be grown from seed, propagated by cuttings, and by grafting. Grafting is a bit difficult, but propagation from cuttings is easy. However, not all rose varieties are suitable for propagation by cuttings and roses that are protected by plant variety protection must not be propagated in this way.
- Propagation by cuttings produces ungrafted roses.
- The best time for cuttings is late June to early August
- A shoot with a flower that has just faded is favourable
- Shoot should have 5 eyes
- Cut off horizontally under the 5th eye
- cut off the flower
- Remove the bottom 4 leaves, leaving only the top one (limit evaporation)
- Put the cutting deep in the ground, preferably in a partially shaded spot in the garden
- Place a clean mason jar over the cutting
- Keep the soil constantly slightly moist, it must never dry out
- Remove glass from time to time to air
- If possible, do not transplant cuttings for three years!
… a higher-quality plant is placed on an inferior one (usually a cultivated rose on a wild rose)
- It is processed in summer
- Valuable variety – cut branches and remove thorns and leaves, remove eyes from stems (not too thick and not too flat)
- Wild rose – cut a pocket in the stem, make a T-cut, cut the skin of the rose twice, like a T, don’t cut too deep!
- Slide the eye (hybrid) into the pocket and cover with the cut side wings.
- The part protruding from the pocket is removed. Fix the inserted eye with a rubber band!
- The eye should sprout after a few weeks.
- If this is the case, the wild shoots above the grafting point are cut off in spring and the remaining ones are cut off low.
diseases and pests
There are many things you can do to care for roses, but the queen of flowers can be afflicted by some pests and diseases. However, you can do a lot against typical rose diseases when selecting the variety. It is good to choose resistant varieties. So-called ADR roses are in good health. They have been tested and found to be very good.
- Usually sitting at the tips of the shoots
- Often appearing in masses
- Green, yellowish, red or black aphids are possible.
- They hardly cause any damage to healthy roses.
- It is best to wipe off the colonies with your fingers.
- It is also beneficial to hose down with a strong jet of water.
- Start removing early before aphids explode!
- Encourage natural enemies (ladybirds, lacewings and their larvae and hoverfly larvae).
- Recognizable by leaf cigars
- The small green larvae grow in the tube.
- Egg-laying late April to early June.
- From July the larvae fall to the ground.
- In order to contain the infestation, the leaves and larvae must be removed at an early stage.
- Recognizable by white speckles on the upper side of the leaf.
- Particularly common in dry, hot locations.
- Insect sits on the underside of the leaf and jumps off when touching the leaf.
- 1st generation from May to June, 2nd from August to September
- Eggs are laid in the shoots.
- Cut off affected plant parts in autumn!
- First brown to black-purple spots on the underside of the leaves
- Later the whole sheet yellows
- Occurs mainly at the end of the season and in wet conditions
- Bow through airy location
- Collect leaves after they fall, don’t leave them lying around!
- The fungus overwinters in the ground, allowing it to spread easily
- fungal disease
- Recognizable by the yellow pustules on the underside of the leaf
- Leaf upper side with orange to brownish leaf spots
- Favored by cool, damp weather
- Pustules turn black and throw off vast amounts of spores
- The only way to help is to remove affected parts at an early stage.
- Powdery mildew – can be recognized by the whitish coating on the upper side of the leaf, shoot tips and flower buds
- Particularly common in late summer, when the weather is dry and hot, followed by dewy, humid, cool nights
- Downy Mildew – purple to black leaf spots on top of leaves and whitish coating on underside
- Mostly in cool, damp weather
- Correct location is important
- The use of plant strengthening agents is beneficial
- Cut out and dispose of affected parts!
Rose care all year round
- January/February – check winter protection, shake snow off shrub and standard roses!
- March – When frost is over, slowly remove antifreeze measures. Now it is fertilized with special rose fertilizer.
- April – mound at the beginning of the month, time for pruning the roses (when forsythia is in bloom), loosen the soil, remove weeds, apply a layer of mulch (do not forget horn shavings if you use bark mulch!), spray with black elderberry every three weeks to prevent blackspot!
- May – Loosen soil and mulch layer. Water when dry, check for pests and diseases and take countermeasures, remove wild shoots
- June – Soil care, remove wild shoots, check, water, possibly add fertilizer, regularly remove withered soil
- July – Soil care, watering, removing faded flowers, summer pruning of shrub roses that have bloomed once, tying up long shoots of climbing roses
- August – only remove faded flowers regularly, check, water, cut for climbing roses that have bloomed once
- September – fertilize with potassium, stop working the soil, check for fungal diseases, remove affected parts of the plant
- October – Remove and discard diseased foliage, prime rose planting time
- November – apply winter protection, pile up at the end of the month
- December – maybe increase winter protection, don’t forget to water
The rose is not the queen of flowers for nothing. Rose care takes some effort, but the rewards are rich. In order to always have beautiful roses, you should pay attention to a few things when buying them. When choosing the right variety, the most favorable location and good plant substrate, keeping roses is not an art. You don’t even have to have a green thumb.