When you first start to learn rose gardening, you probably have visions of large, healthy bushes with lush, velvety flowers growing everywhere. This is what you’re aiming for, but you also must keep your feet planted firmly on the ground and recognize that tending roses involves a lot of work. You need to keep your dream garden before your eyes, while simultaneously preparing to deal with pests and diseases that might attack the garden. Only by knowing how to deal with these problems can you make your dream a reality.
Of course prevention is where you start, with a garden design that includes proper soil drainage and good air circulation, as a defense against fungus. Caring for roses means planning for their protection before disease or pests even enter the picture.
To minimize the incidence of rose diseases, learn which roses are most susceptible. Hybrid tea roses, for example, are in a greater danger of succumbing than other varieties. So if you want to plant tea roses, then add beds of other kinds, as a sort of buffer. This can help prevent the spread of disease to other plants, so your whole garden won’t end up infected.
If you do discover pests or diseases, though, often you can nip them, as it were, in the bud. Pruning roses below canker or black spots can often eliminate those problems. Be sure to throw away the diseased branches; never mix them into a compost bin, or they could spread the disease the next season. With rose care, you need to maintain constant vigilance against tiny insects that might suck juices from the plants, and fungus and diseases that might harm their structure.
Creating a rose garden that is healthy and well grown is the ultimate goal of all the work you do. You may have to consult a professional gardener for advice if you can’t solve the difficulties you face. But often you can eliminate the problems, either by spraying against pests that appear, or simply pruning off branches that are diseased. Caring for roses doesn’t just mean planting and watering, and then crossing your fingers and hoping they will do well. It requires good preparation and care during the life of the plants and swift, knowledgeable action when something threatens them.
Your aim when tending roses is always to produce the healthiest plants and blossoms as possible. That’s why you start with good soil and fertilizer, water properly, and plant your rose bushes where they will get a lot of sunlight. But even with good care, sometimes the roses can still become infected by some kind of disease or pest. So in addition to knowing how to care for healthy roses, you need to have some idea how you would prune and treat plants that have fallen prey to insects or blight.