Rose Care 101
Roses are not nearly as hard to grow as many people seem to think. They do require maintenance to help them grow to the best of their ability, but the payoff is well worth the time invested.
As we all know, West Texas is not the easiest place to grow plants. Surprisingly, roses seem to do very well here. They can take the heat and sun, and do not mind dry conditions (they prefer it, actually).
Here are some tips to help you get your roses going and help them thrive:
Roses require regular feeding. It takes a lot of energy to grow all of those beautiful blooms, and that energy must be replenished. Plants restore energy the same way people do-they ingest nutrients. We suggest Fertilome Rose and Flower food with Systemic Insecticide. Apply it every 4-6 weeks during the growing season for great looking, bug-free plants.
Roses do not like for their feet to stay wet. In other words, their roots do better in moist, but not soaked, soil. In West Texas, with all the clay and caliche soil we have, drainage can be a problem. The easiest way to tell if the roses are unhappy with their water situation is to check the leaves. Overwatering is indicated by browning at the tips of the leaves which moves backward toward the stem.
Most rose growers know that dead-heading (removing) spent flowers extends the bloom period of the plant. Yearly pruning can also help your rose bushes thrive. Roses can get overgrown and 'leggy' over time, so removing unwanted branches and reducing height can produce a better looking plant. Be careful, though. You never want to do major pruning during the spring or summer. January or February is the best time for pruning in our area.