All about Roses

April 2, 2017

It’s April and this is the time to start thinking about your roses. Begin removing any extra winter protection you added to your rose beds. Remove any leaves or soil. In the next couple weeks, you may begin pruning your plants. Climbers should be pruned about 1/3 of their height. Shrubs and Knockout Roses should be pruned to give them good form. Hybrid Teas, Floribundas & Grandifloras need to be pruned about 2/3 of their height. You should also be pruning out a few of the middle canes from your established roses. This helps to promote good air circulation.

When you prune the die back, you need to cut until you see a creamy white center. Sealing the cut with wood glue helps prevent cane borers. If you add a small amount of food coloring, you will be able to see which canes have been done. Keep in mind that roses need to be pruned to promote growth. Right after the roses have been pruned, you need to fertilize them. Fertilization helps to promote growth as well as help them to get over the trauma of being cut.

About the same time as pruning, you should begin your watering schedule. In cooler temperatures, you should be watering once a week. During warmer temps, 85 degrees or higher, do it twice a week. When you water, run a slow running hose at the base of the plant for about 15 or 20 minutes for each rose. Roses like deep watering not frequent watering. Don’t water overhead. Getting the leaves wet will promote Black Spot.

It is also time to start fertilizing your roses. For the first round of fertilizer, I recommend  fish fertilizer. It’s not too harsh and won’t stress your roses. The next week, if your roses are established, use Bayer All in One. This product should then be used on a 6-week schedule. Every 2 weeks, alternate between fish emulsion, Miracid, and Bayer All in One. Roses prefer slightly acidic soil which is why I like to use Miracid. The soil in this area tends to be very alkaline. Be sure to stop in our store. Wenke has everything you need to get started with your fertilizer schedule.

It is helpful to use a garden calendar to keep track of your watering and fertilizer schedule.

If you have any questions about your roses, you can reach me at

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