How To Care For Roses In Spring

Tips for Fuller Beautiful Roses

How To Care For Roses In Spring-rose-petals
Rose Petals

Roses are the queen of flowers, these beautiful plants need our attention, especially after coming through the winter months. As the warmer season returns, there are some steps that need to be taken to ensure that our roses perform their best by producing an abundance of healthy flower blooms. The approach to grooming your roses however is determined by the region your roses grow.

Roses that are cultivated in warmer climates or a climate that’s frost-free may only need moderate pruning and feed with a fertilizer such as blossom booster or other fertilizer that’s formulated for the healthy growth of roses. Roses however that are grown in colder climates or regions need more tender loving care to revive and to grow their best.

What I love about roses is the fact that even if they are neglected (denied the proper care) will still thrive by producing flowers even if these steps are taken what we are about to discuss. However, taking these will ensure that your rose bush grows healthy and full with an abundance of beautiful flower blooms.

4 Steps to Care for Roses in Spring

1. Remove the Winter Frost Protection

Once the cold months have passed and the weather warms up it’s time to remove the frost protection from your roses, remove mulch from the base of your rose bush. The removal of mulch will expose the topsoil to the warmth of the sun and will stimulate your rose bush to come out of its winter sleep and begin to put forth new growth.

Gardeners or homeowners that live in colder regions or zones protect their roses by covering up their entire roses with straw, bags of dried leaves, or a cage, once the weather has warmed up these winter protections can be removed as well. The mulch or the soil should be removed by raking to expose the graft union, the exposure of the graft union will help you to see if any new growth sprouted from below. (A graft union is a lumpy, raised scar that should be just above the surface of the soil or just under the canopy).  New growth from below this point will not produce beautiful flower blooms.

Winter protection of the rambling climbing rose involves laying the long canes flat on the ground followed by pinning them down and then covering them up completely with mulch and soil. During spring time once the weather has warmed be very careful to remove the mulch and the soil with a rake, unpin the canes and secure them to a trellis or a fence.

In climates that are very cold hybrid roses are over-wintered by trimming and binding up the cane, digging a trench, and bending the entire rose bush into the ground followed by covering it with soil and mulch. Once the weather warms up remove the soil and the mulch, stand your roses upright, and firm or pack the soil tightly around the roots to stabilize rose bushes. Ensure however that the graft union is exposed.

2. Pruning your Rose Bush

During spring inspect your rose bushes, if the tips of the canes have died back a bit prune them back before the leaf buds open up will encourage roses to put their entire energy into new growth. With a hand pruner that’s sterilized and sharp begin to remove all the dead wood until you come to sound or green wood that’s growing, the amount of old growth that’s removed is determined by how cold the winter months was. If you must cut back nearly to the level of the root graft your roses should bounce back.

3. Fertilizing your Roses

Because garden plants grow actively during the spring months is a great time to start your roses on a fertilizer program. Once you have finished pruning your roses fertilize them with a general all-purpose fertilizer. There are many brands of fertilizers that have been formulated for roses that can be used as well.

1/4  of Epsom salt can be used if preferred and is believed to help give rose bush the added boost of magnesium, slow-release fertilizers need to be applied less frequently than water-soluble fertilizers. Water-soluble fertilizers are taken up immediately by plant roots whereas slow-release fertilizers are released over a period of time anywhere from 3-6 months. Note when applying water-soluble fertilizers don’t apply heavily which can lead to plant burn so apply according to the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.

4. Disease Control of Rose Bush

Roses can fall prey to fungal disease, a preventive spray application can help to discourage disease. The use of lime sulfur will control black spots which are fungus spores that probably overwinter. To eliminate insect eggs and their larvae apply an application of horticultural oil. Powdery mildew is also another fungal disease to be on the lookout for.

Powdery mildew as the name says is a white powder substance that forms or can be found on the surface or the upper side of the rose’s leaves. This disease can spread to all parts of the plant if control measures are not taken. The infected plant parts should be removed with a hand pruner and properly disposed of, any infected leaves that have fallen to the plant’s base should be removed also. Because moisture and poor air circulation cause powdery mildew, trim or tin out areas a bit that is too busy for proper air circulation. Applying neem oil will help to eliminate fungus, there are other products that are sold that can bring control.

The final word on how to care for roses in spring

Following this guide will ensure that your roses grow healthy during the spring and summer months. Roses are the queen of flowers and they need our help to perform their best. Brighten your spring and summer months by giving your rose bush the attention they need. You will be so happy with the results as your roses go to work for you by producing an abundance of healthy beautiful flowers.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.