Rose Planting Tips
Yearly Work Plan by Month
In the Northeast, we are plagued by temperature fluctuations throughout the growing season. Roses can be quite a difficult venture and a well informed grower can alleviate many pit-falls and have roses to show off.
The most important decisions to make are the type of roses to plant. Research the zone you live in (note*: there are two zone maps to research). While areas fluctuate with zone temperatures, it is best to go one colder when choosing planting material. The trouble with choosing roses is the absence of zone information, on the growing tag. Many sales people do not know this information as well. Research on your choices will negate this problem.
There are still many roses which will grow well in colder climates. Hardy shrub roses, Hardy rambler roses, hardy groundcover roses, polyantha, and Old Garden Roses, will be an appropriate choice for colder climates.
Examples include; Henry Hudson, The Fairy, Knock-outs, Delicata, Iceberg, Fairytale roses, Austin’s, to name a few. Some to avoid are Hybrid Tea roses, Tree roses.
Work is subject to weather and Plan should be coordinated with temperatures occurring in your area.
Monthly Work Plan:
Late March/Early April—inspect roses, clear away debris and trim out any dead and black canes April—Cut canes down to green wood. This may mean going almost to ground level. *April—After the ground has warmed, fertilize with a good rose fertilizer, then mulch. *May—Repeat fertilization and work into soil. When young leaves turn red to green, start an organic spray program (i.e.; Neem Oil). Repeat for the entire season.
*June—Repeat fertilization and start a maintenance program (i.e.; weeding, pruning). July—Maintenance Program and continue spraying.
August—Maintenance Program and spray program.
September—Around mid September stop pruning roses. This tells the roses to form hips and conserve energy for the cold months. Spraying can continue
October—bed maintenance and clean-up. Spraying stops
Late November/Early December—cut back the rose canes to half way. This is to avoid damage to canes. Winter protection with 5-6 inches of mulch, around the roses. The smaller the mulch particle size the better insulation. A good layer of snow is about the best you can use. You want to avoid cold drying winds which will cause the canes to dry out and die-back.
* Fertilize three times. A liquid fertilizer can be used sparingly.