10 Tips For Growing Roses in Upstate New York
Appreciated for both their beauty and fragrance, roses are often a popular choice for home and estate gardeners alike. While they don’t take much more care to grow than other flowers, there are a few things you should know to help ensure their success in your garden.
- Bareroot vs. potted roses – You can purchase roses in two different forms: bareroot or potted. Which option you choose depends on your gardening expertise. Experienced gardeners may prefer bareroot roses, since there are generally more varieties to choose from, but more care is needed after planting. Potted roses are perfect for beginners since they are already well-established and easy to plant.
- Start with only a few varieties – There are over 150 species and 20,000 hybrid varieties of roses available, so it’s tempting to go all out and plant lots of different varieties. Starting with just a small assortment, however, will help you better match their colors and sizes to the space you have available.
- Prime location – Roses love sunshine, so be sure to plant them where they can get 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Since NY winters can be harsh, planting your roses along a south-facing fence or wall can help minimize winter damage from freezing temperatures.
- Proper timing – Planting roses early in the spring, after the last frost, is ideal for giving them enough time to get established before the heat of the summer. Similarly, rose planting in the fall should be done several weeks before the anticipated first frost date to give them time to root before winter arrives.
- Soil and spacing – Roses like to be planted in holes deep enough to fully cover their roots, and in soils that drain well. In areas where multiple rose bushes will be installed, make sure to plant them far enough apart to allow for future growth.
- Fertilization – As with most plants, roses like to be fed well. This includes regular fertilization with compost and other natural fertilizers. Follow application instructions carefully and you will enjoy impressive blooms!
- Consistent water – Roses like to have water, but not stay too wet. They grow best when the water levels are consistent throughout the growing season. This means automatic watering, such as an irrigation system, may need to be adjusted during times of excess rainfall. Watering should also be done directly to the roots, avoiding the foliage whenever possible.
- Pruning – Regular pruning every spring is helpful to remove dead or damaged canes and promote plant health. For specific pruning questions, feel free to ask one of our garden center associates or have the pruning done by our landscape maintenance division.
- Prevent disease – Choose disease-resistant varieties and your work to keep them healthy will be much easier. Avoid diseases such as powdery mildew by watering at the roots and also keeping plants pruned back to allow for sufficient air flow around the foliage.
- Display your results – Gardening isn’t any fun unless you have something to show for it. When your roses are blooming, don’t be afraid to cut some flowers to put in a vase or share with a friend. After all, they’re the flowers of love!