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Fragrant roses are one of the easiest flowering plants to grow if you know what to do to keep them healthy. All roses need to be planted in a well drained site that is protected from strong winds and gets a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sun daily. If the area you live in is a cold area you should always plant bare root specimens in early spring. If you reside in a mild area the bare root specimens should be planted in early fall or late summer. When the roses you have purchased are container grown you will need to plant them in late spring or early summer.
There are many tips a person should know when choosing roses for growing purposes. Always buy only quality plants from reputable garden suppliers or nurseries. The American Association of Nurserymen tag the best of roses with a number 1 rating. You should look for this on any roses you buy, as well as, for the All American Rose Selection tag that should come attached to the package. Prior to planting any bare root specimen you will need to cut back dead or damaged canes right to the firm, live wood. You should also trim back damaged or over long roots and soak any dry roots in muddy water for at least 24 hours.
The planting holes you dig for your roses should be at least one foot deep and one foot across. Space the rose bushes so that they are a foot apart if your roses are miniatures, 2 feet apart if they are hybrid teas or floribundas and up to 7 feet apart if they are climbers or ramblers. As you are digging the planting holes separate the top soil and subsoil into separate piles. Mix enough peat moss, manure or compost into the top soil to increase the volume by half. Add a handful of bone meal to this for phosphorus and then put enough enriched top soil back into the hole so that when it is packed down it will support the plant at its original depth.
When working with bare root stock you should make a cone of the top soil and spread the roots over it. If the root stock is covered with plastic carefully cut it away without pulling it from under the root ball. If the root stock is covered with burlap, place it in the hole without removing the burlap. Add more top soil to the hole, carefully working it in around the bare roots until the hole is about two thirds full. Then cut burlap from the top of the root ball and peel it back. Pack the soil down firmly and fill the hole with water. After this has drained finish filling the hole with top soil.
Roses should be planted so that the bulge above the roots, which is called the bud union, is at ground level in mild areas, 1 to 2 inches higher in warm areas and 1 to 2 inches lower in cold areas. Be sure if your planting tree roses to plant a stake prior to planting the roses. To prevent the roses from drying, mound 6 inches of soil around the newly planted stems. When the buds begin to swell in the spring you can gradually remove the mound. During dry weather you should water roses thoroughly around the roots during the morning hours and about once a week. A good 5-10-5 fertilizer should be scratched around each plant in early spring, mid-summer and in warmer areas again in late summer. Roses should not be fed during the first year after planting. When you do feed your roses use 1\2 cup of fertilizer per plant.