Roses love our warm, dry climate. Here are some steps to make roses easy to grow.
1. Give roses light, they do best if they get at least 8 hours of sunlight a day. Afternoon sun is best for the warmth to encourage more flowers.
2. Give roses some space, jamming them in tight leads to more disease, bugs and literal pain as you try to prune them. We like to take the height of the rose plant, divide it in half and add 1 to 2 more feet to give us a distance to keep the plant from other roses, structures or other plants. This spacing allows you better access to prune roses when needed. Proper spacing also allows airflow to dry the foliage and prevent disease from occurring. It allows beneficials (predator insects, birds, or spiders) to assist in keeping aphids and other bad bugs down.
3. Water roses to keep them blooming. If your not sure if they are getting enough, they communicate by wilting and not blooming a lot. Roses can be watered by drip or overhead sprinklers. If you water overhead, to prevent diseases, make sure the roses go into the night dry.
4. Feed roses for the most blooms and healthy leaves. Start feeding them April 1st and feed as directed until August 15th. Choose a blend geared for roses or flowers, preferably one with trace elements in it to build strong foliage.
5. Mulch roses for winter. In October mound bark or compost 2 to 4 inches around the crown or bud union; this protects the crown from heavy freezes and prevents damage. Using compost instead of bark is a great way to build up the soil with nutrients for the roses to come out winter ready to grow. In March rake the mulch flat. If the roses are plant in gardens of rock mulch you could use landscape edging to create a ring around the plant to allow for mulching.
6. Observe your plants or roses, is simply walking through and making sure things are looking good. If the plant is having a problem (bugs or disease), get it identified then use the proper solution for that problem. If you are not sure what the problem is or the best solution, you can ask us.
Hopefully this will help you take care of your roses easily in the Tri-Cities and make them the fun and enjoyable plant that they truly are.