15 Rose Growing Mistakes to Avoid This Season

  • michele greg
  • May 15, 2023

I’ve made my share of rose gardening errors, and paid the value with struggling rose bushes (and a number of wasted money and time). I’ve even killed a rose or two. To save lots of you an identical destiny, I’m right here to fess up about my errors so you’ll be able to have a beautiful rose season.

Roses are sturdy, long-lived vegetation which are a lot harder than their fussy status implies. In reality, generally we may give them a bit an excessive amount of pampering, unwittingly doing extra hurt than good.

Rose gardening doesn’t must be difficult and tough. With some good rising ideas beneath your belt, they could simply turn out to be essentially the most dependable perennial performers in your backyard. Let’s check out the commonest rose-growing errors so you’ll be able to stay up for a shocking summer time of blooms forward!

Mistake 1: Unsuitable Rose, Unsuitable Zone

Close-up of lady banks blooming roses on a blurred background. The plant produces clusters of lush yellow pompon flowers with many oval petals. The plant has elongated oval glossy green leaves with serrated edges.
Select the suitable rose on your local weather by researching and contemplating your native situations.

Plant the incorrect rose within the incorrect zone and set your self up for years (if it lives that lengthy) of making an attempt to save lots of a faltering rose. Deciding on the suitable roses on your local weather is the muse of your future rose gardening success.

It’s really easy to fall beneath the spell of fairly footage on the web. That lovely image of ‘Woman Banks’ masking a pergola with a great deal of puffy yellow blooms? In my zone 5b backyard the image could be of a useless stick.

Roses, like some other perennial vegetation, want particular climates and situations. Some are higher tailored to warmth and humidity and the illnesses that include these situations. Others are tolerant of harsh chilly winters. Don’t sentence a rose to wrestle in a local weather it’s not made to deal with.

Unsure what zone you’re in? Find it here. When researching roses to purchase (even when “analysis” merely means wanting on the tags of the prettiest ones you spy on the backyard middle) make certain they’re tailored to outlive in your situations.

When you choose the suitable rose on your soil and climate, it could actually stay for many years! How will you make certain your rose is prone to thrive? Ask your native nursery what roses do nicely in your space. On-line, totally learn the outline of what zone and situations the rose prefers.

Mistake 2: Unsuitable Spot within the Backyard

Close-up of a blooming rose bush in a sunny garden against a blurred background. The rose bush has upright stems with pinnately compound dark green leaves with oval serrated leaflets. The buds are large, lush, bright orange with double petals.
Take into account the quantity of direct daylight, house, and dimension necessities.

You’ve received the right rose, confirmed to develop nicely in your local weather. Now you simply plant it within the backyard, proper? Nearly.

Earlier than you plant your rose within the incorrect spot, hold these concerns in thoughts:

  1. Roses like 6-8 hours of direct daylight. Morning solar is preferable to sizzling afternoon rays that may scorch petals and leaves. When you solely have dappled shade to work with, take a look at rose varieties that also carry out with much less mild.
  2. Roses like somewhat room. Rose bushes planted too shut collectively are extra weak to illness on account of lack of airflow. They will additionally wrestle with root competitors. Plant no less than 2-3 ft aside to present them some house to breathe.
  3. Plan for mature dimension. When you purchased a rose that grows to fifteen ft tall and almost as vast, be sure to place it the place it’s going to have sufficient room and any wanted vertical help, even when it seems to be like a tiny sprout proper now.

You may relocate a rose that isn’t thriving in its present location, however you’ll save your self a number of time and hassle when you choose a superb website from the get-go.

Mistake 3: Digging a Good Circle

Top view, close-up of a rose bush planting in a dug hole. The shrub has stems covered with small sharp thorns and pinnately compound leaves with oval green leaflets with serrated edges. The gardener is wearing black gloves with orange accents.
Dig an irregularly-shaped gap as an alternative of a perfectly-shaped circle to present the roots extra room to increase and attain vitamins.

When digging a gap for a brand new rose, most gardeners suppose they need to dig a pleasant clear circle. In any case, the foundation ball within the pot is in a circle. As an alternative, you need to dig an irregularly-shaped straight up ugly gap. Why?

A superbly formed circle makes it tougher on your rose’s roots to increase and attain vitamins. An irregular gap with little tunnels and fissures already in place will forestall roots from struggling to increase outward.  

Put together an unpleasant gap and resist the urge to be neat and tidy. That is one occasion the place being messy pays off.

Mistake 4: Planting with Fancy Soil

Close-up of planting a small rose bush in the garden. Women's hands in purple gloves fill the hole with a rose bush with soil. The bush is young, has vertical stems with pinnately compound leaves with oval green leaflets with serrated edges.
Utilizing fancy soil within the planting gap can result in stunted development of roses.

