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Roses are seriously some of the prettiest flowers on earth! A super dreamy flower, symbolizing love or celebrations. They are always the most popular bouquet to give to someone too!
What I love most about roses is how unexpected their blooms actually are. The plant itself isn’t that pretty. The leaves are scarce and the stem is full of thorns, but the flower is unsurpassed!
I started out growing roses nine years ago now in a pot on my balcony in California. It grew about three or four foot tall and made the biggest, most beautiful blooms. I was so proud of that plant! When we moved back to Texas, it made it through one winter, then died. Our weather is way more harsh than it was in California. Since then, I have grown them in all types of pots and I have them all over my yard.
I have found some really great chemist tips over the years that really keep your roses looking healthy, vivid, and continually blooming all season. I was lucky enough to study horticulture in college which really helped me pick up some tips. Growing flowers is definitely a science!
P.S – Don’t have a yard? No problem, these work for potted plants too! Be sure to check out my patio/container tab for more inspiration!
Here are my Chemist Solutions: Six Tips for Making Your Rose Blooms Big, Beautiful, and Healthy All Season Long.
Pruning is something that should be done in early spring. If you missed that, don’t worry! Trimming is still key to get them to continue to produce flowers all season. Trimming sparks new growth in a rose bush, but make sure you do it correctly. Read this post for all the details to make sure you do it properly. It won’t hurt your rose bush if you don’t do it 100% correct, but it will hinder it from producing healthy, new growth!
In my fall garden checklist, I mentioned my thoughts on winter pruning. Depending on your location, many experts recommend NOT to prune in the fall because it does cause the rose to grow and that isn’t what you want before winter. In Texas, I always prune lightly in early spring. Some years, I will do a heavy prune, but I really concentrate on trimming properly every few weeks during the blooming season. That is the best, surefire way to keep them blooming!
Yes! This is one of the best, totally free fertilizers available which works wonders for roses! Among other things, egg shells are full of calcium which is such a good nutrient for roses. In horticulture, we learned that calcium really strengthened the tissue of a rose which keeps it sturdy and strong. This allows it to grow bigger healthier blooms!
I use egg shells a few different ways. I will mix in some crushed shells into potting soil and add that to potted roses (other plants too!), but the easiest way is to crush up the shells really fine, then simple sprinkle to the top soil layer around the rose. The finer the egg shell is crushed, the faster it will release calcium into the soil.
This tip is something I have always used more for potted plants, but last month I decided to really test it out on my hybrid tea roses (see picture below). It made a HUGE difference in the size and quality of this bloom. This is the healthiest it has been since I planted it!
Another amazing chemical for your roses is coffee. Coffee grounds are full of nitrogen which is very important for the soil. Roses love neutral or acidic soil, so the addition of nitrogen is perfect. I save my grounds, let them dry a bit, then sprinkle them on the base of the rose.
You can also add it to a compost pile you have which will further enrich the soil. I just keep it simple though and sprinkle a bit on after I use my french press 🙂
Be careful not to add too much though! It can backfire and hurt the roses!
Keep Off Black Spots
Black spotting isn’t a huge deal usually in Texas, but the last few years we have had so much rain, it keeps the soil moist for long periods of time. This produces that dreaded fungal disease, black spots. I have been using these black spot tips for over a year, and it has kept the spotting down to just a few leaves occasionally. Always remove leaves that show any sign of black spots!
The only insects I struggle with, and usually only potted roses, are aphids. Over the years, the only treatment I have found helpful for this is to immediately power wash the aphids off the minute I see any sign. Then, I spray the area with an insecticide immediately. I have tried the three below over the years and have had success with all of them
The Garden Safe brand is organic, which I typically prefer, so I always keep this on hand! I know many areas in the United States have more insect problems, so definitely check out this article from the UC Agriculture department which has some common insect problems and how to manage them!
Just remember to keep up with it and always treat the roses at the first sign of insects!
Always Use Mulch
I swear by mulch! I mulch about twice a year. I do it in the fall after I clean up the roses. This protects the flower bed soil and will protect roots from cold weather. I also mulch again in the very early spring after I prune. Mulching at this time is important because it will protect the bud from dehydration.
Mulch has also helped my flower beds from getting too wet when we have heavy rainfall. Without it, the roses just stand in water which leads to black spots!
Many have asked about fertilizing their roses. I do occasionally use a store bought fertilizer to feed my roses, but the tips above I have shared are what have truly helped my roses flourish. I try to keep the chemicals to a minimum. Watering is something that will really depend on your weather. I only start watering my roses in the deep part of Summer when we don’t get rain and temperatures are over 100 degrees. Usually the rain keeps them healthy, and they are so established, the roots are very deep.
If your roses are new, you will definitely want to pay them extra attention on these matters. Refer to this guide on watering.
Just for fun, I wanted to show you some quick iphone pictures of how my climbing roses have grown like crazy since I planted them in March 2014. I made my own rose trellis, and these pictures just don’t do them justice! Each time I walk in the backyard, I am blown away by the many red roses that just cover this area!
Do you have any flowers you enjoy growing?