New to roses! Any tips?

nummykitchenMay 18, 2012

Hi, everyone! I've never been much of a garden person but this year have gotten "bitten" by the rose bug. I think I've done just about everything wrong so far though, at least that is the feeling I'm getting by googling "growing roses!" I was sucked in while shopping at Meijer by some bare root roses in plastic cartons that had pretty pictures on them and kind of got carried away! I bought 17 bare root plants at various home and garden stores and have had so much fun planting them and putting color combinations together, but have recently read that those are terrible roses to buy and that they rarely make it and if they do they might not be the color on the tub! Yikes!

I had one rose bush in my garden that seemed to have survived by mistake since I had not touched it since it was planted 5 years ago! I bought that one (potted) as a table centerpiece for my daughter's 2nd birthday and after a while it got planted in the garden since I had no idea what else to do with it. I never did anything with it but this year was inspired by its resiliance and cleaned out my flower beds. My daughter loves to check on her birthday rose (she just turned 7) and her love of nature has reminded me how much I used to enjoy flowers and such as a child even though I hadn't gardened at all as an adult short of a herb garden and a few veggie plants last year.

I dug out a new "bed" area in the backyard for...

Orangeade (Floribunda)

Sunsprite (Floribunda)

New Year

Arizona (Grandiflora)

Sunrise (Hybrid)

and Tropical Punch (Hybrid Tea)

very bright yellows, pinks, oranges -- fun colors!

In the front of the house I did lighter colors which I am usually drawn to, I thought they would look nice by the front porch --

Bewitched (Hybrid Tea)

Pink Promise

Double Time (Hybrid Tea)

Evening Star (Floribunda)

Gene Boerner (Floribunda)

Touch of Class (Hybrid Tea)

I'm a little nervous I will have to move these since it is not a very sunny spot for most of the day, will have to go out and count the hours of sun tomorrow.

and lastly my side front bed is kind of a mish mash and also the home of my original daughter's birthday rose (which was a bright pink / magenta -- don't remember the name)

birthday rose

Intrigue (Floribunda)

Angela (Floribunda)

2 Blue Girls (with no foliage at all, not sure if they'll make it) from different stores / containers

and lastly Peace (Hybrid Tea) -- which also looks pretty sad, just a couple of stalks barely green at the bottom

So those have all been planted in the past week! The existing birthday rose looks pretty good for not having any care for the past years but did have some black spot, I'd say moderate, I cut off the leaves that had the blackspot and treated all of them with the Bayer 3 in 1 Rose (which I'm also now reading is bad, so I'm worried I have done more harm than good!)

Any tips or comments on the roses would be so much appreciated, thanks for helping out a newbie!

Take care,


Zone 5B / Michigan

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cambel(z6-7a DC)

Yes, do not fertilize them for a few weeks unless it is with a slow release fertilizer like Rose Tone, but just put a little in there and don't jar them, just scatter some around and water. Water them more than once a week. Don't move them, jar them, shake them, let them get established.

Those bare root roses may not have as good a track record as leafed out container roses, but they absolutely can turn into some very nice plants.

After a few weeks if you want to fertilize them with something easy like Miracle grow, go ahead, but not more than once every two weeks or so.

Anyway that is what has worked for me. Good Luck! It sounds like you're going to have a BEAUTIFUL Garden!

oh, and before winter come back here and ask some of the other zone 5 folks how they winterize their roses, there is so much advice on this forum, it's great!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Thanks so much for the reply! I messed up and already fertilized them with some Miracle Grow for roses! Yikes! I hope they will make it. I really just went at this blindly and without doing any research, which is so not like me, but I just got so excited about planting roses :)

How long do they usually take to establish before I could see some growth and know if they will make it or not or could I not know until next year? I will definitely be asking about winterization when summer ends!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 6:52PM
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seil zone 6b MI

They'll be fine. The big box store roses aren't the best quality but they're good to start out with. You'll learn a lot about roses by watching and caring for them so that when you go to purchase more expensive ones you'll feel more confident. There are as many ways to grow roses as there are roses so experiment with them and learn what works for your garden. Everyone's is different. And roses are much tougher than people give them credit for. As you've already learned with your Birthday Rose. Even neglected for 5 years it's still growing and blooming!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:50PM
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You're in such a different climate than I, I feel unqualified to give much advice other than say - welcome to the nuthouse (in the most awesome of ways) - of co-enabling rose addicts!

Like Seil said - roses are way tougher and easier to grow than the average person has any idea of. The more you glean from the internet (or any educational sources, although this forum has been my single source for 3 years) the more success you're likely to have.

Enjoy, learn, experiment, and mostly - listen to your roses. They'll tell you volumes.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:20PM
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keep reading here about roses and you will learn so much. My favorite advice is to mulch your roses. Roses do better with mulch around them.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:30PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

You are in zone 5B so get roses that are hardy enough to survive in your zone. Buck roses, Austin roses, Generosa roses, rugosa roses and some old garden roses are good ones to start with. Much rose information is availble at but they use the default hardiness too often. I buy mine from Roses Unlimited. Start with Earthsong, Country Dancer, Prairie Harvest, Honeysweet, Sharifa Asma, Evelyn, Charlotte, Crocus Rose, Gertrude Jekyll, Mary Rose, Tradescant, Sonia Rykiel, Mme. Paule Massad, Rose de Rescht, and Jacques Cartier. Order a copy of the latest free David Austin Catalog. It has valuable planting information as well as roses. Protect young roses from rabbits with chickenwire or hardware cloth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buck Roses at Roses Unlimited

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:16AM
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Thanks for the replies!

I am really enjoying all of the reading and knowledge gathering so far! Just woke up and had to peek outside and check my roses :)

Heading over to check out Roses Unlimited! I'm already having visions of a digging new bed in my backyard along the fenceline that will get a ton of sunshine :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 6:45AM
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Trying to include a photo...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:11AM
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You should have planted the roses deep enough so that the bud union or knot between the rootstock and the rose you want is several inches below the surface of the soil. If not, I'd plan on adding extra soil to bury the bud unions before winter--doing so makes a big difference in whether roses survive winter in cold climates. They will die back to the soil line--a few inches of live cane helps the roses get a quick start in the Spring.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:53AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Those boxed ones are better quality than the ones in the bags usually so you did OK! The biggest problem with the packaged roses is that they chop off so much of the root system to get them in those packages. They'll need time to build new root balls before they'll do much growing and/or blooming. But they should be just fine with some TLC!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:27AM
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