My backyard’s soil is a significant problem. 12 inches down, I’ve lithic mattress rock. If I unearth sufficient large rocks, I attain sand. Whereas I really like the seaside, my roses want a bit extra vitamins from the soil.

Considering I might give my roses the perfect begin with wealthy, nutrient-rich soil, I purchased luggage of fancy soil from my nursery, and stuffed my planting gap with it. Surrounding the opening was my yard’s pure rock and sand. What’s the issue?

My roses liked the flowery soil! Sadly, as soon as the roots expanded sufficient to succeed in the boundary of the opening, they didn’t like my native situations in any respect. As an alternative of rising outward, the roots coiled again round themselves in a circle to remain of their cozy spot, stunting their development.

Regardless of how dangerous it’s, that you must backfill the planting hole with your native soil. In any other case, your rose may not be capable to deal with it as roots develop outward. Don’t fear, you’ll be able to nonetheless deal with the rose to compost, fertilizer, and mulch. Extra about that to return.

Mistake 5: A Backyard Mattress Only for Roses

garden bed with flowering rose bushes. The bushes have tall vertical stems with pinnately compound dark green leaves with oval serrated leaflets. The buds are large, lush, double, classic rose shape, pink, red and yellow.
Planting solely roses collectively invitations future issues, and for wholesome roses, companion planting is really useful.

When you love roses, you is likely to be tempted to put aside a particular place within the backyard only for them. A proper rose backyard, if you’ll. You think about neat traces of spectacular specimen vegetation, able to be admired.

Plant solely roses collectively, and also you’re inviting future issues. In a mattress completely for roses, illnesses and pests want solely mosey on over to the following plant for straightforward pickings. Quickly, your complete rose backyard is battling aphids, black spot, or worse, Rose Rosette Illness.

For wholesome roses, companion planting is your finest device. Thoughtfully chosen companion vegetation don’t simply improve the fantastic thing about your backyard. They appeal to useful predators (lazy gardener pest management!), repel pests, retain soil moisture, make it tougher for illnesses to unfold, and supply shelter from harsh climate.

Mistake 6: No Mulch

Close-up of a garden mulch bed with trimmed rose bushes. Mulch is pine, orange-red. Rose bushes have upright, pale green stems with small thorns.
Mulch is an important step to keep away from issues with erosion, nutrient loss, water runoff, and weeds, and supply extra meals on your roses.

You’ve planted your climate-adapted rose in an irregular gap. You’ve backfilled with native soil. You’ve planted with fairly companions. To this point so good. There’s one final step you should by no means skip.

Don’t let that rose sit in naked soil! Naked soil results in issues with erosion, nutrient loss, water runoff and evaporation, and weeds.

Your roses, like most vegetation, will do finest with some mulch. This invaluable layer will gradual weed development, shield soil and vitamins from harsh climate, stabilize temperature, and preserve moisture. Better of all, natural mulch breaks down over time to counterpoint the soil for you.

You may select a wide range of mulches, however natural layers of chopped leaves, wooden chips, pine needles, or straw are good selections that can present extra meals on your roses as they step by step break down. You too can use low-growing companion vegetation as a dwelling mulch.

A couple of inches of mulch is good. Pull it barely away from the bottom of your rose to keep away from rot.

Mistake 7: Overhead Watering

Close-up of a gardener watering bushes of flowering roses with a mint watering can. The gardener is dressed in high rubber boots and a beige apron. Rose bushes are tall, covered with pinnately compound leaves and large double flowers of bright red and lavender.
Overhead watering may cause fungal and bacterial illnesses on roses, however it’s okay to water from the highest so long as the leaves dry out shortly afterward.

This one at all times results in a number of questions. The rain waters roses from above and so they find it irresistible! Many hose attachments particularly include a rain setting, to softly mimic the overhead watering offered by nature.

How can overhead watering result in issues? The fungal and bacterial illnesses that strike roses love moist situations. If foliage stays moist for a number of hours, points like black spot, powdery mildew, and anthracnose can present up. Gardeners that stay in significantly wet areas most likely see no less than considered one of these illnesses each season.

So sure, you’ll be able to hose of your rose from the highest. Nonetheless, the leaves have to dry out afterward, and fairly shortly, to keep away from fungal points. If you wish to overhead water, do it within the morning of a pleasant, sunny day.

More often than not, it’s best to water on the base of your rose towards the roots, the place the hydration is most wanted.

Mistake 8: Frequent, Shallow Watering

Close-up of a gardener's hand with a green hose watering bushes of blooming roses in a sunny garden. Rose has large double flowers of pale peach color. The leaves are oval, flat, glossy green with serrated edges.
Roses require deep watering and never shallow sprinkler watering, so use a hose or drip irrigation at root stage a few times every week.

