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Old 06-07-2007, 07:54 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 1,730,445 times
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Hello All -

As a real garden novice, I have several questions on how to plant & care for a new rosebush I just purchased, to keep the other one company. I understand the directions on the bag & have searched websites for the answers to these q's, but cannot find them.

The directions say to dig a hole 12" sq, slit sides of paper pot in 3-4 places or punch a # of holes in pot. Place pot in hole so top is 2" below ground, keep well watered for 1st 2-wks & then thoroughly during dry periods.

My questions are:

1. Do I pack the soil in very firmly around the plant or loosely & just firm enough so that it's held upright?

2. What is well watered? I've killed every houseplant I've ever owned, within 1-mo (I now only have the confidence to care for silk plants), as I've been told I overwater, whatever that means. Do I water it daily for 2-wks? Every other day? I have no other plants in the yard, save for the other rosebush & lilac tree planted 70-yrs ago, so I have no knowledge of gardening whatsoever. The lilac tree & rosbush have survived, on their own, through frigid Boston winters & baking summers, without ever being watered by a human, so I don't know when to water the new plant & when to stop watering it.

3. Why water during dry periods if the other rosebush is 70-yrs old & no one has ever watered it? Perhaps, as Boston is a fairly rainy, humid climate, it's gotten enough water & these instructions are just for a new plant?

4. The rosebush has branches/stems (whatever they're called) that are blunt cut & have browned/dried at the cut. Once it's planted, should I trim those stems again, like in cutting live flowers in a vase? If so, blunt cut them like they are now, or on an angle?

5. How long will it take for it to grow & flowers to bloom? I've heard several years & others have told me to plant multiple bushes, as some never take.

6. Lastly, on the old rosebush, there is a center "bulb" that is 6" above ground. It seems that over the past 8-yrs, some soil has washed away & this "root" has been exposed. I built a brick circle around it, about 6" high, & filled it in loosely with soil, several years ago, but the stems seem to be dying off since then & I loose 2-3 more each year. It's now lost 1/3 of it's stems. I went on the advice of an older neighbor who seems to have a green thumb, but as he's 80-yrs old, he's changed his story several times, so I don't know if I did the wrong thing by initially covering it. The bulb is now exposed again & I'm not sure what to do with it. Should some of that "bulb" be exposed? Should all of it be covered? He told me to leave alot of it exposed, but I don't remember this plant having any of that exposed at all, years ago when it was thriving.

7. Also, I have used rose plant food several times during each summer & that's the only time I ever watered the old rosebush. I guess it works, as the rosebush, once red, has faded to dark pink. When I feed it, it was obvious where I didn't distribute the food properly as 1/2 the roses were pink & half were red. Same neighbor said I may have overfed it. Well, bloody blazes, he told me how many times to feed it during the summer, so I'm at a loss now. Also, should I feed the new rosebush & when?

Lots of questions, I know. Even if someone could just advise on planting the new & saving the old, I'll figure out the rest eventually.

Thank you so much to all you green-thumbers out there! ... VV
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:03 PM
 
284 posts, read 1,635,013 times
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I noticed that no one has answered your question, yet, so I thought I would advise you to get some advice from the local nursery. My concern is about the time that you are planting your roses. I don't know about your zone, but where I am (zone 7), we plant roses around March. You might want to see if you are planting too late in the season, and if so, if someone locally can give you ideas to help with that, too. Sorry I can't be of more help!
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:06 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
10,978 posts, read 22,841,928 times
Reputation: 16109
KP, I've copied your long list and answered them in order to the best of my ability.

As a real garden novice, I have several questions on how to plant & care for a new rosebush I just purchased, to keep the other one company. I understand the directions on the bag & have searched websites for the answers to these q's, but cannot find them.

The directions say to dig a hole 12" sq, slit sides of paper pot in 3-4 places or punch a # of holes in pot. Place pot in hole so top is 2" below ground, keep well watered for 1st 2-wks & then thoroughly during dry periods.

My questions are:


1. Do I pack the soil in very firmly around the plant or loosely & just firm enough so that it's held upright?

Pack soil firmly.

2. What is well watered? Do I water it daily for 2-wks?

Yes.

Every other day?

Only if it rains.


3. Why water during dry periods if the other rosebush is 70-yrs old & no one has ever watered it? Perhaps, as Boston is a fairly rainy, humid climate, it's gotten enough water & these instructions are just for a new plant?

The old one was probably well-watered in the beginning. They must establish a good root system in order to survive drought.

4. The rosebush has branches/stems (whatever they're called) that are blunt cut & have browned/dried at the cut. Once it's planted, should I trim those stems again, like in cutting live flowers in a vase?

No, leave them alone unless the dead wood extends further than 1 inch. Then trim as close as possible to green wood w/o damaging living stems.

5. How long will it take for it to grow & flowers to bloom? I've heard several years & others have told me to plant multiple bushes, as some never take.

