Texas Living

Caring for Your Texas Roses

By Leslie F. Halleck 5.25.15

May is a wonderful time to plant roses in Texas gardens. While some rose varieties may be challenging to grow in our climate, there are some seriously tough varieties well-suited to our soil and tips you can follow to ensure beautiful blooms.

Types of Roses

Choosing the right variety for your location will go a long way in your quest for beautiful roses. Antique roses on their own rootstock tend to be hardy, low-maintenance specimens. A few of my favorites include Mutabilis, Perle d’Or, and Mlle. Franziska Kruger. Look for varieties promoted in the Texas A&M EarthKind program. Many of these tough antique roses look beautiful and require minimal care and watering.

Right Place

Selecting a sunny spot for your roses is an absolute must. Choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. The more direct sunlight the better. Shadier spots will only result in a in adequate blooms and lower overall plant vigor and disease tolerance.

Bed Prep

Good drainage and soil fertility are both key to growing beautiful roses. Properly amend your existing soil with a rose soil mix and organic compost. Expanded shale is one of the best amendments you can use in your soil to aerate and improve drainage.

Garden Care

Ideally, an established rose plant needs the equivalent of one-inch of rainfall per week; however certain varieties thrive on less. Watering should only be done in the early morning so that moisture does not sit on the foliage overnight. Wet foliage can quickly encourage fungal disease.

Fertilize your roses at planting time and then throughout the growing season to help them look their best. Put a note on your calendar to feed your roses in February or March and then again in August.

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