Whereas we’re on the subject of watering, let’s sort out one other widespread mistake. Once I planted my first roses, I figured the sprinkler system that watered the turf grass would do exactly as nicely for my rose bushes.

Whereas the sprinklers work nice for among the vegetation in my backyard, roses hate the shallow each day watering they supply. As an alternative, plan to water roses deeply by way of a superb soak with the hose or drip irrigation at root stage, the place it’s truly wanted. This prevents wasted water and moist leaves, too.

Established roses solely want about 2-3 gallons of water, a few times per week, relying on how sizzling and dry the climate. If utilizing the hose, enable it trickle on the base for about 20 minutes every watering. Newly planted roses, particularly in sizzling climate, will want extra water. Up their consumption to 3-4 occasions every week.

Don’t overwater! Soggy soil could result in root rot. As an alternative of following a set schedule, assure you’re giving roses what they want by checking the soil each time you intend to water. If it’s bone dry at knuckle-deep, it’s time to water. Nonetheless moist? Wait a day or two and test once more.

Mistake 9: Fertilizing Proper Away

Close-up of a woman's hand with granular fertilizer over a freshly planted rose bush in the garden. The bush has short trimmed stems of pale green color.
To keep away from overfeeding and potential harm, it’s finest to offer solely the required vitamins for roses.

We need to give our roses the perfect begin. Fertilizers present diet and assist vegetation develop, so a number of it, proper at planting time, appears like a good suggestion.

You solely need to present your roses the vitamins they really want. Extra nitrogen can burn child roots and trigger vegetation to concentrate on growth of a number of inexperienced, leafy development relatively than bloom manufacturing. An excessive amount of nitrogen also can run off and hurt our waterways.

I as soon as watered in an artificial fertilizer on the base of my model new bare-root rose. It quickly turned black and died. Don’t be like me. Let mature naked root roses leaf out earlier than supplementing with vitamins.

Till younger, newly-planted roses have had a little bit of time to get established, water and daylight will present all they want. When you have poor high quality soil, you may give them a lift with natural compost or a mild liquid kelp method. Keep away from stronger artificial fertilizers till they’ve been within the backyard for a season.

Mistake 10: Killing All of the Bugs

Close-up of a green aphid swarm on a young shoot of roses against a blurred green background. Rose shoots have red stems and oval leaves with serrated edges. Aphids are tiny soft-bodied green insects.
Aphids on roses could appeal to useful predators, so it’s finest to keep away from pesticides that may hurt pure pest management.

You’ve come out to admire your roses. Yesterday, they seemed stuffed with recent buds, ready to open. Right this moment, you have a look and there are little bugs crawling everywhere in the tender new development. The aphids have arrived.

Earlier than you google pesticides, take a deep breath. These aphids are a tasty buffet for birds, predatory wasps, lacewings, hoverflies, and girl bugs. When you spray them with insecticide, you doubtlessly kill the useful predators that present pure pest management. 

The aphids will disappear for some time. However quickly, they’ll be again. The predators, nonetheless? They’re out of right here. Quickly, you’re consistently spraying dangerous chemical compounds in your backyard, preventing an ongoing battle you’re destined to lose.

When noticing pests in your backyard, a little bit of tolerance and a balanced strategy will enable you create an ecosystem the place pure predators will do nearly all of pest killing for you. Give aphids a pair weeks (or simply hose them off), and also you’ll be stunned at how nicely the issue resolves by itself.

The caterpillar munching on leaves may be relocated, and can quickly be a pollinating butterfly. Don’t neglect that no matter you spray on the little guys has an impression on the opposite creatures that eat them, are close by, or land on the plant.

Not all bugs want the identical strategy, and a few do want your intervention to go away. Learn extra about pest management and roses for a wholesome balanced backyard.

Mistake 11: Forgetting to Deadhead

Close-up of a female gardener pruning dead rose flowers, in a sunny garden. The bushes are small, composed of erect stems covered with oval green leaves with pointed edges. The flowers are large, peony-shaped, double, cream-colored. The gardener is dressed in blue sneakers and a striped apron.
To make sure the continuous blooming of your roses, deadhead them by snapping or trimming off spent blooms simply above an outward-facing leaf node.

Your roses had a powerful spring flush, and also you’re ready impatiently for the following show. Ready, ready, and now the frost is right here? This isn’t the continuous blooming the label promised.

Except you bought a self-cleaning selection, blooms left to wither on the bush sign to your rose that it’s time to provide hips stuffed with seeds and enter dormancy. If you need a number of repeat blooming all through the season, that you must deadhead!

Deadheading is straightforward and straightforward. As soon as the blooms are spent, merely snap them off, and even higher, trim them down with pruners simply above an outward going through leaf node. This can set off new development and extra blooms.

All the time cease deadheading 6-8 weeks earlier than your final frost date. This can let the rose enter dormancy and forestall new development from dying off within the chilly.