It should bloom within a few months of being planted. It's better to plant an expensive rose from a reputable nursery than a cheap one from any old place.

6. Lastly, on the old rosebush, there is a center "bulb" that is 6" above ground.

This is where it was grafted onto a hardy rootstock.

Don't bury it. Anything that sprouts from beneath the graft will be a less desirable variety.

It's now lost 1/3 of it's stems.

Probably an old and sick rose.

He told me to leave alot of it exposed, but I don't remember this plant having any of that exposed at all, years ago when it was thriving.

Maybe add soil till it only sticks out a couple of inches.

7. Also, I have used rose plant food several times during each summer & that's the only time I ever watered the old rosebush. I guess it works, as the rosebush, once red, has faded to dark pink. When I feed it, it was obvious where I didn't distribute the food properly as 1/2 the roses were pink & half were red. Same neighbor said I may have overfed it. Well, bloody blazes, he told me how many times to feed it during the summer, so I'm at a loss now. Also, should I feed the new rosebush & when?

The color changes could indicate a naturally occurring "sport" or a pre-existing graft of more than one variety or the rose has sprouted from below its graft. Don't worry about it.

Use time-released fertilizer like Osmocote or blue liquid food like Peter's. If you use something else, read the directions and water immediately after fertilizing. Water if it hasn't rained in 5 days.

Lots of questions, I know. Even if someone could just advise on planting the new & saving the old, I'll figure out the rest eventually.

Thank you so much to all you green-thumbers out there! ... VV
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,284 posts, read 19,350,719 times
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Roses are among the simplest plants to grow - I think you are overthinking this and getting unduly stressed. Feed your roses every 6 weeks during the growing season and water newly planted roses every few days unless the weather is hot/windy (if it is very hot and/or windy, water every day for a weeks. Deep water (slow water) established roses once every 5 or 6 days during hot weather - you can tell when roses need water - they will droop.

Once established, most roses are very hearty - they should be pruned annualy (you should get an on-line guide to pruning for your growing zone - very simple), cut back slightly after each blooming session and spray with the correct solution if you have aphids, mold, rust or black spot. You can also feed with a systemic food that includes additives that will discourage disease and pests.

Grow roses that are recommended for your area because they will be the most disease resistant and easiest to grow. Roses prefer full sun and don't like to be crowded - give them room to grow. Don't overhead water as this promotes disease.

If you want to be extra nice to your roses - give them a few feedings of compost during the growing season.

Your roses did not turn different colors because you didn't spread the rose food evenly.

Really, you do not need to be very precise or picky when it comes to roses - follow the planting directions that come with roses and you can't go wrong. If the ends are brown, put them back a bit...go with your instincts and you will be fine.

Roses will grow with little care but with a little care like annual pruning and regular feeding during growing season, roses can produce spectacularly.

Once established, it is difficult to kill a rose. I have dug roses up in the middle of their growing season and moved them to a new spot - I have never killed a rose.
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:15 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 1,730,445 times
Reputation: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scholar View Post
I noticed that no one has answered your question, yet, so I thought I would advise you to get some advice from the local nursery. My concern is about the time that you are planting your roses. I don't know about your zone, but where I am (zone 7), we plant roses around March. You might want to see if you are planting too late in the season, and if so, if someone locally can give you ideas to help with that, too. Sorry I can't be of more help!
Hello Scholar -

Pardon my long delay in replying. Thank you very much. Gosh, Home Depot is 1-mi from me & they're very knowledgeable in the nursery. Don't know why I didn't think of that, thank you.

I have no idea which zone I'm in, but in March, we normally still have snow & a frozen ground in Boston. I'll check out my zone online, as never heard of this before. See, I'm a REAL novice.

This was very helpful, thanks again... VV
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:24 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 1,730,445 times
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Default Thank you Ellie!

My apologies for the delay in replying & I thank you so much for taking the time to reply & for so much valuable info. I've been ill, so have yet to plant it, but, we've also had chilly then hot then rainy weather the past few days, so I'm just going to hope for the best & plant it as soon as I can. Hopefully, early this week.

I'm better understanding how to plant it, so thank you very much once again. I think the old plant will be glad it has a new friend & the new one will thrive. They'll be buddies for life.

Thanks again... VV
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:41 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 1,730,445 times
Reputation: 656
Default Thank you Cattnap!

This is very helpful info, thank you very much. Sorry if I came across as sounding stressed. I'm not frantic, just very organized, so listed every question I could possibly have. I'm not a gardener & want to plant the rosebush to the best of my ability, as I'll be moving next year & leaving my elderly mom to deal with it. Just want it to be easy for her as she's not any better with plants than I. Okay... I was frantic... but, just a little...

I feel much more comfortable with everyone taking the time to share info & the 1st day I'm able, will be much more confident in planting the little guy. Maybe I'll even post pics a la Karla! Well, after I trim the grass as the yard, as it now looks like an Okinawan jungle...

Thanks again... VV
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