Tips for growing & caring for your rose plant
Quote of the day
“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”
So you’ve contemplated that the rose plant in the nursery looked remarkably beautiful and decided to get one for your backyard. What next?
If you’ve always wanted to wake up to a balcony of roses in the morning, here’s an article of a step-by-step guide on how to grow & care for your rose plant. Rose plants are like babies. It would take a special person to grow this special flower.
Planting the Roses
Before choosing a spot to place your rose, make sure sunlight is readily available as the rose plant would need good sun exposure. If you plan to re-plant the rose tree from a poly-bag to the ground or bigger pot, soak it in a pail of water for about 2-8hours to soften the soil.
General rule of rose plants are that they have large roots & it’s essential to provide a deep pot/ hole for root growth. Soil is encouraged to be added with organic matters/ black soil to get a texture which will be easy water absorption. Roses need lots of water & ventilation, and proper fertilization.
Fertilization starts 2-3 months upon planting. Roses will bloom better if you use NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) ratios of about 1:2:1 that is more Phosphorous than nitrogen or potassium. Too much Nitrogen will lead to the plant preferring leaf growth to flower growth. A good rule for fertilization is bi-weekly/ once every 2 weeks for optimal results. Bear in mind that too much fertilization can kill any plant.
You could use mulch such as shredded wood, stones, coconut husk, sawdust, or hay. Mulching is essential for the plant to prevent water loss, discourage weed growth & avoid soil erosion. It also adds beauty to the garden.
For tropical hot weather where the temperature is around 30° Celsius, it’s essential to water your rose plants every day.
If it rains, heavily, you can skip watering for the day. On a day that rains less, it’s good if you just mist the leaves & flowers. If the sun shines hotter than usual, you might want to water it twice a day i.e. morning & evening.
If your rose plant has mulch, you would not need to water it too much as the mulch will retain the plants hydration for a longer time. Roses in pots will generally need more watering than those on the ground. It is not advisable to keep a plant at the bottom of the pot to retain water as the water on the dish can cause rotting of the roots. Try avoiding watering into the blooms as the water would remain stagnant in the flower buds and cause it to rot.
Use judgment when watering plants, hotter weather would need more water and colder weather less. Too much water will cause rotting of roots, & too less will cause infertility & dry out the plant.
Pruning for Rose Plants
The rose plants need pruning done as soon as the first batch of blooming comes to an end. The benefits of pruning includes promoting growth & bloom, to enhance light & air absorption, to remove dead or damaged stems, & shaping the plant.You would need to cut all branches and leave only about 6-10 healthy branches. You would need gloves to protect your hands from the thorns, a good quality bypass pruner. The right place to cut is above the bud.
- De-weed the rose plants with your hand by removing unwanted grass or leaves
- Start by removing dead/ unhealthy stems&
- Cut off thin stems that seem like crowding the tree
- Prune more in the centre to increase air & light ventilation
- Cut surface should be white. If brownish, re-cut until white surface is reached
- Make all cuts above a leaf bud that points towards the outside of the plant
- Remove any branches that grow at the bottom as this would cause the plant to sag
- Keep only healthy branches with dark green leave
Treating Common Rose Problems
Here are the most common diseases that will hit your rose plants and treatment methods
Powdery Mildew/Black Spots/Rust – It’s a fungal problem which occurs during dry & humid season. It has distinctive symptoms of white spots on leaves and stems. Left untreated, the leaves will start dropping and soon cause the plant to die off. Early treatment is best.
Treatment: To reduce this problem, water the plants (best during mornings) on the soil & less onto the leaves, to avoid residue build up or moisture retain. Air circulation & sanitation is important to prevent this problem and this can be attained by frequent pruning and cleaning up of leaves. Try spraying mixture of 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp oil, & 1 litre of water to treat and stop this problem. Another treatment solution involves dusting sulfur on the leaves affected as this would help to prevent spread. You could also use chemical fungicides (at a controlled level) to exterminate this fungal diseases.
Rose Mosaic – Is a virus induced problem (Rose Mosaic Virus/RMV) that affects you plant. A whitish or yellowish mosaic form, zig-zag patterns appear. This disease reduces the plants vitality and blooming but hardly ever kills the plant.
Treatment: Sadly, this kind of infection doesn’t have any treatment. The only way to control this problem is by thorough checking before purchasing a new plant or if suspected to have an infected plant in the garden; it is advisable to remove the infected plant all together.