Caring For Roses


Everyone knows that roses are the flowers of love but there’s nothing romantic about thorny, bare branches with puny blossoms. You might be surprised to learn that caring for roses is much easier than you think, albeit a year round job.


I have several rose bushes in my front yard. There was a time when I let my roses go… no watering or pruning whatsoever. I thought things would just be taken care of by nature. Then when spring and summer rolled around I wondered why my bushes weren’t blooming like my neighbor’s roses. With a little research I now take rose gardening more serious.


Once I learned the simple way to grow roses with proper watering and fertilizing, my rose garden was the envy of the neighborhood. Roses do best when they are well watered; about one inch per week offers a good soaking. Healthy rose roots run deep into the soil, thus capable of extracting water from the sub-soil. This helps them tolerate dry spells.


By contrast, rose gardens that are offered only infrequent or light watering, will result in shallow roots and poor blossoms. Sadly these plants suffer in times of drought.


Proper rose growing also means fertilizing. Your garden of roses may go years without feeding when they are planted in rich soil. Organisms living in the soil are their best nutrients. By over fertilizing you can smother those beneficial bugs and your plants will become dependent on your fertilizer/nutrient instead -- not a good thing.


Pruning is extremely important when growing roses and is done in the spring after the plants have been dormant for the winter. This removes the dead, broken, or diseased wood from the plant. It also allows space for air to circulate making for a healthy plant. Another reason for pruning is to shape your plants; you will not have to repeat this pruning until after the plant has bloomed. To establish a new plant… try pruning the actual flowers themselves.


Those of us who take pride in our rose garden, whether it is a hobby or an urge that goes beyond mere need, the true joy comes from showing off the beautiful blossoms in a full range of colors. It’s hard to have a favorite.


Esther B. Smith, author

With several tangerine rose bushes, and one red rose bush, I was inspired to learn how easy it is to care for roses -- surprised and delighted because I don't have those puny, thorny branches anymore. For more rose information go here: