Consulting Rosarian Tips for April:
start pruning your roses! You may be seeing new growth and your pruners may be
calling you, but be strong and resist! I can tell you from sad experience,
pruning early will break your heart. I moved back to Colorado recently. The
first year I had roses at my new house, I had tons of new growth in early
April. The CRs had said donít prune until closer to Motherís Day. But I just
knew they were wrong. In Arizona we pruned in January, how could I possibly
wait until May. So I removed all the mulch and pruned. We had snow each of the
next 3 weeks. All that beautiful new growth withered and died. So please learn
from my mistake and wait until May to begin your pruning.
If you are like me, your roses have had a hard winter. Iím seeing very few
green canes above the top of my mulch. So if you absolutely have to prune
something, you can cut off the tops of the dead canes. But donít cut into
anything that looks green and potentially alive.
If you bought bare root roses, you should get them planted by
When deciding on a location ensure the site will receive at least
6 hours of sun daily. Know the mature size of the rose and ensure your site can
accommodate it. Plan for proper air circulation around the plant. Look at the
location; think about what shrubs, trees or other plantings that may compete
with the rose roots. Dig the hole a minimum of 18 inches deep by 18 inches in
diameter, the larger the hole the better. Amend soil with 1 part compost and 2
parts native soil. You might want to add some expanded shale if you have clay
soil. I like to add a little Mile-Hi Rose Feed and about a ľ cup of Super
Phosphate in the bottom of the hole. For grafted roses, plant the bud union
approx. 4 inches below the soil surface. For own root roses, plant them approx.
2 inches below the soil surface. Fill the hole with the soil you have prepped,
and lightly tap it down. You donít want to compact it too much
and remove all the oxygen the roots need for growth.
Mound soil up around the canes.
Water well and keep
them extra well hydrated (not soggy) for the first month. (There is lots more
detail about planting roses in the GRIC.)
Speaking of water, if we donít get more snow or some
good rains in April, be sure to water your roses. Always water on a warm date
make sure you are watering deeply because that is where the rose roots are.
Finally, relax! Starting in May,
we will have plenty of time to spend in our roses gardens. If you did not get
any bare root roses, continue perusing those catalogs and searching the internet
to decide which roses you might want to buy from local nurseries. Most
nurseries start selling their roses the last weekend of April. Some nurseries
have the list of roses they will be selling on their web sites.
For rose questions, contact
Rosarian in your area.
Photo courtesy of
Joan Franson, our beloved longtime member who has contributed
immeasurably through her time and talents to the Denver Rose Society
over the years, passed away on October 17, 2014. We know
that you share in our grief but also in celebrating her
extraordinary life and accomplishments.
A blog post
from Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director
of Outreach, Denver Botanic Gardens
Read about Joan
in this article, written by Susan Clotfelter, printed in the February 15th, 2014 edition of
The Denver Post.
Roses in Review Results
Every year, the American Rose Society
conducts a survey of roses and how they grow in garden around the
nation. The results for the Rocky Mountain District are in.
See what rose growers in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Utah
have to say about recent introductions. Use this information
to help you decide which roses to plant next year.