How to plant and grow roses

The beds once properly made

and planted, constant and regular cultivation is the secret of successful

rose culture. Just before growth begins in the spring (about April

15th in New York), the winter's protection of evergreen boughs or

other material should be removed from the beds, and the surface


Deep cultivation is not desirable,

as the roots are likely to be injured or broken. Three inches in

depth is quite sufficient to cultivate a bed that has not been trampled

upon. Use a four-tine digging fork, as it is less apt to cause injury

than a spade. The beds should then be edged and raked.

Throughout the entire season until

the middle of July frequent stirring of the surface with a hoe and

a sharp steel rake is absolutely necessary for all the rose beds.

The soil should never be permitted to become

baked. After a hard rain, when the surface has been beaten down, it should

be loosened as soon as it is dry enough to work, and should be kept loosened.

This is one of the most important points in the cultivation of the rose.


During this cultivation, and at all convenient

times; keep a sharp lookout for suckers, which, as described in the previous

part, are growths shooting up from the understock below the bud graft.

A little critical study of the rose plant

will enable any thoughtful person to distinguish these undesired growths,

which as previously noted are beside the main stem, and are always, whether

the understock be Brier, Manetti, Multiflora, Ragged Robin, or Madame

Plantier, markedly different from the normal appearance of the Tea or

Hybrid Tea rose. Usually the understock produces leaves with seven leaflets

and of different colour.

The suckers should be carefully broken off

at their point of junction with the root, if this can be done without

disturbing the plant. Otherwise they should be cut off as low in the ground

as the shears will reach. If this detail is neglected the result may be

a flourishing group of shoots from the under-stock, not disposed to bloom

at all, and so absorbing the root energy as to cause the budded variety

to languish, and eventually to die, leaving an undesirable "wild"


Liquid manure

As soon as the flower buds begin to form

about half a gallon of weak liquid manure should be poured around each

plant weekly as long as the plant continues to bloom. A good time to apply

this is just before a rain, as it will thus be washed down to the tender

feeding roots and eagerly appropriated.

The liquid manure should not be too strong.

"Weak and often" is the gardener's motto. Half a bushel of cow

manure to a barrel of water is about the proper strength. The liquids

collected from the barn and stable, diluted to the colour of ginger ale,

may be used in the same quantities.

Frequent syringing with clean water, or

spraying with a hose, when that is accessible, will do much to keep the

leaves in a healthy condition. This is especially necessary near a large

city, a factory, or a railway where soft coal is burned. The floating

particles lodging on the leaves fill up the pores, which are the lungs

of the plant, and unless the foliage is kept clean the plant will speedily

sicken and the leaves drop prematurely.

In extreme cases in towns it is necessary

to sponge the leaves in order to open the pores, but frequent syringing

under ordinary circumstances will be sufficient. The frequent showering

with water will also keep insect pests in check, especially aphis and

red spider.

Cut the flowers for more bloom

When the roses are in bloom, be generous

to your friends. Cut as many as possible each day. On the plant they soon

attain their full development and fall away. They endure longer when cut

and put into water indoors. Cut in the early morning before the flowers

are fully open. It is better for the plant to have the flowers picked

as freely as possible, and with as long stems as the growth will permit,

merely observing the precaution of leaving an outward-growing eye, or

perhaps two for safety, on the stem below the cut.

Where it has been found impossible to pick

all the roses for use, then the plants should be gone over daily and all

faded flowers removed to a point at least two eyes below the flowers.

A regular practice of this precaution is the only means of insuring some

autumnal bloom from the Hybrid Perpetuals.


For large flowers, disbud freely on all free

bloomers and a very much finer effect will be obtained than if the plant

be permitted to try to mature all the buds that it forms.

Some varieties form large clusters of buds

at the terminal point of the leading shoots, and if all these buds are

allowed to remain the vigour of the plant is distributed among the group,

so that the best results cannot be obtained unless one is striving for

general effect. If fine single specimens are desired, the best bud only

should be retained and all the others removed as soon as they can be pinched

off. The centre bud is usually the strongest, but as it may possibly be

malformed, the most promising bud should be selected.

