'Rose Care Basics' seminar

Rose Care Basics seminar

Basic Care Tips for Roses


Select a rose that is cold hardy for your region.


Provide a site with: 
-good air circulation

-well drained soil, high in organic matter

-full sunlight, 6+ hours per day, 10am-3pm is perfect


Plant in spring or fall. It’s important not to let the roots dry out as the plant becomes established.


Water one inch per week after plant has settled in keeping foliage dry.


Apply fertilizer formulated for roses-- 3X per year.
-After setting buds- liquid 20-20-20

 -Make third application no later than August 1st, liquid 20-20-20.  

 -Early spring when they are first pruned-slow release fertilizer 6-2-0


Layer 2-3” of mulch around roses to help maintain soil moisture and control weeds.


In November after a hard freeze, mulch 10” deep for winter protection.


Pruning tips:
-Prune in early spring when plants begin to leaf out.
-First, remove dead (shriveled, darkened), diseased (cut back to healthy tissue) and damaged branches (to the base of the plant or below the damage).
-Make cuts at a 45 degree outward facing angle, ¼” above outward facing bud.
-Leave 5 to 7 healthy, strong canes.
-Hybrid teas: as soon as flowers fade
-Deadhead back to leaflets of five
-Pruning is about controlling growth while keeping plants productive.

-Adopting a strategy of ongoing maintenance, a little bit at a time works wonders for roses.

-Shrub roses: self-cleaning and don’t need deadheading

-Lightly prune faded flowers regularly during the growing season to encourage further bloom:

-Remove any crossing or weak canes thinner than a pencil.

-Use clean, sharpened pruners.

-Prune in early spring when plants begin to leaf out.


Monitor often for insects and disease.


Check for black spot, especially in wet weather.


Avoid handling rose bushes if the foliage is wet, wait until the foliage has dried before removing them and before spraying an approved fungicide and recommended interval.


-Notes from the 'Rose Care Basics' seminar on June 2nd with Lisa Hilgenberg from the Chicago Botanic Garden.