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Related Articles: Pruning Your Roses | Easy Rose Planting

Rose Gardening: Water, Sun, and Shade
by Finn Jensen

My rose is not blooming? The rose is not getting enough sun. Roses need a minimum 6 hours of direct sun a day to do well. The rose plant needs more water. Roses like as a minimum 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. The rose has been given too much fertilizer especially Nitrogen. Too much fertilizer can either damage the rose or cause it to grow additional leaves and stems at the expense of blooms. The rose is a new plant. Do not expect too much from a plant during its first year. Rose is a once blooming variety. This means it will bloom once a year in the late spring or early summer. Soil pH is too low or too high. If the pH is not within the range of 6.0 to 6.8 then nutrient uptake will be less, and the plant won't be getting the food it must have to produce flowers. Not enough foliage. If the bush does not have enough foliage, it can not make the food it needs to make new flowers. Inadequate foliage can be result from disease or too little fertilizer.

How much water do roses need? Roses welcome lots of water. Water kindly, at least 1 inch/week, if possible 2 inches/week during growing season. You should water every 4-7 days during the summer. A rose bush needs about 4-5 gallons/week during the hot summer. Roses get their food either through the leaves (foliar feeding) or through the roots. The only medium for transporting food is water. Infrequent deep watering is better than frequent light watering. This will help to promote a deep root system. Deep root systems help the rose to survive droughts and winter freezes. Light and frequent watering causes roots to form very near the soil surface, and that is not good. When watering late in the day, you should try to avoid getting the leaves wet, because it promotes disease. But on a hot day wetting the foliage can reduce transpiration and relieve heat stress on the rose.

How much sun does a rose need? Roses prefer a full day of sun. Give roses at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. Morning sun is especially important because it dries the leaves which helps prevent disease.

Can roses be grown in shade? Generally roses do poorly in shady conditions. They bloom less, are leggy, and get diseases more easy. But Hybrid Musk’s and some Alba’s can tolerate partial shade. The Floribunda "Gruss An Aachen" can be grown in shade. Some other roses that may grow in partial shade are the Iceberg(FB), Rugosas, Zephirine Drouhin (Bourbon), Madame Plantier and Souvenir du Docteur Jamain (HP).

Reprinted with permission.

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