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The Care and Feeding of Roses





Roses are a long way from being the new kids on the block; in fact their history is considerable, prehistoric in fact. There is fossil evidence that the rose may have been around as long as 35 million years ago.

The rose or genus Rosa comprises approximately 150 species and has spread throughout the Northern hemisphere from Mexico on north to Alaska and even to northern Africa.

The first rose was likely cultivated in China around 5,000 years ago.

In the late 1700s the rose was brought from China into Europe and our modern day roses can trace their ancestors back to this period.


Roses are quick to establish themselves and will be better able to resist diseases and pests if they are planted in the right place. The rose will require six hours of sunlight per day if you want to flourish and flower.

An ideal spot for roses is an eastern exposure that receives the morning sun; avoid plating your roses where there are obstructions that create shade.

Do not plant roses near trees as this forces them into competiton for water and food. Roses require a free flow of air so make sure that they have room to breathe. Well-drained soil is best for optimal growth.

You may plant your roses anytime between early spring and early fall; however, the earlier planting time is preferable because it allows for adequate root development before the winter sets in.

The selection and availability of roses is often broader in the spring and this gives you more choice.

If you live in a region where the winters are cold and long, such as much of Canada, then here is a site that will help you select a rose for your garden.

Soil Preparation:

Roses love a soil that is loamy and well-drained; one that has a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0. You can test your soil to determine its pH- garden centres often carry basic soil testing kits.

Regardless of the soil type, the addition of organic matter to your rose bed is well worth it. This will improve the bed’s, aeration, and nutrient holding capacity. Simply spread a two to four inch layer of organic matter on the soil surface.

The sources of organic matter sources include compost, rotted manure, leaf mold, peat moss, composted sewage sludge, fine grain potting bark or other source.

Then you turn the organic matter into the soil with a shovel or garden spade to a depth of 12 inches.

If you are planting a rose into an existing bed, you will dig hole approximately 15 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Then mix the three shovelfuls of organic matter with the soil removed from the hole. You use this as the backfill soil for the new plant.

A little thought before hand and regular care during the seasons will give your garden a source of beauty for many years.

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Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on January 12, 2009:

Thanks for stopping by.

belfast maine on January 12, 2009:

Great Hub you have here :) Please check out my Belfast Maine website would love to network!

Gardening Angel from Southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh on June 07, 2008:


Been a rose grower for many years and i enjoyed the Hub pages. Please visit mine.

Gardening Angel

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on April 22, 2008:

you are welcome, the canadian information should work fine for Maine.

Kat2681 on April 22, 2008:

Thanks for all of these great tips.

Hey, I noticed that there is a link for people who live in Canada and have long winters to find appropriate roses....would you also suggest this link for those of us who live in Maine (almost Canada), who also suffer through long periods of winter...or is there a place in the States that provides direction?

In The Doghouse from California on January 23, 2008:

Bob Ewing

Great rose tips. I have seen the hardiness of roses by the neglect mine receive. lol I guess I loved the movie the Secret Garden where they brought all those beautiful plants back from merely a "wick" state.

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on January 23, 2008:

Thanks Bob. I check it out. Zsuzsy

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on January 23, 2008:

this site may help ZB:

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on January 23, 2008:

Thanks Whitney roses need to be pruned, I understand letting plants grow...

ZB, hmm I'll get back to you on this.

Whitney from Georgia on January 22, 2008:

my mom tries so hard to grow pretty roses, but she lets the bushes grow uncontrolled. Ha... I need to email this to her.

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on January 22, 2008:

Thanks BOB! Great information again. I sure would like your opinion. I have one climbing rose that has all the best eastern exposure, I've pampered that silly thing, have done all I can come up with. The stock is almost 2 1/2 inches thick it is the most luscious plant ever, probably grows 10 - 12 feet every season but it just won't bloom. I've tried trimming it, not cutting it back, tried to reason with it, promised it a new trellis, treatened to chop it out...I just won't flower. Do you have any ideas?

Great HUB regards Zsuzsy

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on January 21, 2008:

thanks ff, roses make the garden go round

firefly07 from UK on January 21, 2008:

loads of good tips - I love lots of roses in the garden.

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