Roses - Easy Elegance

Location
Roses need sun, especially in cooler climates. Choose a site with 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.  Air circulation is also important. It's best not to plant your roses too close to a building — two feet away from the foundation is a good rule of thumb.  Also, never crowd your roses, so they’re sure to get enough air and light.  Although good air circulation is important, protection from strong winds is desirable.

Planting
In the Ground:
  1. Dig a hole one and a half times wider than the container the roses came in.
  2. Remove the plant from the container.
  3. Roughen the sides and bottom of the root ball.
  4. Center the plant in the hole, keeping the plant vertical.
  5. Top of root ball should be level with the surrounding soil surface. This may require adding back some soil.
  6. Fill in around the roots with soil, and then firmly tamp down.
  7. Water your plant thoroughly. Refill with soil if necessary, then water again.
  8. Water as needed to maintain evenly moist soil.
Watering
Roses like moist well-drained soil, especially while they’re just getting started in your garden. Although shrub roses, once established, are drought tolerant, plants that get enough water will produce abundant, superior blooms and flower longer with vivid color and fragrance.
  • In well-prepared, well-drained soil, it's nearly impossible to over water your roses. It is far better to soak your plants well and do it less often than to frequently water them just a little.
  • It’s best to water in the morning so that the leaves have all day to dry off. Wet leaves and cool night air can cause fungal disease.
  • As August approaches you can cut down on watering as the plant naturally begins to go into dormancy.
Mulching
Whether you're growing your roses in a bed with other roses, shrubs or perennials, mulching is a great idea. It looks attractive and is beneficial to your plants.
  • Mulch keeps the soil cool and moist which encourages rapid root growth and reduces the amount of watering you'll have to do.
  • It inhibits weed growth, which will not only save you work but also eliminates competition for food and water.
  • Around mid-May when the ground warms up, apply a layer of organic mulch such as shredded leaves or bark, cocoa bean hulls or wood chips. Spread it all around the plant but not quite touching the canes of the rose.
  • Avoid using rocks or pebbles as they get too hot in summer and could stunt plant growth. Remove and compost mulch in autumn to prevent disease.
Fertilizing
Easy Elegance shrub roses don't need frequent feeding. Once per season, as the buds appear in spring, is usually enough. You may apply fertilizer once again late in June. Both inorganic and organic fertilizers deliver great results.
  • Inorganic fertilizers, such as all-purpose 10-10-10 or rose fertilizer are inexpensive and start to work quickly. In general, you can use about 1/3 cup per square foot. Just sprinkle it around the base of the plant and water thoroughly. Always read the packaging for specific directions and follow them exactly — more is not better when it comes to inorganic fertilizers.
  • Good organic alternatives include alfalfa meal, blood meal, bone meal, compost and manure. If your plants look healthy and have lush green foliage, you can stop feeding after the longest day.
Pruning
One significant advantage Easy Elegance® roses is they require very little pruning.
  • In the first year, little or no pruning will be required. We do recommend removing a dead or damaged cane (using gloves and a good pruner).
  • In subsequent years, pruning can be confined to removing dead or damaged wood and crossing or inward growing canes. This keeps the center of the plant open for good air circulation.
  • Some gardeners like to cut the oldest canes back by 1/3 to encourage new growth and more blooms.
  • Pruning should be done in the spring, before your plants start to bloom.
  • Deadheading (removing spent blooms) is well worth your time. If a plant does not have to use its energy to produce rose hips, the repeat bloom will be much stronger.
Cut Flowers
Cutting flowers out of your own garden is pure pleasure. Experiment with different colors and combinations for unique looks.
  • It's best to cut roses early in the morning or late in the evening (though you should have success any time of day as long you get them right into water).
  • The flowers will last the longest if you cut them when the buds are just starting to unfurl. Blossoms that are fully opened can still be used to sprinkle on the table with your centerpiece or collected for potpourris.
  • Don't forget to use the pretty orange hips for your fall arrangements.
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