Here’s a truly romantic Valentine’s Day surprise: Plant a rose bush in your yard for the special someone in your life.
Here are some tips that will make it easier to plant a bush that will keep giving roses for years.
There are hundreds of varieties of roses out there in the marketplace that will do well in Arizona, according to John Jay Harper of Harper’s Landscape and Gardening. Just be sure to plant a potted rose and not a bareroot variety.
Potted roses can be planted no, whereas bareroot roses need to be put in the ground in December and January. Potted roses are much easier to plant.
You should pick a suitable spot where the rose bush will get about half a day’s worth of sun in the morning and then shade in the afternoon. Don’t plant your rose against a hot, reflecting western wall or in an extremely shady spot.
Dig a nice, wide hole that is about the depth of the pot that the rose came in. Fill the hole with a mixture of natural soil and composted material. Use mulch, not stone or gravel to finish off the hole.
Fertilize initially with something gentle like bone meal or blood meal. Then water well to get rid of all the air pockets. After that, fertilize once a month except for December and January.
As for watering, do it two to three times a week in summer. Water deeply enough that the water penetrates about two feet deep into the soil. Water once a week in spring and fall and once every 21-30 days if at all in winter. Again, water long enough to get water down about two feet.
Once established, your rose will need light pruning in fall and heavier pruning between January and mid-February.
You will have to watch for diseases like powdery mildew and insects like aphids and thrips.
Your reward will be lovely blooms that will remind your valentine of how much thought – and work — you put into this special gift.
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