Q:

What are some tips for maintaining a rose bush?

A:

Quick Answer

Maintain a rose bush by watering it often, feeding it throughout the growing season and pruning it regularly. Properly winterize roses by adding a thick layer of mulch to protect the roots.

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Full Answer

To maintain a rose bush, keep it in an area with full sun and loamy, well-drained soil. Add compost or organic material if the soil becomes too dense. Make sure the pH stays between 5.5 and 7.0 by adding limestone or sulfur.

Water a rose bush deeply twice a week, and add a 4-inch thick layer of shredded bark and grass mulch to keep the soil moist. Avoid placing the mulch right against the base of the plant, as this can cause rot. Once a month sprinkle a low-nitrogen 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 fertilizer on the soil around the plant, and in May and June, work 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt into the soil.

Snip off any diseased or dead growth in the early spring. Remove dead and fading flowers as they occur to encourage more growth, but stop four weeks before the first hard frost so that no new growth can be damaged by the cold. Mulch the rose bush during the winter or, if temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, place a mesh cylinder filled with compost or dry wood chips around the bush.

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