So you’ve always dreamed of having that wonderful rose plant nursery in Indore filled with sweetly scented and gorgeously coloured blooms – but not sure where to start? Here are some basic guidelines to getting started with planting a rose garden.
Hot or Cold – what is your climate?
The first thing to do is to check with your local nursery what types of roses do best in your local climate. Some roses cannot tolerate cold, but others do quite well. It’s important that you purchase the right variety of roses that will grow well in your particular region.
Next, when you are looking for a spot in your garden to plant your roses, check for someplace that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day, preferably morning sun. Yes, your roses like sunbathing and planting them in a shady spot won’t do them any favours. There are more shade tolerant varieties, so if you really can’t offer a sunny spot, you need to research those types of roses that can take less sun. Unfortunately, though, these shade-tolerant varieties are often more prone to disease.
If you plan to grow roses in cold winter climates (below -12.22°C), here are some tips on when to plant roses for the best results:
Plant hardy roses such as ‘Applejack,’ ‘Carefree Beauty, ”John Cabot,’ or ‘Prairie Princess,’ that are known for their cold hardiness.
Choose own-root roses that are hardier than budded roses, such as most miniatures and many old garden roses. They don’t have a bud union that is vulnerable to the cold temps.
Plant deeper than normal, so the bud union is well below the surface and has a layer of soil above it for protection.
Winterize to protect your roses. Most roses properly prepared for cold weather are hardened off. Roses generally are hardened off gradually with the onset of fall and winter. In this process, the plant cell walls thicken as they become dormant. More on winterizing your roses will be the topic for another article.
Temperature also influences the spacing of your roses. Rose plants don’t grow as large in areas where winters are severe. For example, hybrid tea roses need 1 ½ to 3 feet between plants while large hybrid perpetual roses require 3 to 5 feet, and climbing roses need 8 to 10 feet of space.
Roses crave sunshine but dealing with too much or too little depends on choosing the appropriate varieties and planting sites for your climate in areas where temperatures are generally above 0°C. Roses tend to grow and bloom most of the year. So it is essential to water, deadhead, and fertilize more often. In temperate climates, roses need some rest but may require winter pruning and leaf pulling to force them into dormancy.
Heat tolerance has some surprising effects on roses, especially on the colour and the character of roses. Red roses with 45 to 50 petals need heat at night to open properly. For cooler zones, roses with fewer petals are preferred. Warmth fuses the colours of the petals, while heat (temperatures over 32.222°C) slows growth. More heat means that you need to water often so that the soil never dries out.
Soil and Compost: Giving your Roses the best bed
Roses like well-drained soil. In other words, soil that is not too full of clay retains water. Whilst roses like to be well watered; they don’t like standing in waterlogged soil afterwards. So don’t plant your roses in spots where water tends to remain after rain or areas which remain marshy hours after rainfall.
Before you plant your roses, you should also check what the soil pH balance is. The best soil will have a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. and you can get special soil testing kits at most garden centres. You can also get advice on balancing the pH of the soil if it is incorrect from these garden centres. It’s best to get the soil right before you plant your roses.
The final step – planting your roses
Planting is almost always best undertaken in spring if possible. In that way, you can capitalize on the growth spurt that takes place in springtime. Dig a large enough hole so that the roots of your rose bush have plenty of space. A good rule of thumb is to dig a hole that is twice as large as the amount of space that the roses will take up. This makes them easier to plant, and the roses will have plenty of space to grow. It also allows good circulation around the roots, which is good for preventing fungal diseases. Add plenty of compost to the hole with lots of organic matter – this will help nourish the roots and aid with drainage. Soak the seeds in some water for a few minutes before you plant the bush to ensure the roots are well hydrated. It would help if you also cut off any root ends that are broken.
For the first three to four weeks after planting, the roses will need to be watered often. If the top two inches of soil are dry, you will need to keep it moist to ensure that the roses receive plenty of water to remain hydrated. Rose food is also helpful and will ensure that the plants remain healthy. After four weeks, you will want to soak the bed every two weeks. It is best to do this in the mornings for optimum results.
Soon, you will reap the rewards of all this effort as your roses present you with gorgeous blooms.