TIPS FOR GROWING OUTSTANDING ROSES

It is important to always wear thick gloves when handling roses to protect your hands from the
thorns. If you are planting container grown roses, you will first need to remove them from the pot
or container they are in. Place one gloved hand gently around the base of the plant’s main stem
and flip the pot upside down. If there are any roots protruding from the holes in the bottom of the
pot, clip them off with pruners. This will make removing the plant from the pot much easier. Next,
knock the pot or container against a hard surface. This will loosen the plant from the pot and it should
slide right out.  If the plant does not come out, slide the blade of a knife around the inside of the pot
where the soil and roots meet the wall of the pot to loosen it further and tap again.

Sometimes container grown plants may become root bound. If this is the case, make 4 slits with a
knife or a pair of pruners ¼ inch to ½ inch around the sides of the length of the root ball. This will
encourage the rose to produce new roots after it has been planted that are not so tightly bound to
the main portion of the plant.

Dig a hole for your rose that is twice the size of the width of its root ball and ½ inch to 1 inch
shallower than the length of the root ball. Place the roots of the plant inside the hole. The top ½ inch
to 1 inch of the root ball should stick out over the ground line. Take the soil you have removed from the
hole and mix it with an organic planting mix at a rate of 50% original soil to 50% planting mix. Fill in the
hole around the roots of the plant with this soil mixture. If you plan on covering the area around your
roses with hardwood bark mulch, do not cover the exposed ½ inch to 1 inch of roots with soil. If you will
not be adding hardwood bark mulch, cover the exposed roots with some of the left over soil mixture.
Apply a root stimulator when watering or use an organic rose food to promote faster re-rooting and the production of future blooms.  A systemic insecticide/fungicide can also be used at this time to keep the
plant healthy during the re-rooting process.

Covering the surface of the soil around your rose plants with hardwood bark mulch will prevent
moisture loss and cool the root structure under stressful conditions, guaranteeing faster transplanting
success. While hardwood bark mulch is generally beneficial for roses, using too much will negatively
affect your plants. Layers of mulch which are too thick will cause the soil to loose nitrogen and make
the rose plants weak and sickly. Ideally, the layer of hardwood bark mulch applied should be in the
range of 1 to 2 inches in depth. Should the layer be any deeper than this, the plants will suffer damage.

Planting from Bare Root
If you are planting your roses from bare roots, clip off any broken or dead roots with a sharp pair of
pruners. Next make sure that the hole you have dug for the plant is large enough to allow its roots to
spread out comfortable. Place the roots of the plant in the hole and pack some of the soil around them
firmly. Fill the hole with water and allow it to soak in. Then fill the hole with water again. After that, fill the
hole with the remainder of the soil and prune back the tops of the branches until they are 6 to 8 inches
in length.

Roses prefer full sunlight and should be planted in an area that receives a lot of sun. Special care
needs to be taken when watering roses so that they do not become damaged or contract diseases.
Never water roses with a sprinkler. Instead, use a hose or watering can and make sure you only water
the soil. Do not get the blossoms or foliage wet. Wet the soil thoroughly to the point where it is saturated
at a depth of six inches below the soil surface. Do not water the plant again until the soil has had a
chance to dry out completely. Doing so will encourage the roots to grow deeper and will make the plant
more resistant to drought. Roses with a deeper root system will also have better access to minerals and nutrients and will produce more blooms. Higher quality soil, particularly soils rich in organic material, will
hold the moisture better. To help your soil retain its moisture more efficiently, mix an organic planting mix
in with your soil before planting your roses.

Roses that receive a steady supply of nutrients will produce an abundance of blooms. Treating your
roses regularly with fertilizer and applying a variety of soil amendments will encourage flower
production. Soil amendments such as planting mixes, composts, soil conditioners and mulches
improve the texture of the soil and when combined with the right fertilizer, will provide your rose plants
with the high levels of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and other nutrients they need to create
beautiful blooms. Some organic fertilizers contain mycorrhizae, a beneficial soil fungus which enables
the roots to absorb more water and nutrients. Additionally, mycorrhizae help plants resist soil-borne
diseases, so giving your roses fertilizer with mycorrhizae will help keep them healthy.

Gardeners wishing to cultivate cut flowers should prune their roses periodically. However, pruning the plants improperly can cause damage and may even hinder flower production. To properly prune roses, it is important to understand the structure of the plant. Roses produce leaves which are clustered together in groups of three or five leaves (or more) on smaller stems which shoot out from the main stem. At the tip of the stem is the bud. Further down the stem below the bud are the clusters of leaves. The first few clusters of leaves closest to the bud will be in groups of three. All clusters after that should be in groups of five or more. When pruning, be sure to cut the stem just above the first cluster of five leaflets on the stem that is closest to the bud. Do not prune the stem any higher up than this. You may, however, prune the stem lower than the first cluster of five leaves, if you wish to have flowers with longer stems. Also, it is important to make the cut slanted, rather than horizontal, as a slanted cut will allow moisture to drain away quickly and will help the wound to heal.

Over grown branches and very old canes should be removed regularly to encourage the plant to produce new, even growth. Canes displaying brown patches or other signs of injury or disease and dead branches must also be removed quickly to prevent disease pathogens from entering the rest of the rose plant. Any brown patches left on the plant will eventually develop into cankers that can cause the stems or even the entire rose plant to die, so it is imperative that they are removed as soon as possible to prevent the plant from dying or spreading disease to other roses.

How to Prune a Rose

Roses are very susceptible to cold and must be adequately protected from the elements every
winter. The most effective way to protect you roses from the winter cold is to pile up a mound of
soil or mulch around the base each plant. The mound should be between 8 to 12 inches high and
8 inches in width around the base of the entire plant. The mound of soil or mulch will conduct heat,
pulling it up from the deeper layers of soil under the plant, even in temperatures below 0°F. The soil
or mulch mound will only protect the area of the plant it comes into direct contact with. It is important
to remove the mounds in early spring, before the temperatures exceed 70°F, so that the stems do
not begin to rot from the excess heat. If the winter has been especially severe, the area not covered
by the mounds must be pruned back in early spring, just after the new bud growth has emerged.

Mitchell and Sons uses and recommends Dr. Earth® Premium Natural & Organic Planting Mix and Dr. Earth® 5-7-2 Premium Organic 3 Rose & Flower Fertilizer for all our roses.


Amber Flower Carpet Rose                   Double Knock Out Rose                   Pink Flower Carpet Rose

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