- Don't let roses
intimidate you. They are just plants and respond to water,
fertilizer, sun, and a little
attention to disease and pest control.
- Be willing to
try new things. As long as it isn't detrimental to your
health or the health of the plants,
give it a try. Why not?
- On the other
hand, don't try everything all at once. Also, be aware
of and prepared for contradictory
advice. Find a Consulting Rosarian and follow his or her advice.
Try it for one season. Do whatever is suggested by that
rose grower, or at least be selective and do what seems most
practical for you. In the following seasons, experiment
a bit more. After
a few seasons of growing roses, you will arrive at your own set
of preferred practices.
- Watch what you
read. Often things which appear in local newspapers or
magazines are based on what is correct
for somewhere, but not necessarily your location. Go visit gardens
of local rosarians. If you like what you see, you know
- Don't get discouraged.
Some seasons are better or worse than others. Even the
very best rosarians are
disappointed some years. Just do the best you can for your bushes.
The rest is up to them and whatever nature has thrown your
- Visit your roses
daily. The best teacher is the bush itself. If it looks
happy and healthy, all is well
and you feel encouraged to continue whatever good things you
are doing for it. Daily visits allow you to spot problems
get out of hand.
- Don't panic over
every leaf hole, tear, discolored edge, or petal streak.
Nobody's perfect and your roses won't
be either. Be satisfied with overall good health, bloom production,
- Throw out old
wives' tales. Many bits of rose "wisdom" have been repeated so often, they are
taken for fact. The old "don't let the leaves get wet" is
probably the topper. File this and other tidbits not derived
from your local consulting rosarian in the same file you use
unwanted child-rearing advice from well meaning friends and family.
Don't argue - just smile a lot, nod, and ignore.
- When it's time
to winter protect, follow the advice of your local consulting
rosarians. Our climate
is unique in that we don't normally have the heavy snow cover,
but have cold temperatures, freeze-thaw cycles, and wind.
will kill a rose that is unprotected. Follow the advice in your
newsletter or better still, come to the winterization meeting
to see a demonstration of how to winter protect your roses.
- Don't take your
roses too seriously. They are for your enjoyment! Lighten
up!!! Yes, prune, feed, spray,
water, pray, and prod, But take time to smell the roses.
- Join the American
Rose Society in addition to your membership in the local
society. The ARS magazines and
annual are full of information. You read, you learn, you absorb.
Growing roses is a never ending learning experience. That's
keeps rosarians excited about each new growing season.
- Share your roses
with friends, neighbors, family, even nursing home residents.
You'll be glad you did.
Excerpted from an article by A.J. Sparks, The
Buckeye Rose Bulletin and appearing in The Rose Mite,
edited by Carol Shockley