Organic Rose Gardening

Rose planting has become more and more popular with rose enthusiasts. Long before the man-made chemicals were invented, rose gardens flourished from natural nutrients already in rich soil. But, having said that, one can increase the longevity of their roses plus keep your family, pet and wildlife away from harmful chemicals just by changing to organic rose gardening.

It is only when man gets it into his head that he can do better than nature when things start getting out of balance. Normally all plants absorb nutrients and water from their roots. Leaves from plants go through photosynthesis which in the process of using water and sunlight, make energy. Soil naturally contains bacteria, fungus, nematodes, worms, and other organisms which break down dead material that enrich the soil. When we use chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides we destroy natural soil organisms and disrupt the natural relationship of the roses and the soil. Without helpful bacteria to protect rose plantings, harmful fungi can move in and harm the roots. Even worse, if your rose garden becomes addicted to chemical fertilizers they will soon depend on your nutrients instead of natures.

You might be surprised to learn that going organic is inexpensive and easy. Just leave out the cost of chemical fertilizers and pest controls. Of course some soil might need a little help by working compost into the soil of a new rose planting or as a top dressing or mulch in an existing garden.

The best compost for growing roses would be a home-grown compost; quite simple to do. Start a compost pile in your yard or one of the easy containers on the market with the capability of turning the pile to ensure that all of the compost is decaying properly. Just add decaying plant clippings, animal waste, grass clippings, dried leaves and even kitchen scraps like fruit peels or fish heads and allowing it to decompose over time.

Organic rose gardening also means avoiding pest controls but that does not mean that you are completely helpless against pests. Sometimes pesticides not only kill the insects that are doing the damage to your plants, they will kill the insects that help your rose gardens by eating damaging insects. Lady bugs and some wasps are considered beneficial for preying on insect pests. Birds will eat grubs and even frogs, lizards and snakes also help to prevent pest problems. If a pesticide seems the only answer owners can purchase organic or natural pesticides that are very effective and are less toxic. Often they "target" a specific problem by killing only that type of pest and not much else.

The goal in rose planting is to grow the largest blooms, the most fragrant and over all most beautiful roses in the neighborhood. Heritage prize winners sell their coveted seeds for serious dollars... and you can bet they came from an organic rose garden.


Esther B. Smith, author
Learning the natural nutrients available to us as rose enthusiasts is not rocket-science. Come visit us for more on this subject. .