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Transplant existing bushes between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15, while they are
dormant. Retain as much of the root ball as possible to lessen shock to root system. Use
improved soil (below) and water frequently with B-1 transplant solution.
Plant bare root roses mid-December to mid-February, to allow roots to establish
before the growing season. Buy #1 grade plants only, from reputable sources (mail-order
recommended), that have not been waxed. Keep bushes in a cool, dark place and
spray-mist roots daily until ready to plant. When ready to plant, cut off broken or
damaged roots to prevent disease, and trim 1/4 inch off all roots to encourage new
rootlets. Soak entire bush in root stimulant, (such as B-1) prepared per label, for 12-24
hours. Dig hole 2 square and 2 deep. Prepare soil to refill hole: final composition should
be 1/3 -1/2 mulch or compost, plus 1 cup superphosphate (0-20-0) or bone meal, 1/2 cup
blood meal, 1/2 cup cottonseed meal, and 2 cups soil sulphur per bush. These elements are
necessary to improve our soil nutrients and lower the soil pH, which is moderately
Remove any leaves that have begun to sprout to avoid possible frost damage,
they will be replaced. Cut canes back to 6-8" length, and thin to 3-4 canes, to
encourage fewer (but stronger) low-breaking laterals. Form cone out of improved soil in
bottom of hole. Place bare root plant in hole, spread roots over cone, and position graft
(bud union) one inch above final soil surface. Half fill hole, filtering soil down through
root system to avoid air pockets. Fill hole with water and let drain to settle soil. Fill
remainder of hole, water again, and let drain. Mound soil to 2/3 of plant s height and
form water well around mound. Final water with B-1 soaking solution. Water every 2-3 days,
but do not fertilize until after first bloom. Keep soil mound moist, to reduce drying from
winter winds. As leaflets appear, gradually wash away mound with gentle water spray.
Prune established bushes according to desire: Moderate pruning produces more
but smaller blooms; heavier pruning produces fewer but larger blooms. Seal cuts of 1/2
inch or larger with pruning sealer or Elmer s glue to prevent moisture loss and cane
borers. Remove all leaves from bushes and beds and spray both with dormant oil spray, such
as Volck Oil, to kill over-wintering pests and fungus. A repeat spraying in 2-3
weeks, before bushes begin to leaf out, provides additional protection.
Apply organic soil amendments composed of 1 cup superphosphate (0-20-0) or bone
meal, 1 cup cottonseed meal, 1/2 cup blood meal, 1 cup soil sulphur, and 1/3 cup Epsom
salts (magnesium sulfate) per bush. Work into soil 2-4" deep around drip line of
Attend Pruning Demonstrations Jan. 13 and 20.
Whew! Whew! January is a busy month! Pruning, planting and applying soil
amendments can continue into February, but the sooner the better!
Finish pruning established roses and adding soil amendments. 2-3 weeks after
adding Organic amendments, apply a complete granular rose food such as Bandini 6-12-6
scratching lightly into soil around drip line; watering well before and after feeding. Now
watch for that lush spring growth. Meantime, restock your arsenal of pest/disease controls
spring brings more than just pretty blooms.
Roses are heavy feeders. Feed regularly through October with complete rose
food: granular food every six weeks, or liquid food every 2- 3 weeks, adding chelated iron
each 6 - 8 weeks. Roses benefit from a monthly application of fish emulsion, in addition
to regular feeding.
Powdery Mildew thrives as days warm and nights remain cool. There is no
eradicant; the only prevention is a regular spray program. Use Funginex fungicide
(every 7-10 days), beginning early March through May. Add a teaspoon of liquid dish
detergent and a tablespoon of vinegar per gallon of water as a spreading agent Spray upper
and lower leaf surfaces, stems and canes, and especially young, tender growth. Deep water
Aphids are the first insects to appear, and are easy to eradicate. Orthene
insecticide every 7-10 days will control them. To control both mildew and aphids in one
spray effort, use Orthenex, which is Orthene and Funginex combined, plus Vendex miticide
for spider mites.
Start disbudding for Spring Flower Show: for "One-Per-Stem" blooms on
any variety, remove side buds and leave large center terminal bud for larger blooms; for
"Sprays", remove large center bud, leaving side buds to develop and bloom
Continue spraying for Insects and mildew. Thrips arrive in late April, hide
inside blooms, and are harder to eradicate. Orthenex must be directed into bloom petals,
down canes and onto soil, their course of travel. Malathion will help with major
Remove faded blooms, cutting back to first five-leaflet where stem is strong
enough (1/4 inch thick) to support another large bloom. Water daily 7 days before rose
show for maximum substance.
