Serious Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Long-Lasting Roses In The Garden

Serious Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Long-Lasting Roses In The Garden

Roses are a wonderful addition to any outdoor space, whether you’re creating a beautiful garden or enhancing the curb appeal of your home. With over 30,000 cultivars, there’s sure to be a rose that will suit your interests. However, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that can stunt the growth of your roses or even cause them to die prematurely. To prevent these issues, it’s important to supply your plants with the right amount of fertilizer and water, and to prune and deadhead them regularly and in a timely manner.

Although roses are generally low-maintenance flowers, they can be quite particular about their growing conditions. They thrive in direct sunlight and rich, well-draining soil. As perennials, they can survive for several years without dying off each winter. Instead, they enter a state of dormancy during the coldest months of the year, allowing them to bounce back and produce blossoms the following spring. While some varieties of roses drop their blooms naturally once they’re done growing, roses, in general, aren’t entirely self-sufficient and appreciate any extra care their gardeners provide. With proper care, your roses will reward you with enhanced growth, more abundant blossoms, and a healthier and longer-lasting plant.

First mistake: Sparingly adding nutrients

Woman watering roses with can

Domoyega/Getty Images

When it comes to watering, roses can be difficult to please. Generally, the flowers enjoy receiving copious amounts of water throughout the spring and summer months, but especially during the summer. Under temperate weather conditions, gardeners should aim to administer about 4 to 5 gallons of water each week, adjusting their water intake as humidity and temperatures fluctuate throughout the flowering season.

The plants also prefer deep drinks over shallow ones, which allows every element of their root system to remain hydrated during scorching summers and keeps water off the plant itself. As such, watering via drip irrigation systems and watering cans is typically preferred over methods that mostly skim the surface, like overhead sprinklers. However, roses also dislike wet feet, so be careful not to overwater the flowers to the point where their roots are saturated for extended amounts of time. Your flowers will droop if they’re receiving too much water or if they’re not receiving enough.

Roses also require proper fertilization to produce the healthiest and longest-lasting blooms. These versatile flowers can grow in a variety of soil options, but they prefer a pH level between 6.5 and 7 and will likely need some additional minerals and nutrients typically found in organic matter. Oftentimes, fertilizers that contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK types) are used. Further, don’t fertilize your plant in late fall or during the winter, as this could cause new growth that wouldn’t survive the cold weather.

Second mistake: Never trimming

Gardener pruning infloresence of roses


Roses, like many other similar varieties of flowering plants, tend to grow best when they’re routinely snipped as they develop new leaves, stems, and blossoms. Pruning, which is the act of removing diseased and overgrown parts of a plant in order to expedite new growth, is highly recommended for roses. The process helps the plant refocus its energy on producing more flowers and foliage in place of the pieces trimmed away. While the practice isn’t always necessary to ensure blossoms return the following spring or summer, pruning gives roses a much stronger chance of returning healthier and fuller during their next growing season. In other words, refraining from trimming your roses may lead to your next batch of blooms appearing smaller, weaker, or fewer in number compared to batches from seasons prior.

For most rose species, pruning will produce the best results if completed in the late winter or early spring, ultimately depending on the warmth of your home climate which directly influences how early or late your roses begin to sprout new growth. Regardless, wait until the final frost of winter passes before pruning to keep your plant from dying. Deadheading is another beneficial exercise for many roses. The practice differs from pruning mostly in that it focuses solely on removing a plant’s dying flowers, but the purpose remains the same. Unlike pruning, you can deadhead as needed throughout the growing season, stopping in the fall to prepare for winter dormancy. .

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.