Detroit Rose Society


Basic Rose Care

Water:  Roses are hungry and thirsty plants.  Keep them watered well, about 1” a week.  Rain is best but    

   if Mother Nature doesn’t provide for them you will need to.  Water early in the day so leaves have a  

   chance to dry or fungus will take over.  I have salty well water, the roses do not like it in particular

   those in pots.  I save rain water in barrels to water all container grown roses and plants and have

   hauled water from the lake in an emergency. 


Feeding:  I like an organic, granular fertilizer such as Espoma’s RoseTone (locally available) applied 2-3

   times a season.  Wait till the ground warms up before applying - 50 degrees technically - so May, June

   and July.  Liquids such as Fish Emulsion and Miracle Grow or Peters can be great for a little pick me up.

  There are others available that will last longer (I have used Osmocote also with good results)

*Stop all feeding by late August, to allow your plants to slow down and go dormant for Winter. 

Disease: Black Spot is the bane of the rose garden.  Preventable but very hard to kill once established 

      it will strip a rose of leaves faster than the bunny rabbits.  Another fungus is Powdery Mildew, not quite as damaging as Blackspot but very disfiguring.  You will see it mostly in Spring and Fall as temperatures cool at night.  

  Prevent Disease by:

              allowing foliage to dry before evening,

              providing good airflow around and thru the bush

              starting with healthy, disease resistant plants

              keeping them well watered and fed. 

  Treat Disease:  by spraying the roses with a fungicide suitable for BlackSpot on a regular basis

    Mancozeb is the chemical of choice for Black Spot, used in rotation with others available at your local nursery or garden center or by mail order.  (ie. BannerMax, Funginex, Daconil, Immunox etc)

*Safety  Some of these sprays can be dangerous to you and your pets so care must be taken and appropriate protective gear used as directed.   READ THE LABEL

           Use according to package directions taking special care with dosing.....more is not better     

          GLOVES (‘Nitril’ not leather or latex), EYE PROTECTION and long sleeves are a must. 

Insects: Damaging insects will require chemical control if you want to get rid of them, it is a personal   

decision as to how far you wish to go in your battle.  Many of us are trying to learn to live with them....    

   aphids: a strong water stream or spray with insecticidal soap can be adequate to remove soft bodied     insects like aphids, they are a favorite treat of the LadyBug’s larval form too.  Ugly things tho. 

   spider mites.  a strong water stream can help knock them off or there are specific chemical controls     available.  Keeping your plants well watered seems to help prevent their invasion and damage. 

   Cane Borers  drill those clean holes down the center of the canes.  Prevent them by applying Elmers Glue to all cane ends when cutting or pruning. 

   Japanese Beetles, Disgusting and damaging, they are frustrating to get rid of.  Most effective is     spraying them individually with insecticide (I use Bayer) and/or manually knocking them off each rose into soapy water and allowing them to drown.  Smiling as you watch. 

      Do not put up Japanese Beetle Traps in your yard as these attract them from near and far.  Perhaps     hang them in your neighbors yards........seriously.   Milky spore put down on all grassy areas is supposed to help decrease the local population by attacking the larval stage (grubs). 

   Rabbits and Deer   Fences and products made to repel them such as Liquid Fence show varied results, the newer product Plantskydd shows promise.  They do love eating the roses, foliage and stems in  winter.

Happy rose growing

Lynne Hammill CR   Detroit Rose Society     email

If you are serious about growing quality roses please join the American Rose Society, contact a local Rose Society and attend a meeting.  We’d love to see you. 

ARS Consulting Rosarians are waiting to help answer your questions.

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