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Preparing established roses for the spring and summer growing season

Updated on March 9, 2009

ESTABLISHED ROSES: A QUICK DEFINITION

An established rose is one that has been planted and growing for at least one growing season.

A well-established rose is one that has been in the ground at least two years; being winterized (defined below) both seasons.

AN AWAKENING

This hub will explain how to bring your established roses out of their extended winter nap and into their spring and summer blooming season.

The process is very simple but necessary.

All mulched up and ready to GROW!
All mulched up and ready to GROW!
Safely protected from the winter cold
Safely protected from the winter cold
The beginnings of new canes. VERY FRAGILE!
The beginnings of new canes. VERY FRAGILE!
More new canes sprouting near the bottom
More new canes sprouting near the bottom
After the "organic blanket" has been removed.
After the "organic blanket" has been removed.

UNCOVERING YOUR WINTERIZED ROSES

Roses in all hardiness zones should be winterized to some extent in preparation for their upcoming blooming season.

In the cooler and moderate zones (discussed in a previous hub) the winterizing process involves pruning the rose and covering it completely with organic material, i.e. dirt, straw, shredded leaves, pine needles, etc. to a depth of at least 1' or more.

A more modest pruning and covering is needed for the warmer zones. Even though you may not receive a killing frost in these zones, it's always a good idea to be prepared.

THE UNCOVERING

After the last killing frost, the "organic blanket" needs to be removed so the regeneration process can begin. The process is very simple. Here are the steps.

* Remove the collar or other type of restraining material used to keep the organic blanket in place.

* Starting at the bottom, VERY CAREFULLY remove the material with your hands. This should be done cautiously since a lot of new canes will be sprouting from the base of the plant and you do not want to break any of them.

* After the material has been removed from the bottom, you can very carefully remove the remnant. I tend to use a very thin stick to gently tap the canes and dislodge anything that's left. -- Once again, this needs to be done slow paying attention not to disturb any new growth.

It's somewhat difficult to see, but there is a shallow trough here.
It's somewhat difficult to see, but there is a shallow trough here.
Bagged manure is readily available and inexpensive.
Bagged manure is readily available and inexpensive.
The epsom salts and fertilizer prior to mixing in.
The epsom salts and fertilizer prior to mixing in.
The final top dressing. Ready to mulch.
The final top dressing. Ready to mulch.

AMENDING THE EXISTING SOIL

Each new season, it's a good idea to supplement your existing soil with new organic material; primarily manure. This is the stuff roses really like and I always add a little every spring.

Doing so is easy. All you do is gently remove a shallow trough about 6" from the rose's base and scoop in the new manure.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO DISTURB ANY OF THE SHALLOW SURFACE ROOTS OF THE PLANT! I tend to do the troughing with my hands or gently with a shovel but always go slow. If you feel any roots, go around them.

EPSOM SALTS & FERTILIZER

After adding the organic manure, I add 1-1 1/2 TBS. of epsom salts and a quick sprinkling of quick release (14-12-11) rose fertilizer.

The epsom salts contain a highly soluble form of magnesium which roses use to get their growing season off and running.

The quick release fertilizer adds a quick shot of nitrogen, phosphurus and potash to promote green up, bloom production, and root growth.

TOP DRESS WITH MANURE & MULCH then WATER IN

The final steps are to add a final top dressing of manure and mulch. When finished, water in accordingly; usually about 1" worth.

IN CONCLUSION

Now it's time to let mother nature do her work.

It's almost smell the roses time:)

FUTURE HUBS

A few topics I'll be discussing in the future are fertilizing, pest protection, bloom promotion, and pruning. Stay tuned.

Thanks, Rob

Comments

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    • Rob Jundt profile imageAUTHOR

      Rob Jundt 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      MGG: You are correct! Roses are surely a particular bunch, but oh so worth it. I, too, have sent a few to an early dismissal.

      Thanks for reading!

      RJ

    • profile image

      Mini Greenhouse Guy 

      7 years ago

      Hi Rob, Ive had so many failed attempts at roses in the past! Its certainly not an easy tasking! Thanks for an interesting and useful hub!

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