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How To Care For Roses In Southern Ontario

July 13, 2020
Written by Aaron

We tend to get a lot of questions about rose care, and while roses do require more maintenance than other common shrubs, they’re by no means difficult to look after. A little bit of regular upkeep leads to some pretty impressive results, so if you’re a gardening novice, it’s definitely a worthwhile project. Here’s how you can grow and care for roses in Simcoe, Ontario. 

Planting Roses In Southern Ontario

Depending on the variety you choose, you can use roses for border plants, garden bed accents, climbing plants to train over arbours and patio lattice, or as container plants. Whatever location or growing medium you select, just ensure it’s suited to the size and growth habit of your chosen rose variety, since there are so many different kinds to choose from. That being said, almost all roses will need at least 6 hours of direct sun every day, so make sure your chosen location has plenty of light. 

How to Care for Roses in Southern Ontario planting rose bushes

The best soil for roses has excellent drainage and high nutrients, to set your rose bushes off to a good start, you’ll want to loosen up the soil thoroughly. Ideally, you’ll want sandier, loamy soil with a lot of compost mixed in.

If you’ve purchased a rose bush with bare roots, you’ll want to soak the root ball in water for up to 24 hours before planting. If it’s a potted rose, you won’t have to worry about that step. Plant your roses about 1.5–2 feet deep to fit their large root system, then fill the hole back up with the soil, compost and bone meal mix. Mound it up slightly around the base of the plant. 

How to Care for Roses in Southern Ontario big pink roses

How Often Should I Water Roses?

Generally, roses need about 1-3 inches of water per week. The thing is, roses are pretty susceptible to mildew and other fungal diseases if they get soggy and don’t receive much air circulation. That means you’ll want to avoid getting the leaves wet whenever possible and stick to watering the soil directly. The easiest way to do this is with a trickle hose set up near the base of the plant. Just turn it on and leave it for a while, so it thoroughly saturates the ground. 

If we experience a lot of rain in a short period, you can skip on watering, and should check your roses regularly for any signs of bacteria or fungal growth. Remove any damaged pieces with sanitized shears, wiping the blades clean between every cut, and disposing of the damaged parts safely in the garbage, not the compost bin.

Rose Care: Mulch, Fertilizer, And More

Applying a layer of mulch on top of the soil around your roses will help to retain moisture and control weeds. Some gardeners insist that cocoa bean shells are the best mulch for roses, but we’ve found that classic bark mulch still works perfectly fine.

How to Care for Roses in Southern Ontario fertilizer and mulch rose shrubs 

In spring, feed your roses with a fertilizer formulated specifically for roses. For best performance and blooms, apply the fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. There are also special fertilizers made for transplanting, easing the transition when planting your rose. Be sure to water your rose before and after applying fertilizer as their roots are susceptible to being burnt.

Since there are so many types of roses, this means there are different times of the seasons and different styles of pruning. Use a pruning saw or hand pruners to remove any damaged branches or awkward pieces that jut out too far. If there are some densely packed areas with branches, it may help to thin them out a bit to help prevent fungal growth. 

We have so many spectacular colours and varieties of roses to grow in Southern Ontario. Visit Eising to see our full collection, or check out our online store! We have citywide delivery and curbside pickup available all summer long. 

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