Many rose-lovers will prefer the profusion

of flowers given by the June bloom-burst of the Hybrid Perpetuals.

Save for the production of exhibition blooms,

the Teas and Hybrid Teas give a quite satisfactory result without disbudding,

but the quality of bloom within a season is considerably increased if,

as previously suggested, the flowers are constantly cut with liberal stems.

No disbudding need be considered for the

various climbing roses, or for the Rugosas, Polyanthas, Hybrid Brier,

and "species" roses.

Summer mulching

Since roses do best in comparatively cool

and moist soil, a summer mulch is beneficial. Because of its tendency

to harbour the "black-spot" organisms, a manure mulch is no

longer found advisable. Peat-moss is a most effective mulch material,

retaining moisture, keeping down weeds, and maintaining protection from

the sun.

Tobacco stems, the refuse from cigar manufacture,

either as baled for sale or ground into a convenient texture, provide

an excellent mulch material, serving not only to retain moisture but to

prevent the ravages of the aphis, and when spent and worked into the soil,

give a distinct fertilizing value.

The "dust mulch," resulting from

finely pulverized top soil, is also effective, and it costs only a little

"elbow grease." One grower who carefully saves all leaves and

vegetable waste for a compost heap finds the resulting leaf soil a good

mulch and an excellent fertilizer.

Winter protection

The "Rose-Zone Map," prepared for

the American Rose Society by the Federal Bureau of Plant Industry, and

first published in the American Rose Annual for 1920, outlines four regions

in the United States, in the first and southernmost of which even tender

Tea roses are hardy outdoors without any protection. Much of California,

part of Arizona, most of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama,

Georgia, and South Carolina, and all of Florida, are in this zone.

The second zone runs from New Mexico east

in an irregular line above the first zone, touching Colorado, Kansas,

Missouri, southern Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North

Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, within which territory

Hybrid Tea roses are considered safe without protection.

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North to the Great Lakes, the New England

and middle western and north-western states is the region in which the

Hybrid Perpetuals are expected to endure without protection.

The zone in which only the wild roses indigenous

to the neighbourhood may be expected to survive includes the high regions

and the dry regions.

Any rose is hardy anywhere if sufficiently

protected, a fact which needs to be impressed on present and prospective

rose-growers. It is not difficult for the amateur to determine the protection

required for his roses in these days of widely accessible and accurate

weather reports.

Generally speaking, roses suffer winter

damage less from cold than from exposure to alternations of high winds

and warm sunshine. Good protection, in all but the regions which have

zero-minus temperatures for long periods, is in keeping off the wind and

the sunshine rather than in close and sometimes smothering coverings.

In the second zone above mentioned the tender

Tea roses can be wintered, save in locations particularly high or exposed,

by a protection of evergreen boughs, salt hay, the heavy grasses, or cornstalks,

and in the northern or higher parts of this region both Hybrid Teas and

Teas and Polyanthas ought to have this sort of protection.

In the third zone, where the Hybrid Perpetuals

and the Rugosas are presumably hardy in the open, they are, especially

in the northern and more exposed portions, better for the same treatment.

In this zone the Hybrid Teas require more

protection, such as is given, for example, in the rose-loving "Finger

Lake" region of New York, by either bending over and tying down the

canes under a covering of burlap, heavy stakes preventing breakage by

snow, or by a framed covering of boards close enough to shed rain on top.

Or in the same region roses are carried over by covering them with earth,

ample drainage being provided to prevent wet freezing.

For reasons previously given manure is now

thought to be a dubious protection, and reports of the rotting off of

roses about which it has heated are frequent. Leaves, applied dry after

the ground is frozen, and held in place by boards or other covering that

will shed water, are serviceable anywhere, but only as kept dry as aforesaid.

Care must be used not to apply protection

until the ground is frozen, to bend down and tie or otherwise secure long

canes, and to avoid material that will harbour and feed field mice.

In the region of the Great Lakes, the Hardy

Climbing roses need protection by laying them down for an earth covering,

in turn protected against excess moisture by boards to shed rain.

