Planting and Care
Immediately unpack your roses and water them. Set them outside, weather permitting in a sheltered site, the east side of a buildings works well, for a few days. Your new roses will be coming out of our greenhouse and they will have been in a dark box during shipping. They will need a few days to harden off before you plant them in your garden.
Choose a site that gets a minimum of 6 hours of full sun each day. The albas can tolerate more shade, but bloom production is always better with more sun.
Dig a large hole 18 24 inches in diameter and 18 inches deep.
If you have heavy clay or sand, add half soil and half compost to back fill your hole so that the rose will sit at approximately the same level in the ground as it is growing in the pot. The organics will improve the soil texture and improve drainage. If you want to grow good roses, first you must grow good soil.
Add bone meal or phosphate to the bottom of your planting hole. Do not add any other chemical fertilizers at planting time.Fill the hole with your soil/compost mixture and water thoroughly 5-10 gallons. The water will settle the ground and remove any air pockets. When the water has drained into the ground finish filling the planting hole with the rest of your soil.
Mulch well a 2-3 inch layer. This will help conserve moisture and keep weeds down. If you are not planting in prepared beds, you can lay several layers of newspapers over the grass to make a diameter of 3-4 around your newly planted rose and cover with 2-3 inches of mulch. This will make mowing much easier.
Water your rose every 2-3 days for the first 6 weeks till it gets established and starts new growth.
After the rose starts to grow, you can use water-soluble fertilizers, or organic fertilizers like fish emulsions.
Do not fertilize after August 1. Your rose needs to prepare itself for the winter by slowing its growth rate and producing harder growth. Lush, actively growing roses are the most likely to be damaged by winter cold and winds. These bushes are on their own roots, so they are less likely to be killed by prolonged cold weather, but the rose needs time to prepare itself for the coming cold months.
In November, when the rose is starting to go dormant, add an additional 5-6 inches of mulch. This will help to insulate the ground from the freezing and thawing cycles that damage the root systems.
Prune only winterkilled canes for the first 2-3 years.
Deadheading removing the spent flowers will promote more blooms. Do not deadhead after August 1.
Most of these roses are resistant to the fungus diseases, blackspot and mildew, that plague the modern hybrid teas. Spray for disease only when necessary. Never spray the rugosas. Rugosas will turn yellow and loose their leaves if you do spray.
After the third year, remove a third of the growth each year to keep your bush rejuvenated. Roses bloom best on relatively new growth. The repeat blooming roses can be pruned this way any time from early spring through mid July. The once blooming roses should be pruned this way only after they have bloomed in late June or early July. If you pruned the once blooming roses hard in the spring, you would be eliminating lots of flowers in June.
Insecticides should only be used when necessary. Sawflies and other leaf chewing insects will need to be controlled on an "as needed basis" to get the best out of your roses.