Roses are a highly popular choice of garden flower. Their delightful scent, iconic shape and brightly colored blossoms make them a favorite among gardeners.
Roses come in a wide variety of cultivars and in all different shades and sizes. When they are in full bloom, rose bushes offer a gorgeous spectacle.
However, without the proper care, roses will bloom briefly and then wilt and die off. With regular, weekly attention and careful tending, however, you can help your roses last longer.
Make your roses last by preparing the soil correctly. Choose a rose variety that reblooms throughout the growing season. “Deadhead” any faded flowers on a weekly basis. Fertilize your roses regularly and spread mulch around their bases. Look out for signs of fungal diseases or pest infestations.
Prepare the soil and choose the right location
If your goal is to make your rose blooms last as long as possible, you will want to choose a good location and prepare the soil correctly before you plant your bush.
Roses need between six and eight hours of sunlight to bloom and require a site with good drainage. Roses like to be watered regularly and to have their soil kept consistently moist.
If your soil does not drain quickly enough, your bushes may be left sitting in water, which can lead them to develop root rot or other fungal diseases. If at any point you suspect your roses are receiving too much water, read up on what an overwatered rose looks like and take action to reverse its effects.
Roses prefer soil that is either slightly acidic or neutral. You can test the soil at your desired site using a pH meter.
If your soil either does not drain quickly enough or has the wrong pH balance, you can dig out a hole of approximately 18 cubic inches and fill it with a blend of regular garden compost and peat moss. It may also be instructive to read up on how to adjust the pH up and down in soil.
Prepare your growing site with a healthy dose of a 10–10–10 balanced fertilizer before planting your roses.
If you are planting multiple bushes, look into how far apart to plant roses in order to make sure they get enough air circulation.
Plant a reblooming rose variety
If you want to make your blooms last longer, you should choose a type of rose bush that continues to rebloom throughout the entire spring and summer growing season.
There are myriad rose varieties, and it can be overwhelming choosing the one best suited to your climate and garden space.
Heirloom roses, while both beautiful and resilient, do not always rebloom throughout the growing season once their initial flowers have begun to die. Modern cultivars’ rose blooms often last longer than do the older types of roses.
Some rose varieties known for their prolific blooms and long-lasting flowers include Touch of Class, French Lace, Fourth of July, Carefree Beauty, Graham Thomas, and Bright Melody.
This list is not comprehensive and there are many more rose types that rebloom throughout the growing season. It is worth spending some time researching which rose variety you want to plant before making a decision.
While you will want to choose a reblooming rose plant if you want to make your blooms last the longest, you should also look into what varieties are most compatible with your climate. If a rose bush is happy and healthy, it will flower for a longer period of time.
Deadhead your rose bush
One of the most important things you will need to do to ensure longer-lasting rose flowers, is to deadhead your roses. This means cutting off any dying or wilted blossoms with clippers.
For best results, you will want to deadhead your rose bush once per week throughout the growing season. Cutting off any spent roses will help your bush grow new blooms and will allow it to give all its energy to new, younger flowers, which will ultimately lengthen your bush’s blooming season.
Before you begin to deadhead your bush, make sure you have assembled all the correct tools and materials. You will need a drop cloth to collect the leaves and blossoms that will fall while you are tending to the plant.
Clearing these away immediately after trimming will prevent disease and pests from forming on or around the dropped petals and leaves.
You will also need sterilized clippers and rose gloves. Using sterilized clippers will prevent the spread of bacteria to your rose bush. Rose gloves are especially long, allowing you to reach into the bush without catching yourself on rose thorns.
Once you have assembled your materials, lay down your drop cloth. Begin by using your clippers to cut off any dying blossoms.
Cut the spent blooms off by finding the first five-leaf cluster on its stem and snipping approximately half an inch above the leaf cluster.
You will also want to trim away rose canes growing towards the middle of the bush. If your rose bush grows too closely, it will not receive sufficient air circulation, which may lead it to develop a fungal disease, and the inner stems and blooms will not have access to enough sunlight.
Break off any suckers, which are rose canes growing up from the rootstock of the rose bush. This will allow your rose to focus its energy entirely on the upper canes and will lead to longer-lasting blooms.
Fertilize your roses
Once you have planted your rose bush, you will want to fertilize it throughout the growing season to encourage longer lasting blooms. Choose a fertilizer variety that is especially blended for roses.
Read up on the best fertilizers for roses before making a decision about which one to use. You can even purchase specific bloom-boosting fertilizers!
Spread a mulch around the roots of your rose bush to encourage longer lasting blooms.
Look out for signs of disease…
If your rose bush develops a fungal disease, such as black spot, it will suffer and it is unlikely that your blooms will last very long.
Purchase a fungicide at the first sign of black spot. Cut off any badly affected areas and apply fungicide to the leaves and stems of your rose bush.
If something appears to be eating your rose leaves, it might be any number of pests, including rose slugs, Japanese beetles or fuller rose beetles.
If you notice white spots on your roses, this could also be a sign of a pest infestation.
Look into what pests you might have and then purchase an appropriate insecticide. Cut off badly affected areas and apply the insecticide to the leaves and stems of your roses.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.