Mistake 12: Soiled Pruning Shears

Close-up of a woman's hand with an orange pruner pruning a dry rose flower. The rose bush has lush, dark green, pinnately compound foliage with serrated edges. The flowers are large, bright orange-red with double petals, the tips of which are slightly bent back.
Soiled pruning shears can unfold illnesses and pests between vegetation, and must be cleaned between makes use of to forestall contamination.

I’m a lazy gardener. I’m tempted to maneuver from plant to plant, utilizing the identical shears. I’m additionally tempted to set them on the counter, coated in dust and particles, and choose them up and use them once more subsequent time. What’s the hurt?

Soiled pruners can unfold illnesses and tiny pests between vegetation. When you simply trimmed off foliage stricken by fungus, you don’t need to infect the following plant you go to. Whereas wind, splashing water, and contaminated soil can transfer illnesses round, so can your soiled shears.

So, I’ve now disciplined myself to maintain my pruning shears good and clear. I carry round a jar of rubbing alcohol as I prune, and dip them into it between rose bushes. It’s turn out to be a simple behavior. You too can use a sprig bottle and spritz them earlier than tackling the following plant.

Mistake 13: Not Pruning

Close-up of a young woman pruning a rose bush with red secateurs in a blooming garden. The woman is wearing a white T-shirt, blue shirt and white gloves. The rose bush has climbing stems covered with pinnately compound glossy green foliage with serrated edges. The shrub produces clusters of small, lush double flowers in soft pink with golden stamens in the centers.
Pruning is important for wholesome and productive roses.

Pruning might be essentially the most intimidating matter for brand spanking new rose growers. Anxious they could do one thing incorrect and hurt the plant, some keep away from pruning altogether. Quickly you’ve an unmanageable rose bush that has grown too massive, an underperformer that hardly blooms, or a rose affected by poor airflow and illnesses.

Roses want pruning to carry out their finest. An excellent prune can:

  • Revive an underperforming bush
  • Present important air circulation
  • Handle unfold of illness
  • Management form and dimension
  • Set off wholesome new development and extra blooms

Earlier than pruning, make certain your rose is no less than 3 years previous. It’s going to do finest to develop naturally till then, except you see diseased or useless canes.

Mistake 14: Failing to Clear Up

Close-up of a blooming rose bed in a garden. Yellow, purple and red roses grow in a flower bed. The bushes are tall, have vertical stems with lush pinnately compound leaves with oval serrated dark green leaves. The buds are lush, double, consist of several layers of rounded petals. There are fallen rose petals on the soil at the base of the plants.
Tidying up your roses after pruning or deadheading is vital as illnesses and pests can overwinter in soil and particles.

We’ve established that I’m lazy. I wish to stroll alongside my roses, snapping off useless blooms. I’m responsible of pruning off unhealthy wanting leaves, letting them fall to the bottom and decay on their very own. Kind of like free compost.

I’ve disciplined myself into doing higher, and right here’s why.  Not solely can illnesses and pests journey to new vegetation by way of wind and water, many additionally overwinter within the soil and particles to strike once more.

It’s vital to clear up after you prune or deadhead your roses. When you like, you’ll be able to let particles fall to the bottom and rake it up afterward. Diseased plant matter ought to at all times be bagged up and thrown away or burned. Take away: hold your roses in fine condition by tidying up.

Mistake 15: Lack of Winter Safety

Close-up of a rose bush in a safe shelter for the winter. Shelter is a white dense breathable fabric that protects the plant from frost. The rose bush has short, upright stems covered with small thorns.
Offering winter safety is vital for all roses, and may be so simple as offering shelter or mulch.

When you’ve executed an excellent job of choosing roses that may deal with your local weather’s coldest temperatures, winter safety will likely be much less of a difficulty. Nonetheless, all roses can undergo from chilly, drying winds and unseasonal frosts. Hardy roses will make it by way of, however they might expertise some dieback that can should be pruned off.

In case your roses are vital to you, offering winter safety can assist guarantee they make it by way of to subsequent season in the perfect form attainable. This may be so simple as offering a little bit of shelter by way of a porch or fence or defending the crown with a little bit of mulch.

Roses grown in containers want further safety. Their roots are extra uncovered to the chilly and lack the insulation offered by the bottom. Group them collectively to extend heat, present shelter, and think about wrapping the containers in black plastic to insulate.

Remaining Ideas

When you’ve made a few of these widespread errors, know that you simply’re in good firm. Whereas some missteps are an inevitable a part of the gardening journey, studying from them will make you a greater gardener.

Roses are tenacious perennials that may stand up to a number of mishaps, and when you do expertise loss, it’s not too late to do higher subsequent time. Right here’s wishing you a stunning season. Get pleasure from your roses!

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