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From Our Blog

Caring for Roses – The Devil is in the Details

Garden Center at Down to Earth Living

Roses are one of the most popular and beloved flowers in the world. They come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and are known for their beautiful fragrance and delicate beauty. However, caring for roses can seem daunting, especially for beginners. In this article, we will share some tips on how to care for roses and keep them healthy and beautiful.

Choose the right location

Roses need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day to thrive. Choose a location that gets plenty of sun and has well-draining soil. Avoid planting roses in areas where water tends to pool, as this can lead to root rot.

Water regularly

Roses need consistent moisture to grow, but they don’t like to be waterlogged. Water deeply once a week, or more often during hot, dry weather. Water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to fungal diseases.

Fertilize regularly

Roses are heavy feeders and need regular fertilization to thrive. Apply a balanced Rose Tone fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season, and stop fertilizing six weeks before the first frost. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to weak growth and susceptibility to diseases.

Prune regularly

Pruning is an essential part of caring for roses. It helps to promote healthy growth, remove dead or diseased wood, and shape the plant. Prune roses in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Remove any dead or damaged wood, and cut back healthy stems by one-third to one-half their length. In summer, remove spent flowers to encourage the plant to produce more blooms.

Control pests and diseases

Roses are susceptible to a range of pests and diseases, including aphids, spider mites, black spot, and powdery mildew. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, such as distorted leaves, webs, or discoloration. Treat any problems promptly with insecticidal soap or fungicide, as appropriate.


Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded leaves or compost, around the base of the plant, taking care not to cover the stems. Mulch in late fall to help protect the plant from winter cold.

Protect from winter cold

Remember that winter cold can be tough on roses. Protect roses by applying a layer of mulch around the base of the plant, covering the graft union (the point where the rose is grafted onto the rootstock) with soil, and wrapping the plant with burlap or another protective material.

Remember, caring for roses requires regular attention and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. By choosing the right location, watering and fertilizing regularly, pruning and controlling pests and diseases, mulching, and protecting from winter cold, you can keep your roses healthy and beautiful year after year.

Gardening tips provided by Down to Earth Living garden center, nursery, outdoor and patio furniture store, and Christmas tree shop serving Bergen County NJ, and Rockland County, Orange County and Westchester County in NY.