Fertilizers for roses

The rose is a strong feeder and must not

be neglected. Each year the beds should receive a dressing of manure.

Indeed, animal manure, from one to two years old, is, where it can be

obtained, the most desirable of foods for the rose beds. Cow manure is

generally preferred, as it can be used most liberally without any danger

from burning.

Horse manure, when new, is very heating and

should not be used while in this condition, not even as a winter mulch.

Hog, sheep, and chicken manures are also very useful, but the last two

should, however, be used sparingly.

Of the commercial fertilizers, ground bone

is the most useful. This may be obtained in several degrees of fineness

and is often given in a mixture of gradesfine bonemeal, medium

ground bone, and coarse crushed bone in equal parts. This may be used

separately or to supplement animal manures. After the beds are well dug,

scatter the bone on the surface until the ground is nearly covered; then,

with the use of a fork, it can be quickly and thoroughly mixed into the

already fine soil.

Nitrate of soda is one of the very best

fertilizing agents we can employ if it is given early in the season and

supplemented by bone later. It should be scattered thinly (say, about

a tablespoonful to a plant) on the surface of the beds about every five

weeks during the growing season, being then "watered in."

Emphasis is here laid on the necessity for

digging in the animal manures when they are applied. Never should they

be used save as thoroughly rotted and broken down, and then lightly forked


Rose-lovers are finding it increasingly

difficult to obtain animal manures in these days of automobiles. The commercial

sheep manure, dried and pulverized, is an excellent substitute, particularly

as used with an equal quantity of ground bone or bonemeal. If the grower

has access to any form of clean vegetable humus, either as sieved from

his own muck pile or as purchased, a very satisfactory mixture can be

made by adding this material in double the amount of the "sheep and

bone." A liberal trowelful or two, stirred in around each plant at

least three times in the season, will do good work.

Recently the value has been urged of phosphoric

acid for rose fertilization. Bonemeal adds this, but "basic slag,"

a remainder of iron-and steel-making, also supplies it in an available

form, adding lime as well, and both, with other substances, stimulating

the production of certain beneficial soil bacteria. This basic slag may

be applied at the rate of a handful to a plant. It is said to aid particularly

in producing fragrance in roses.

Dry wood-ashes is a desirable fertilizer

and soil-sweetener for roses, its potash content being also of much value.

A scant trowelful to a plant, between applications of" sheep and

bone," will be right.

Propagation of roses

Many methods are employed in propagating

roses, but the practice here described commends itself to the amateur

because it is simple and effective. Cuttings can be rooted in the garden

or in the greenhouse. For out-of-door work they should be made in November,

before severe frost, of wood of the current year's growth.

They should be cut into lengths of six inches,

tied into bundles with tarred rope and buried in sandy soil eighteen inches

deep, and furthermore protected from freezing by a covering of leaves.

In spring, when the ground is thawed and settled, they should be planted

in V-shaped trenches in well-prepared beds, using a little rotted barnyard


The cuttings should stand nearly erect and

be so deeply planted that only one bud shows above the surface of the

ground, two inches apart in the row, with the rows twelve inches apart.

In this way many of the fine modern Multiflora and Wichuraiana hardy climbers

can be multiplied, as well as many of the "species" roses now

coming to be used in the shrubbery.

It must be admitted, however, that some

of these latter are difficult to propagate, especially the lovely Rosa

Hugonis, one of the very best for the hardy shrub border, with its abundant

yellow flowers, but this rose grows readily from seed.

When they are grown under glass the same

varieties will give a larger percentage of rooted plants if the cuttings

are made two or three inches long, planted in pure sand, in pots or boxes,

and kept in a greenhouse in a temperature of 45 F. These cuttings

also should be made in autumn, before severe weather, of wood just completing

its growth.

They should be planted thickly, about one

half their length deep, and well shaded for three weeks. Keep the temperature

so low that the buds will not start into growth before a callus is formed

or the cutting is rooted. The young plants can be set out in May or early

June, either directly from the cutting bed or after having been established

in pots.

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Posted in Gardening Post Date 09/27/2019






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