Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rose Care

Let’s Get Ready For Spring

February is the time to prune rose bushes. This annual pruning event rejuvenates roses, and a yearly prune of rose bushes is vital for the long-life and to insure profuse blooms throughout the growing season. There are two times a year when roses are given a hard prune and that is in the spring and fall. The spring prune is where the rose bush is pruned to a height of 24 to 36 inches, and the fall prune the rose bush should be pruned down by one third of the overall height of the bush.

For spring pruning, first look for old cane, dead canes, or canes with brittle wood. Trim off any old canes and twiggy growth. Any cane that is touching or rubbing against each other should be removed.

Second, look at the bud union; the bud union is the area on the rose bush that is slightly swollen. The bud union is sometimes called the graft union. On the bud union look for dry, old, scaly wood and remove it with a dull knife or a stiff brush. The bud union is the area where new shoots will emerge, which will soon produce canes. While inspecting the bud union, also, look for suckers that are occasionally produced below the graft or bud union. If, you see any suckers remove all suckers.

Third, prune the healthy canes back to a finished height of 24 to 36 inches tall. The end result will be a rose bush that is between 24 to 36 inches tall with 6 to 8 healthy canes. If the rose bush has already started a new flush of growth, trim that cane back to a dormant bud. This will initiate more dormant buds to flush out. Along the cane look for a dormant bud that faces towards the outside of the rose bush and prune above the dormant bud to initiate new growth. The new growth should grow towards the outside of the bush and not to the inside of the bush. For old and large canes, or canes bigger than a pencil it is recommended to use a sealing compound such as: Elmer’s glue or orange shellac to help prevent insects and diseases infecting the new cuts. In some areas of the South Cane Bores can be a problem on roses that have large canes and the practice of sealing the canes is highly recommended.

After the pruning is complete dispose of all canes and rake any new or dormant leaf litter. This procedure helps to keep insects and diseases down.

Lastly, a new layer of mulch needs to be added to the roses. The mulch should be at least two to three inches thick. By adding mulch to the rose garden, the mulch will act as a weed barrier; also, keep the roses cool in the summer months and warm in the winter months, and help to conserve water moisture.

When the first new flush of growth appears after the hard prune is when the rose fertilizer, spray, and everyday pruning programs should begin. See below for recommendations.

As a professional horticulturist I pruned the roses in my care every year in the manner mentioned above and had excellent results. For daily, weekly, or fresh cut rose pruning, I recommend trimming your roses during the growing season with the five-fingered leaf method. This method involves looking for the desired rose blossom to be cut; and, also, look for the second or third leaf that has five leaflets and trim underneath that leaf. Also, look for a dormant bud that faces towards the outside of the cane. If, you desire long stem roses one should trim to the desired length or longer than the height of the vase. Using this method helps to keep the rose bush well shaped, and contained during the growing season.

Hibiscus and More Would Like Release Their Secrets To A Successful Rose Garden, and Hibiscus and More would like to recommend the following products for a successful rose garden.

Roses usually will have a Japanese Beetle problem, to combat this problem use “Milky Spore” for control over the larvae (grubs) of Japanese Beetles. Use according to package directions. “Milky Spore” is a biological-friendly alternative to spraying harsh chemicals for Japanese Beetles.

To prevent Blackspot on Roses, spray the bushes after pruning with Pentathlon, formerly known as Manzate. This is a “contact killer” for Blackspot.

Rose are heavy feeders and a regular fertilizing program is essential to an abundance of rose blossoms the entire growing season. Hibiscus and More would like to recommend this fertilizer for our reader’s. “Bayer Advanced 2-In-1 Rose and Flower Care” – feeds and protects against insects for 6 weeks. Use according to package directions. As a weekly supplement, Hibiscus and More, would recommend a foliar feed of “Scotts Miracle Gro Rose Food” for those that are not familiar with the rose food it is a water soluble rose food that can be used as a foliar feed or as a soil drench.

Let’s Get Ready For Spring Gardening!!!

Hibiscus and More Would Like To Recommend The Following:

Start Planting Your Spring Vegetable Seeds: Bush Beans, Tomatoes, Peppers, Herbs, and Egg Plant.

Plant Cool Season Vegetables or Vegetables Seeds: Carrots, Beets, Onions (Georgia Sweet), Lettuce, Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, Radishes (matures in 22 days when starting from seed), Peas, Asparagus, and Elephant Garlic. To start your vegetable garden Hibiscus and More has wonderful Cedar Containers and Boxes for all your gardening needs.

With Spring just around the corner bring, in branches of Flowering Quince, Forsythia, and Spirea to enjoy indoors. Place the branches in a vase and they will bloom in a few days.

Visit Hibiscus and More for more information about the care of your Hibiscus.

Happy Spring Gardening From Hibiscus and More