Roses have been growing since prehistoric times as fossil remains in museums prove. It’s probably because of this that nobody has been able to pinpoint the original habitat of the rose. But today species are found worldwide, and it remains the queen of the garden, as well as the national floral emblem of the U.S.
Of course, we grow roses for their beautiful blooms, which means we must do everything we can to keep the plants healthy. There are also some tried and trusted tips that you can use, like deadheading, fertilizing, and pruning correctly in spring. The site you choose to grow roses, including what it offers in terms of light, temperature, and soil type, is significant.
10 Smart and Easy Tips to Make Your Roses Bloom Better
If you plant your roses in a sheltered but sunny location with good drainage, fertilize them regularly, water them evenly, and prune established rose bushes in early spring, you’ve got a good chance that you’ll produce big beautiful rose blooms.
While there is no doubt that a regular routine program is essential for your rose garden, these 10 smart and easy tips will help to ensure your roses bloom and grow better than ever before.
- Choose the Best Location
An ideal location for big beautiful roses with more blooms is an open, sunny patch where they will get full sun for at least half the day. In hot areas, ensure they get shade from midday through the afternoon.
In cold climates, it makes sense to plant rose bushes next to west- or south-facing walls. This helps to minimize freeze damage in winter.
Ultimately, depending on the variety, they will grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2-10.
Remember that roses don’t do well if they have to compete with trees, hedges, and large shrubs for light, nutrients, and water. If you plant them next to a wall, make sure there are at least 14 inches between the roses and the wall for the roots to develop.
Also, even though you need space for air to circulate around the rose plants, they don’t like the wind. Apart from this, the wind will batter the rose blooms.
Generally, it’s best to grow roses on their own in a well-laid-out rose garden spaced about 3 feet apart. These also look fabulous when grown as a border. As long as you plant them with small shrubs that they like and grow well with, lavender, for example, they will look great in a mixed border.
- Soil Conditions
It’s important to plant roses in well-drained soil that is fertile. The surface soil may appear to be well-drained, but sometimes you may find an impervious layer of heavy clay deeper down.
The ideal soil is slightly acidic with a pH of 6,5. It is good practice to amend your soil with compost or some other organic matter.
- Plant What Will Grow Best
When you start growing roses, you will find that there are many different types with different flower shapes and colors. There are also different growth types including climbing roses, ramblers, standards, shrubs, and hybrid teas. Floribunda. Miniature roses, and roses that you can grow as a ground cover.
Shrub roses are generally easier to maintain. Some types grow better in specific environments rather than others.
Aim for six hours of direct sunlight, preferably in the morning sun. Roses that get less than this are likely to produce fewer flowers.
When roses are planted in the shade, they not only have fewer blooms, but they also become leggy and spindly. Sunlight also helps roses resist diseases.
Roses need food, which means you should fertilize them regularly to give them a steady supply of nutrients. Choose a slow-release fertilizer designed for roses that will help to boost the plant and generate spectacular rose blooms.
Using a generic fertilizer can be risky and often leads to over-fertilization.
You can also use less obvious forms of nourishment to make your roses grow better. For instance, banana peels placed around the plants will decompose and release valuable nutrients including potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, and iron.
Epsom Salts, which contain hydrated magnesium sulfate, are also useful. They help plants absorb phosphorous, making your roses produce big beautiful blooms.
Work the salts into the soil around your rose plants and water them well. Alternatively, dissolve half a cup of Epsom Salts in water and pour the solution around your plants for more blooms.
Roses have relatively shallow root systems so they benefit from organic mulch such as dry grass clippings, straw, or wood chips. A 2-3 inch layer will retain moisture in the soil, moderate soil temperatures, and help to retard the growth of weeds.
Generally, it’s best to apply mulch at the beginning of spring so that you conserve moisture throughout the summer months. Apply again at the end of the fall to insulate and protect the roots during the cold winter months.
While mulch isn’t compost, it will break down contributing nutrients to the soil and improve the soil structure.
- Water Wisely
Like all plants, roses need water, but not too much. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply and keep the soil evenly moist.
Avoid using overhead sprinklers and consider installing a drip irrigation system. It’s best to water early in the morning so that the foliage has time to dry out during the day.
- Monitor for Insects Pests
Never let pests get out of hand. Those that attack roses include aphids, rose borer, scale, and a variety of beetles.
Aphids are the most common pests found on roses. There is even a rose aphid, Macrosiphum Rosae, although it isn’t the only aphid that attacks roses.
You might be able to shake aphids off rose buds or knock them off with your hands. You can also spray them gently with a hosepipe, though there is always a risk of damaging bloom roses.
Another alternative is to spray with organic insecticidal soap. Neem spray is also a good option.
There are lots of beneficial insects that help to control aphid populations, including praying mantises and hoverflies. For this reason, it’s best not to use a pesticide.
Birds like Wagtails, Cape Robins, and little White-eyes also eat pests, including aphids.
- Deadhead Faded Flowers
When the rose flowers are fading, before they lose all their petals, remove them. Cut so that there are about five leaves left on the stem.
If they are a repeat-flowering species, they will soon send out new flower buds. Stop deadheading in late summer so that the rose plants have a chance to harden for winter.
- Prune Regularly
If you don’t prune your rose plants regularly the stems will become woody and you will have fewer blooms. It is also important to prune at the right time of the year.
Be aware that some varieties flower on the previous year’s plant growth. This means that if you prune in spring you may be the reason your rose plant doesn’t bloom.
How long does it take for roses to bloom?
Some roses bloom only once in the growing season, which is usually early in the summer months. Others are repeat-flowering and will produce about three flushes of flowers during the flowering season.
For instance, modern hybrid teas, floribundas, and miniature roses hardly ever stop flowering. As soon as one flush of blooms is over, as long as you deadhead these, another flush will take its place.
It takes about two years for a rose plant to become established. But, presuming you plant a well-established bare root or bush that is supplied ready to plant, it will take just a few months to bloom, even if it is only a year old. It will, though, bloom less vigorously in its first year.
If you’re a beginner rose grower, rather plant a container rose. They are easier to plant and they establish themselves in a garden environment more quickly than the other types.
What to do if your roses don’t bloom?
We have outlined the steps to take to ensure that you get more blooms from your roses. But what can you do if they don’t?
There’s not a lot you can do if you’ve chosen an inappropriate location for your rose plants, other than transplant them. But there are steps you take to make them grow better.
Here are six tips:
- Amend your soil with compost and add mulch to conserve moisture.
- Check the pH of your soil and add an acidic fertilizer if it’s not acidic enough.
- If roses get droopy, or the leaves get yellow, cut down on the fertilizer you are feeding.
- Don’t forget to prune at the right time to stop them from getting leggy.
- Deadhead your roses to stimulate growth.
- Check for pests, especially aphids that feed on rose sap and destroy rose buds.
We grow roses primarily for their blooms, even if we don’t cut them for the vase. So, it stands to reason that we need to do all we can to make our roses bloom better.
Start out correctly by preparing your soil and choosing both a good location and the most suitable roses for your environment. Then follow a solid maintenance plan to ensure they are well watered, fertilized correctly, regularly pruned, and kept free of insect pests and diseases.