Rose Care Tips
Roses planted in well-drained soil as described above appreciate frequent watering during dry spells. If you follow the planting instructions as described above poor drainage will not be a problem. Under normal conditions during the active growth season, and when blooming heavy, roses need 1" of water per week from rainfall or other sources. Many roses will tell you when they need watering. Drooping new growth is an indicator.
I have a drip system running through out my rose garden and use it to water my roses with about 2 gallons of water every other day - but, depending on the time of year and the weather, you may not need to water roses this much. Attaching a water meter to your spicket helps to measure the amount of water despensed. You can also use a rain gauge to measure rainfall. Do not water during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, water early in the morning or late in the afternoon. If you hand water your roses make sure to avoid splashing water on the foliage as this may promote black spot on the foliage.
I fertilize my roses when they begin to show new growth in the early spring. I use a rose fertilizer that also contains a systemic insecticide. Broadcast around the root sytem and gently work in, making sure not to go to deep as the roots could be damaged. I fertilize every 6 weeks. In addidtion, every two weeks I water around the base of each of my roses with a solution of 1 tablespoon Miracle Gro for Roses fertilizer in 1 gallon of water. I use old milk jugs to make it easier to measure and distribute.
Disease Prevention & Control
I always keep a chart of when I spray my hybrid tea roses with fungicides. (Knock Out Roses, and other caref free shrub roses, do not require regular applications of fungicide because they are exceptionally disease resistant.) You should spray your hybrid tea roses with a fungicide on a schedule of every 10 to 14 days. This is easy to do if you keep a sprayer on hand specifically for spraying fungicides.
I alternate fungicides every other week to make it less likely that my roses will become tolerant to one fungicide.
If any leaves on your roses develop black spot, or start to turn yellow from a disease, pull them off and discard. Any diseased leaves that have fallen to the ground should also be removed and discarded.
The onset of black spot is usually caused by too much water on the leaves, or during extended overcast periods when the dew is not dried off by the sun. I use Manzate to kill black spot spores. If black spot spores are present, you must first eliminate them by picking diseased leaves off.
Good air circulation helps to prevent mildew and other diseases by keeping the plant dry and not allowing disease spores to take hold. Aside from manzate, the other fungicides I use are Compass and Banner-maxx. These are quite expensive chemicals, however the bottle goes a long way because of the small amount needed to mix solutions.
Most nursery and garden centers sell cheaper broad spectrum fungicides that work well. Products containing Neem oil are great for treating powdery mildew and other diseases as well as insects and mites. Neem oil is a natural substance that is safe for the environment.