Maintaining and Choosing Roses
Monday, April 28, 2003
During the month of April it is time to cut back your hybrid tea roses to about 8-12 inches. Keep three or four good canes on the plant.
As foliage begins to emerge, begin spraying for blackspot disease. Make a weekly application of a fungicide such as daconil or Cleary’s 3336. Alternate the fungicide you use. For example, use daconil one week, and then use Cleary’s 3336 the next week.
You should also spray your roses with an insecticide such as diazanon to control aphids and thrips. Make this application every two or three weeks. If you prefer, you can find some rose sprays that are combinations of fungicides and insecticides.
Fertilize your roses with a rose food on a monthly basis during the growing season. You can also use a rose food that includes a systemic insecticide for the control of thrips and aphids.
If you have never grown roses, or if you want to add to your collection, I suggest that you purchase plants that are in bud and bloom. You can get a better idea of the form of the plant, and you can actually look at the blooms and see if you like their color and smell the fragrance.
There are so many roses on the market that I suggest you start by buying roses developed by David Austin. This Englishman began working with roses about 40 years ago as a hobby, and then turned his hobby into a life’s passion.
David Austin roses, or English roses, were developed from old roses and hybrid teas. As a group, you can find a variety of different size plants, rose colors, and fragrances. These roses are purported to be more resistant to black spot, are hardy to zone 5, do well during the summer heat, and are frequent repeat bloomers. For the novice rose grower, or the experienced rosearean, you can’t go wrong planting David Austin roses.