Roses have reached ubiquity during certain holidays (Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day) and have developed a reputation for being difficult to grow. Thankfully, the many different varieties of roses available for cultivation mean that DIY landscapers can find one that suits their local growing conditions. When considering whether to start a rose garden, homeowners should ask a few basic questions about the landscape: how much space is available? Some rose varieties grow quite densely in their spread and small spaces can soon become crowded, particularly if other plants are located nearby. Overcrowding may also accelerate the growth of powdery mildew, a common affliction shared among many rose varieties. Check the soil for adequate drainage and pH, as roses do best in a slightly acidic soil.
Traditional rose gardens often feature geometric designs and seek to create a perception of orderliness. DIY landscapers may also choose to go this route, though keeping clean edges around a burgeoning rose bush will require a fair bit of pruning and edging maintenance. Deadheading, which is the practice of removing dead flower heads from plants, is used to prolong the blooming cycle of roses because it prevents the plant from transferring its stored energy into seed production. More energy is thus reserved for the production of blossoms. Homeowners wishing to save seeds from their rose bushes for future planting are not advised to deadhead, however, as it can delay the production of seed until after the first frost.
When it comes to maintenance, homeowners can reduce the likelihood of pest infestation and disease if rose bushes are interspersed with companion plants. Companion plants are those that are complimentary toward any given plant, often increasing yield or helping to repel pests. Roses’ companion plants include onion and garlic. Interspersing these plants with rose bushes helps promote a healthier, more sustainable rose garden over the long term. Choosing original rose varieties also helps—excessively cultivated rose varieties may have more petals per blossom or more vibrant foliage, but their pest and disease resistance as well as their general hardiness may be somewhat lower than some of the older varieties. If purchasing mature roses for planting, preference should be given to those with the sturdiest stems. DIY landscapers should be sure to regularly water and fertilize their rose bushes depending on the individual variety’s requirements. Homeowners wishing to cut down on maintenance may install a simple drip-hose irrigation system, which is both inexpensive and effective.
Tags: rose, garden, homeowner, landscape, plant, companion plant