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A Simple Guide to Roses

Red Rose

Red Rose

This time of the year, a lot of people will be giving and receiving roses. Have you ever wondered what all those different colors represent though? Maybe you’ve considered planting a rose bush for your sweetheart but didn’t know where to start. Roses are held to high standards so the thought of growing them can be a little intimidating. Believe it or not though, growing these timeless beauties aren’t as scary as you might think. First, let’s take a look at what some of the colors represent. If you’re buying or planting for someone, choosing a certain color can add special meaning to your gift.

Red – The traditional symbol for romance and love. They are a symbol of perfection and beauty and have long since been a way to express deep feelings for someone special.

Pink – An expression of admiration. These roses symbolize grace and elegance.

Yellow– These bright, sunny roses express feelings of warmth and happiness. They are a symbol for joy and friendship.

Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose

White – These roses symbolize innocence and purity. They are traditionally associated with marriage or new beginnings.

Orange – These fiery roses express passion and energy. They’re used to show desire and fascination; they follow closely behind red roses when it comes to conveying romance.

Lavender– These unique blossoms are a hallmark for enchantment. They are traditionally given to show feelings of love at first sight.

Lavender Rose

Lavender Rose

Now that you know the meaning behind the colors, you can pick whatever suits the occasion. If you’re planting the roses, let’s continue on.

Before you plant anything, you should always check your hardiness zone to see if what you’re planting is appropriate for your zone. If there are threats of frost or the ground is frozen, wait to plant. Also check your soil, irrigation, spacing, and sun exposure for compatibility with your variety of rose. Hybrid tea roses are a great option for our zone; they’re hardy and exhibit beautiful color and form.

Now that you’ve chosen your roses and know it’s safe to plant and where, it’s time to put them in the ground. Dig a hole about 18 inches wide and 12-18 inches deep. Place the plant in the middle of the hole and refill with amended soil (soil can be amended by adding organic material like composted manure, leaves, compost, and peat moss). Make sure to avoid any fertilizer with Nitrogen when planting bare root roses, this can burn the sensitive roots. You may need a trellis to stabilize the plant. Now water! Newly planted roses need to stay moist but make sure you don’t overwater. The roots will rot in soggy soil.

All that’s left now is to nurture your roses. This will involve pruning, keeping an eye out for insects and disease, mulching, and watering. Pruning will vary based on your variety of rose and insects and disease will depend a lot on your location. Blight and black spot are notorious for attacking rose bushes though but keeping moisture off of the leaves can help avoid these diseases. Water at the base of the rose bush rather than watering the entire bush. Remember, your local plant nursery or the internet is a great resource if you run into any issues or have concerns about your rose bush. Now you or your loved one can enjoy roses for years to come!

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