Roses are divided into several types:
Roses need fertile, well-drained soil. They should receive at least 6 hours of sun per day and they require good air circulation.
Potted roses should be planted after May 15 (average date of last frost) in the Twin Cities area. Carefully remove the pot in an effort to keep the soil ball intact. The bud union (bump on the stem) should be planted about 2” below soil level (some shrub roses will not have this bud union).
The plants need the equivalent of 1” of water per week, possibly more in very hot, windy weather. Water early in the day so the leaves are dry by nightfall. Watering at the base of the plant will help limit disease problems. Mulch will keep weeds down, the soil moist and cool, and help control diseases. Apply 3”-4” of mulch in June. Cocoa bean mulch is an excellent rose mulch. Peat moss also works well if turned periodically.
Major pruning of roses is done in the spring after they have been uncovered. During the summer, remove blossoms as they fade to encourage a longer flowering season. If you cut flowers for bouquets, cut back to a five-part leaflet. Don’t cut too many “long-stemmed” roses from one plant. Remove any suckers that grow from below the bud union on grafted roses.
Spray or dust roses with an insecticide/fungicide product every 7-10 days throughout the summer. Water plants the day before you spray or dust them. Fertilize roses periodically throughout the summer but stop in mid August. Any new growth after that time would not harden off properly before winter.
Winter protection of roses is a must except for certain shrub roses. The best results are obtained by tipping the entire plant into a trench and covering it with soil and mulch. See our separate Fact Sheet concerning Winter Protection of Roses.
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