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The plant’s crown should be at ground level in mild climates, and 2 to 3 inches below ground level for cold climates. Fill the hole partially with the soil mixture and add a slow-release fertilizer. Water thoroughly, and then finish filling the hole with the remaining soil. Water again, then mound loose soil around the canes to protect the rose while it acclimates to its new site.
6. Feed often
To produce an impressive show of flowers, a rose bush needs to be fertilized regularly. Organic methods provide a slow, steady supply of nutrients. Monthly applications of compost, composted manure, and other organic and natural fertilizers, such as this organic fish emulsion, work well. Organic amendments also help to encourage beneficial soil microbes and a well-balanced soil pH.
Slow-release fertilizers, like Jobe's Organic Fertilizer Spikes, supply the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other minor nutrients and also give rose bushes the nourishment they need for optimum growth. The nutrient content in synthetic fertilizers is higher than what you’ll find in organic amendments, so fewer applications are necessary - typically once in the spring and once in the fall. For newly planted bare-root plants, apply organic amendments to the soil at planting time, then wait until after the plant has produced its first blooms to apply chemical fertilizers so you don’t burn the new roots. Whatever type of fertilizer you use, be sure to follow the product label for quantity and frequency of application.
7. Water wisely
Roses do best when soil moisture is kept uniform throughout the growing season. The amount and frequency of watering will depend on your soil type and climate. Roses growing in sandy soils will need more watering than those in heavier clay soils. Hot, dry, and windy conditions will also parch roses quickly. How you water is as important as the frequency. Using a soaker hose is recommend so you deliver water directly to the roots and avoid the leaves.
“To ensure a healthy rose bush, give it the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week during the growing season. Water at the soil level to avoid getting the foliage wet, because wet leaves encourage diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew,” says Bedard.
8. Prune like a pro
It’s almost impossible to kill a rose bush by overpruning, but if you follow a few simple rules, the results will look more professional and result in a healthier plant. “Modern roses don’t need as much pruning as most people think. However, an established rose bush appreciates a basic pruning in early spring,” says Bedard. A good pair of bypass pruners (not anvil style) and rose pruning gloves can make the job even easier.
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