OYO: Everything's Coming up Roses

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Sioux Falls June is rose month and that's exactly what this edition of Owning Your Outdoors is all about. While popular for giving, roses sometimes get a bad rap for being a little difficult to grow. Doug Schroeder from Lewis, our yard and garden expert, says that is definitely not the case. Many of the newer varieties of roses are easier than ever to grow and can thrive with a minimum amount of maintenance.

What you decide that you're going to plant a rose, the first thing you have to do is decide where you want to put it. Make sure that place gets lots of sunshine. Doug says it's important to give roses plenty of space. Plant roses three to four feet apart. This will allow for airflow which helps prevent disease. When you're ready to plant, start by digging a hole slightly deeper and about one and a half times the width of the container that your rose is in. Mix the dirt from the hole with some type of organic material. Cow manure, peat moss or even your own compost work best. Add a little bit of the soil/compost mixture to the bottom of the hole and then place the rose plant. Make sure the soil with the rose is even with the ground. Fill in the space around the edge with your soil/compost mixture. Finally, water and place some mulch around your plant.

Doug says your rose will need fertilizer. You should fertilize once every year about the time roses bud in the spring. This will provide your rose plant with the nutrients it needs to bloom all summer and into the fall.

You should deadhead or trim the dying blooms from your rose. This will encourage your plant to produce even more blooms. Doug says that when it comes to pruning and trimming the leaves or foliage of the rose plant, don't do anything for the first year. When your rose comes back in the spring, wait until it completely leafs out to trim off any dead branches. You can also trim the stems back about one-third to help shape the bush. Once again, a little pruning will encourage the plant to produce more blooms.

Doug says that roses make an excellent centerpiece for your planter or patio container, however you should transfer the rose from the container into the ground before the first frost. If you leave a rose plant in a patio container through the winter, it will not survive.

It's not necessary to cover your rose plant through the winter, but give it some mulch and make sure it has plenty of moisture heading into the winter season.