Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 3
   June 2009
 
   How to Grow Roses
 

I began unsuccessfully growing roses by following the planting instructions for the rose varieties I bought on sale at local supermarkets and seasonal garden centers. These plants never made it through their first winters. After joining a newly formed local rose society, I learned that few of the roses I had chosen could survive in the northern conditions in which I live (American zone 5/Canadian zone 6a). The rose society members taught me rose-growing tips and techniques but, most important, they taught me about the varieties that would thrive in my growing region, enabling me to become a successful rose grower.

The basic needs of roses are pretty standard. Many will tolerate less favorable conditions, but they won't be as healthy or bloom to their full potential. The best varieties to buy are those that have been propagated and grown close to where you live. I recommend you buy from long-established garden centers where experienced staff members can help you select the varieties that will flourish in your growing region.   Explorer Rose 'John Davies'
Explorer Rose 'John Davies'

Basic Rose Requirements
  Roses love... Roses hate...
Sunlight:



Exposure to more than six hours of full sun per day, which encourages blooms.

Receiving less than six hours of sun per day, which will generally result in poor blooms.
Wind:



Being sheltered from prevailing winds.


Being located in open areas that receive prevailing winds, which can dry out canes and can kill the plant in winter.
Soil:



Rich soil (particularly clay, although not heavy clay soils), at least half of which is composed of organic matter. Poor soil that is high in mineral content (for example sand) and low in organic content.
 
 
               
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