Here in DFW, we’re lucky to have a year-round gardening season. Even so, spring is when there is always the most hustle and bustle in the garden! It’s hard to think of a plant more beloved for its spring blooms than the rose. Now is the perfect time to plan for and plant new roses in your garden.
Of course, we do have challenges to growing roses here in Texas. Depending on where you live, those challenges will differ a bit. The heavy clay soils we have here in Dallas don’t drain well and that can be a big obstacle to a healthy rose garden. Spring humidity often encourages fungal diseases; then our summer heat come along and stresses some of the more delicate varieties. Rose culture can sometimes be downright frustrating! But never fear, we have a few important tips for you so that you can have beautiful roses with minimal care.
Right Plant, Right Place
Choosing the right rose variety for your location will go a long way when it comes to your success. Antique roses that are grown on their own rootstock tend to be hardy low-maintenance specimens. Our favorites include ‘Mutabilis’, ‘Perle d’ Or’ and and all of the Earth-Kind® varieties, like ‘Belinda’s Dream’. The ‘Knock Out’ roses, and all shrub roses, are modern hybrids but are some of the toughest and easy to grow roses around. Scroll through our plant guides to see our current rose list.
It’s hard to resist the allure of English roses and many of the hybrid teas. However, these varieties will require a bit more TLC. They tend to be more susceptible to disease than the Antique varieties. But if you follow the fundamental principles of rose care, you can still pull off a lovely spring display with these temperamental types.
Rose Growing Tips
- Selecting a sunny spot for your roses is an absolute must. Choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.
- Air circulation is also important, so don’t plant your roses too close together.
- Good drainage and soil fertility are both key to growing beautiful roses. Properly amend your existing soil with a rose soil mix and organic compost.
- Expanded shale is one of the best amendments you can use in your soil to aerate and improve drainage.
- Top-dress roses with 2″ of mulch to conserve soil moisture.
A rose plant needs the equivalent of one-inch of rainfall per week. The time of day you water is very important. Watering should only be done in the early morning so that moisture does not sit on the foliage for too long. Wet foliage, especially at night, will quickly encourage fungal disease.
Feed Your Roses
Fertilizing your roses at planting time and then throughout the growing season is imperative. Fertilize with NHG Rose Food at planting time and then again every two months.
Timely pruning is also key to happy roses. Use a quality pair of pruners, such as Felcos, to cut back up to 50% of the plant on hybrid teas, shrub, China and other shrubby-type roses, around Valentine’s Day.
A lighter pruning of up to 20-30% of the plant can be done in August to encourage fall blooms. Climbing roses generally require only that their lateral shoots be lightly pruned in spring after blooming.
Rose Weekend is the first weekend in March each year.