About the SFMGA

Friday, May 01, 2009

Season by Season Rose Gardening

By Jack Ortega, Santa Fe Rose Society
American Rose Society, Consulting Rosarian

Root Stock (Most two to three years old)
  1. Own root (Tend be smaller and longer to mature. Very hardy)
  2. Grafted (Quick to grow not as hardy as own root.)

Rose Bush Purchase Options
  1. Bare root (mail order, Grade#1 is best as has at least 3 canes and thick as a magic marker)
  2. Container (gallon size types)
  3. Plastic bag container. (Very small-short root system and check for dry/damaged canes)
  4. Rose information: www.helpmefind.com/rose/ or the American Rose Society web site

Types and Characteristics of Rose Bushes
  1. English, shrub, old garden, ployantha, or landscape roses
  2. Climbers
  3. Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora
  4. Floribunda
  5. Miniature
  6. Some roses are disease free.
  7. Keep your tags and/or label of your rose bush

Rose Bloom Characteristics as Applied to the Garden
  1. Color (single color, like colors or mix)
  2. Fragrance
  3. Once blooming or repeat blooming
  4. Bloom structure (single or spray, single petal or multi-petal)

  1. In the ground
    1. Dig a hole at least 2 feet wide and 2 ½ feet deep
    2. 1/3 top soil, 1/3 compost material, 1/3 sandy soil mix.
    3. ¼ cup of soil sulfur to buffer against our alkaline soil
    4. Space each bush 2 to 2 ½ feet apart on all sides for most roses. More space is need for larger varieties.
    5. Plant the crown at soil level. Then mulch 1-2 inches so the top of the crown is at ground level.
    6. Mulch types for moisture retention, build up top soil, protect ground and bush.
      • ➢ Pecan shells
      • ➢ Tree bark—small to medium only

  2. Rose Bed (ground level or raised) Long term this is best method.
  3. Container
    1. Good for miniatures, floribundas and hybrid teas
    2. 80% potting soil and 20% top soil mix.
    3. Container can be above ground or in the ground.

  4. Planting locations
    1. Best—north and east side
    2. Good—south side (try avoid walls)
    3. Worst is west side against a wall.

  5. Remove and discard all damaged and infected branches and leaves.
  6. Remove all tags on the rose bush as it will kill the cane.

Water and Feed (Air and Water)
  1. Water deeply in accordance to your city schedule. (3 times a week and mulch helps)
  2. Late June through late July try to water in the morning to assist in reducing stress.
  3. If you water in the evenings avoid wetting the leaves (Mildew or Black Spot)
  4. Feed you roses a good rose food (As per instructions or cut the requirement in half and feed twice as often). The rose fertilizer can be water soluble or granular. Osmocote band fertilizer is a good time release product.
  5. Please feed at time you water this will eliminate leaf burn.
  6. Once a month use fish emulsion at rate of 1-2 ounces per gallon of water.
  7. Loosen the soil using the bicycle tire spoke method using a long nose shovel.

  8. Alfalfa Tea- Fifteen (15) cups of alfalfa pellets as applied to a 30 gallon trash can. 1 ½ cups of Epsom Salt. Let it sit in the sun for 3 days. Try and stir at least twice a day. Feed in mid July. Apply one gallon for large bush and ½ a gallon for minis. Best fertilizer you can apply.

  9. Stop feeding your roses at the end of August.
  10. Reduce watering in September. Your best blooms occur in September.
  11. First freeze about 10th of October and our first hard freeze in late October. The best winter protection is a healthy bush to welcome the winter.
  12. In winter water at least once a month. Mound your bush at least 4-6 inches late October.

Insects and Disease
  1. Aphids are present in early spring and late fall. Very light green in color (the fly) nest on top part of new growth. Suck new leaves and buds. Plant leaves will have sticky syrup like substance. You may also notice ants on leaves eating the sticky substance.
    1. Treatment: Wash them off everyday; insecticide type soap, systemic insecticide, or spray insecticide. Use as directed. Please don’t add extra product.

  2. Spider mites are present from early June to late August. You can’t see them. They live under the leaves and eat all the substance of the leaf. They will start at the bottom of the bush and work their way up. Leaves will turn crisp and dry in substance. Leaf color will change to light green to brown. Seems like your bush is drying up and needs water. They will take over a large rose bush in 7-10 days. The bush will not have any leaves left.
    1. Treatment-Use a water wand three times a week in the morning. Spray water around your bushes. Keep things wet and cool as they like it dry and hot. Or you can use a systemic insecticide.

  3. Powdery Mildew and Black Spot season starts as the nights cool usually in early July. At time we will also experience these diseases in spring if it is real wet. Leaves will get a white powder like look, will begin to curl up and turn a dark green to black color. Black spot leaves will turn yellow with round black spots on the yellow section.

    1. Remove (cut) the diseased portion of the bush immediately. Place in plastic bad and throw away. Clean pruner blades with alcohol between bushes and when finished.
    2. Spray bush with fungicide as directed. Try to find one with a potassium bicarbonate base. These are very safe and effective. I like the product Green Cure.

  4. When you spray use a light spray method. Spray early in the morning or one hour before
    sundown. Move canes with garden stake to shake of excess spray. This prevents leaf burn.
  5. Use dormant oil in January and February to kill spores of fungus and disease. Pick up all dead leaves prior to spraying.
  6. Leaf cutter bees

NOTE: Santa Fe Rose Society meeting are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 pm at Santa Fe Greenhouse. You may contact Jack Ortega at 505.988.4614.