Roses are beautiful and hardy. They can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. However, the trick to growing truly prize winning-roses is giving them the very best conditions and then protecting them from pests and diseases.
Here's what will make them do the best:
- *Sandy loam soil with good drainage. Add sand and humus to heavier clay soil.
- *Slightly acid pH (6.0-6.5). Test your soil to see if it needs to be adjusted with lime or sulfur.
- *At least 6 hours of daily sun (morning sun is preferred to withering afternoon sun).
- *A location with good air circulation. Enclosed spaces are an invitation to disease.
After giving them the best environment, roses need to be protected from pests and diseases. It can be amazing how quickly prize winning roses can become a disappointing wreck. The key is keeping an eye on them and catching any problems early. Be sure to check plants at least once a week for the first sign of fungus disease and harmful insect pests. The moment you see a sign of damage, take action!
Gardens Alive! has two products, Soap shield and Pyola, which have proven to be invaluable to rose enthusiasts. They are all natural and they work!
Soap-Shield, combining copper with a naturally occurring fatty acid, has outstanding disease-fighting power. For best results, start spraying early in the season to prevent black spot, powdery mildew and rust on your roses.
Pyola stops bugs cold. It combines pyrethrin, a long-popular all-natural insecticide, with canola oil, extracted from rapeseed. Unlike most pesticides, Pyola controls all stages of an insectsâ€™ life cycle. Adults, larvae and eggs are killed with one easy spraying. Some of the really tough bugs that Pyola kills are; Japanese beetles, aphids, thrips and caterpillars, among others.