Calendar for Growing Roses
By Peggy N. Heinsohn

(From The Charleston Rose, January/February 2000)


Plant new roses per instructions. Apply per bush:


About February 15, prune hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas. See pruning instructions below.


Apply the following per each established bush:


Apply per established bush:

Feed new roses after first bloom. Use March feeding program but skip the urea.


Every Two Weeks Throughout the Feeding Season


Apply per bush:



Apply per bush:


Apply per bush:

Mid-September to Showtime

Apply per bush:

End of October

Apply per bush:


Prune high to prevent windwhip.


Dream through rose catalogs!


Water and Food

These are critical to the growth of a plant and these needs are closely interconnected. If you fail to water, the presence of food does no good; and, if you fail to feed, water does little good. A well-fed, well-watered rose bush will reward you with beautiful blooms.

PH of the Soil

The importance of pH cannot be overemphasized. Unless the pH of the soil is in the correct range (6.0 - 6.8), the fertilizers you provide will not be available to the plant.


Organic amendments are animal or plant materials that give a steady supply of nutrients through bacterial action in forms the plant can use. They are beneficial to the soil structure. Organics are added to the plants several times a year to replace those that are used up. Examples of organics are alfalfa meal, blood meal, compost, cottonseed meal, fish meal, manures (cow, horse, chicken), milorganite, spagnum peat moss, ground pine bark, and commercial mixes such as Rosetone, Eco-Joy, Mills Magic, etc.

Sources of Good Roses

Sources for good roses are reputable local nurseries and mail order nurseries that enjoy good reputations. Often grocery stores and variety stores sell culls or roses with virtually no root systems. These bushes may have been exposed to very cold or very hot temperature gradients while held in long-term storage. Do not be fooled by a rose in a box with lots of foliage or big fat canes. There may be a lot of food in those canes to produce and support foliage for a brief time, but without a good root system, the plant will die or develop very slowly. If in doubt about purchasing roses, seek the expertise of a local Consulting Rosarian.

Planting Roses



Prune hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, and miniature roses in mid to late February for coastal areas. Farther inland, prune from late February to mid March. Prune once blooming climbers and old garden roses after spring bloom. Repeat blooming climbers and repeat blooming shrubs may be pruned in mid to late February.

Pruning Heights

Hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas:

Miniature roses:


Once blooming Climbers bloom on old wood, so prune after spring bloom. Repeat blooming climbers may be pruned in mid-February or pruned after the first bloom. Keep canes horizontal. Lateral canes will break bloom-producing stems at each leaf axil.

Pruning Steps:

1. Remove dirt and mulch from the bud union.

2. Examine the bush while standing away from it, noting where the canes originate.

3. Remove any growth originating below the bud union-these are suckers. Remove all dead, diseased, and deformed canes.

4. Canes to be retained: A well pruned rose bush should be vase shaped with an open center which will allow the sun to shine on the bud union. A first year bush should be pruned for pattern formation. Three to six canes, each 20 to 30 inches in height, may be retained. Eliminate all canes that cross each other and keep the larger, healthier canes. Do not rely on soft green canes.

5. Prune: Use sharp pruning shears! Top the canes at 20 to 30 inches from the bud union. Prune at a single bud to outside of the bush with a slanting cut 1/4 inch above the bud. Do not leave stubs at the bud union --this will discourage basal breaks. Remove all twiggy growth and all leaves to help eliminate carryover of blackspot spores.

6. Seal: Seal all cuts to prevent entry of disease and the loss of sap. Elmer's Glue or orange shellac are preferred by many rosarians. Most recent research indicates sealing may be a matter of personal preference.

7. Cleanup Spray: Use a good cleanup spray immediately after pruning to control overwintering problems. Spray with Orthenex or a combination of Orthene and Funginex. Spray the canes and the entire bed area.

8. Spray Program: Spray again in about 10 days, following package instructions. Begin a regular spray program after the March feeding or when new growth begins.


1. Spraying every 7 to 10 days is a must. Begin when new growth is 1/4 inches long. Persistence with a broad spectrum spray program is the key to disease prevention and control.

2. Adding a foliar feeding to the spray material every other week is acceptable. This should be a dilute solution (1Tablespoon of fertilizer/gallon of spray material). Otherwise, leaf burn may occur causing necrosis of the leaves.

3. Wetting the foliage before spraying helps prevent leaf bum. A commercial spreader-sticker (such as Indicate 5) or a drop or two of dishwashing detergent will help spray material cover the leaves and remain in place.

4. Spraying during the cool hours of the day will prevent leaf bum. Do not spray if the temperature is above 80 degrees F. or below 40 degrees F. Avoid Daconil and other strong sprays during hot summer months.

5. Sprays: Orthenex combines the ingredients of Orthene insecticide, Kelthane miticide, and Funginex in one solution, and should be used weekly. Funginex should be used every week and an insecticide such as Orthene may be added whenever an insecticide is needed.

6. Protective Gear: The rosarian should always wear protective clothing while mixing chemicals and spraying. This should include a long sleeved washable shirt and trousers, a brimmed cap or hat, goggles, and chemical proof gloves. Eyes should be protected by goggles. A respirator is recommended. Clothing should be washed in hot soapy water and the rosarian should take a cleansing shower immediately after spraying.

For Extra Trouble

Blackspot: Funginex, Daconil 2787, Maneb Flowable, Fungi-Gard, Banner Maxx, Orthenex.

Mildew: Rubigan, Systhane (Nova), Bayleton

Downy Mildew: Subdue 2E used twice yearly (spring and fall) as a soil drench seems to be effective. Also, Pace, Ridomil, Bravo

Aphids: Orthene, Malathion, Mavrik

Cane Borer: Borerkill

Beetles, Com Ear Worms: Mavrik, 10% Sevin Dust Rose

Midge: Diazinon

Thrips: Orthene, Diazinon, Mavrik

Spider Mites: Water (use water wand), Avid, Vendex

Weed Control: Roundup (Apply carefully). A preemergence herbicide such as Eptam may be applied at the time of spring pruning.


Planting/Pruning Grapic