Rose Care

  1. Advice For Overwintering Your Roses

    Most people cover their roses for the winter too early.  Wait until your rose plants have been exposed to several killing frosts and some good colder weather to help them go dormant BEFORE covering if winter protection is needed in your area.

    All across the midsection of the states, typically the right time is about Thanksgiving time to protect your roses.  In the more northern states still time if you have not, and as you move into the more southern areas if winter protection is needed it may be a bit early still.

    Hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda, and of course all the new shrub rose types can all benefit from some additional mulch added right on the plants about a foot deep.

    Wait to prune your roses until late winter or early spring so any winter damage is removed when being pruned.  And for roses that bloom on last year’s wood - they don’t get pruned until after the June bloom is done.

    Any kind of shredded mulch (bags may still be available near you), or compost works great too.  Dump the mulch right where the canes come out of the ground piling it up about a foot thick.  It will protect the canes from dying back.  The exposed parts will discolor and may die back but those parts get cut off in spring anyway, and the covered portions will remain green and viable.

    Many used to use the styrofoam rose cones and many times those plants would rot underneath the cones so if you are using them, be sure to cut the tops off the cones to allow moisture in and out during the winter months.

    A pile of mulch is such a simple way to insure winter success in areas that do get cold, and now is the time!


    Photo (left) shows a foot of mulch piled on the canes covering the crown of the plant for the winter for simple success.

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  2. Top 5 Most Fragrant Roses

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -  William Shakespeare

    Rose lovers the world over know that roses are far more than beautiful flowers. The scent of the most fragrant roses can transform a drab day to an exceptional one. The best - no matter what form they come in, can elevate a garden or a bouquet beyond simple beauty to a sensory experience. Here at Nature Hills we have some of the best smelling roses available on the market today. They come in several forms: shrubs, small trees, climbers, floribundas, rugosas and hybrid teas. If it's fragrance you want, you're sure to find one that will fit into your garden.

    Julia Child Floribunda RoseJulia Child Rose

    Available in both shrub and tree form, this showstopper was chosen by the world-renowned chef herself as her namesake rose. The large buttery yellow roses have a very strong spicy fragrance with a touch of licorice scent. Two or three will perfume an entire room in your home.

    Blue Girl Hybrid Tea RoseBlue Girl Rose

    This rose not only has an amazingly fruity fragrance, but a stop-you-in-your-tracks unique color. It is as close to a blue rose as breeders have ever come; a silver and lavender combination that is as sexy as the scent is sweet. Your garden won't be the same once you plant this beauty.

    Zephirine Drouhin Climbing RoseZephirine Drouhin Rose

    This is THE classic climbing rose, setting the bar for all climbing roses to follow. Not only does this beauty bloom in sun or light shade, she has a distinctive damask rose scent that makes you want to stop when you walk under her and just breathe in deep.

    Blanc Double De Coubert Hybrid Rugosa Rose 

    This aristocratic rose set the world on fire when it was first presented in 1892. Its intense old rose scent is EXACTLY what you think of when you imagine the smell of a rose. It's what all rose-scented candles and soaps aspire to smell like. One of these plants will perfume your whole garden.

    Easy Elegance Sweet Fragrance Rose      Sweet Fragrance Rose

    Just as the name suggests, this easy care landscape rose has an unforgettably sweet fragrance. The apricot colored blooms just keep coming all season, too, giving you plenty of cut flowers for deliciously scented bouquets.


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  3. Pruning Rose Bushes

    Rose Buds

    Pruning rose bushes is an important step in the care of roses. Many gardeners do not understand fully the process of pruning rose bushes. Improper pruning can result in a weak plant, or one that will not bloom fully, if at all. Pruning roses is, despite popular belief, a very easy process, and can be done by any gardener. Pruning rose bushes should take place in the springtime, just as the buds break. Stems should be cut back to within one-quarter inch of an outside bud. This will help to encourage the rose bush to grow outwards, instead of inwards. Pruning rose bushes should always be done with a sharp pair of pruning shears, as the wood can be tough, and cuts that are not clean will damage the plants.

    Blooming Roses

    Pruning rose bushes also entails the removal of dead wood and weak stems. This will help encourage the plant to have much more new growth, and often larger blooms. Severe pruning, such as removal of half the previous season’s growth, will also result in larger, but often fewer, flowers. Trimming rose bushes in the summer involves only the removal of spent blooms, as well as possibly cleaning up the overall shape of the rose bush in order to make it more pleasing to the eye as a whole. Removing any limbs that are too aggressive may be necessary or desired as well.

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  4. Planting & Transplanting Roses

    Yellow Roses

    Planting rose bushes in a garden is easy to do, and has many rewards as these beautiful plants bloom.

    The first step to planting rose bushes is preparing the site. Roses prefer partial sunlight, and should be shaded from the hot afternoon sunlight. The site should have a slightly acidic soil content, and a heavy clay loam is ideal, but they will grow in nearly any soil condition.

    The second step to planting rose bushes is to prepare the plant itself. Most rose bushes, when purchased, will be pruned prior to purchase. If not, it is best to cut back the stalks of bedding roses to about six inches, and the climbers to about eighteen inches. Planting rose bushes that have dried out can be detrimental to the health of the plant. Dried out plants should be moistened slightly before planting.

    The third step to planting rose bushes is the actual planting. Planting rose bushes should usually be done in the autumn months, so the plants have time to develop before the hot summer months. The hole should be dug so that the root system will fit fully, and not be crowded. The roots should be laid out and soil applied carefully, ensuring that no damage is done to the roots. Soil should be pressed down firmly, removing any air pockets that might have developed. Transplanting rose bushes is a fairly straightforward process. It is very similar to the act of transplanting most other plants. Transplanting rose bushes should always be done in the autumn months, after the blooming period has ended. The first step is to dig around the plant and fairly deep. The underground root structure of a rose bush can sometimes get pretty large, and it is important not to damage any roots if possible. Once the plant is up, remove much of the soil from around the roots. This can be done using water or lightly shaking the roots. Once the soil has been removed, select a new location for the plant.  There should be a good amount of direct sunlight each day, with shade from the higher temperatures of the afternoon sun, and also good drainage of water.

    Multiple Rose Bushes

    Once the location has been selected, a hole must be dug for the plant. The hole should be large enough to house the entire root system freely, and not in a large clump. Spread out the roots and add soil a little bit at a time and press firmly to remove any air pockets and reinforce the support for the plant. The crown of the rose bush, where the roots come together, should be just an inch or so beneath the surface of the soil. Now, the plant must be watered gently, to ensure the roots are in contact with the soil. Transplanting rose bushes is often done for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the plant may not be thriving in its current location. This may be for several reasons, including not enough sun or soil drainage. Transplanting rose bushes that are not growing well to a location near a tree or shrub to act as a shield in the afternoon may increase the chances of growth greatly.

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