Q:

How do you care for a lenten rose?

A:

Quick Answer

Lenten roses aren't actually roses at all, but rather are a highly toxic, deer-resistant member of the buttercup family. Wear gloves for pruning and propagation, which should be done as the blooming season begins. It should take between 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your needs.

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Full Answer

  1. Trim the old growth

    Clean and disinfect your hand pruners using an antibacterial household cleanser. Wait until the new foliage is established and then remove the discolored leaves. Remove dead, diseased or damaged branches. Wipe the blades after each cut to prevent the spread of disease.

  2. Amend the soil

    Amend the soil early in the season, prior to propagation, by adding 3 inches of compost and working it in to the top three inches of the soil. Use decomposing leaves from your own back yard if you have them, Lenten roses thrive in alkaline soil that's rich in humus.

  3. Propagate the plants

    Divide densely populated areas of mature, 3- to 4-year-old plants, by removing the seedlings at the base of the plant. Replant them and keep the soil moist. Lenten roses need a year to establish. During dormancy, cover your plants with a light mulch of oak leaves to protect and preserve their evergreen foliage.

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