Always wear long sleeves, pants and rubber gloves when
mixing and spraying chemicals. Goggles and masks are recommended, and never spray when the
wind is blowing. Spray in the cool and calm of early morning so leaves can dry before hot
sun burns through droplets of liquid left on them.
Water bushes thoroughly the day before fertilizing or
spraying. Roots and leaves full of water will lessen the possibility of chemical burn.
Fungicides need 36 - 48 hours after application free from
rain or sprinkler water to provide effectiveness.
With fertilizers and sprays, More is not better.
Read and follow label instructions with sprays. With fertilizers, half the recommended
amount applied twice as often is preferable to applying increased amounts.
Use 1/4 cup Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) per bush each
month June through August. The basic element in chlorophyll, magnesium also encourages
To neutralize salts in our soils, add one cup gypsum per
bush to soil amendments in spring and fall.
When planting new rose bushes, place the bare side of the
bud union facing the sun to help stimulate new canes.
Wire name tags can injure canes. Replace with nylon
Dr. Huey is the recommended root stock for
our high heat and alkaline soils. When mail-ordering, inquire and request Dr. Huey.
Home-made preservatives to prolong cut blooms:
#1: One pint flat 7-Up (not diet), one pint water, 1/2 tsp. liquid bleach
#2: One quart water, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. sugar
Hold your pruners upside-down, so cutting
blade cuts from bottom up; makes a cut at the desired 1/4" above a bud eye and
eliminates occasional stripping of outer covering of stems and canes.
Soil polymers used in potting soil for container
gardening can reduce watering requirements 50 -75%. Hydrate polymer crystals in water with
B-1 added, before adding to soil mix for planting or transplanting.
Miniature roses are hardier to cold and more resistant to
heat, but are very sensitive to fertilizers. Apply at half recommended strength.
More Rose Care Tips
Continue removing faded blooms promptly to initiate next bloom cycle. Deep
water (2 - 4 gal. per bush) each 7-10 days. Continue to spray according to schedule.
Mildew should start to subside by end of May, Orthene will continue to control insects.
Fertilize per 6-week schedule, but use 1/2 recommended amount (to reduce
stress), and add 1/4 cup Epsom salts per bush (to encourage basal canes) for next 3
months. Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch to rose beds to keep surface feeder roots
cool and reduce moisture loss. Flowers produced from June through September are half the
size of those in April. Heat makes them grow too fast to develop fully.
The three key words for our hot summers are: water...water...water.
Spider mites thrive in dry heat; they despise water and humidity. Hatched in
soil, they climb canes and suck juices from underside of leaves, bottom leaves first.
Except for fine webbing, they are difficult to detect until they have caused visible
damage and possibly leaf drop. A good practice is removing the leaves up to 8 - 10"
from soil. Direct the strongest water spray you have up through bushes in early morning,
2-3 times weekly, to knock them to the ground where they die. Roses appreciate the extra
water. For major infestations, use a miticide spray such as Vendex or Kelthane, rather
than an insecticide.
Granular food is more practical in summer, with our heavy watering schedule.
Deep water weekly and keep mulch moist daily through August.
Beginning late August, prune out all weak, spindly growth, dead canes, and
canes that grow cross-wise through bush, opening the center of bush for better air
circulation and sun light.
Prepare for fall growth: work organics lightly into soil around drip line of
each bush: 1 cup superphosphate or bone meal, 1 cup cottonseed meal, 1 cup sulphur, 1/3
cup Epsom salts, and iron to green up leaves.
Resume full-strength feeding with complete rose food. Lightly prune tops of
established bushes, removing stem-on-stem growth back to major laterals, allowing for
strong stems to produce large fall blooms. This could be 1/4 - 1/3 of top growth.
Mid to end of month, as nights cool down, begin spraying Orthenex for fall
mildew protection in addition to insect control.
As weather cools, reduce watering but do not allow beds to dry out. Start
disbudding 3 - 4 weeks prior to fall rose show. Water well for seven days prior to show
for maximum substance. Fertilizer should be discontinued after end of October until
Plant container roses through November, to give them extra time to establish
before spring growth period.
Prepare new rose beds for bare root planting. Remove plants you wish to discard
to make room for newer varieties. New rose catalogs should be arriving by now, so enjoy
the slack time in the garden and prepare your order. Request (demand) delivery before
Mother Nature gave rose gardeners the month off. Transplant after the 15th if
desired. If a "Las Vegas Freeze" is predicted, a couple shovels full of soil/mulch
over the bud union is about all that is necessary to provide protection. By the time you
re weary of holiday happenings, it will be time for another busy January in the garden!
Call 702-873-6621 to get in touch with a Consulting Rosarian.
Or e-mail us at the Las Vegas
Valley Rose Society
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