Temecula Valley Rose Society

Rose Care Corner, February 2006

Rule Number 1: Location Matters
Dainty Bess is a rose I love. I planted her but within two years she was gone. With a score of 8.6 out of 10, how could she not have survived? In thinking back I realize that I had planted her in a very sunny area where she received a lot of reflected afternoon heat from a south facing wall because I wanted to look out my kitchen window and see her every day. With the word "dainty" in her name, how could I not have thought this would be a problem? So when I received Dainty Bess as a gift last year, I planted her near the garage (where I still see her every day) on the east side of the house in an area that receives morning sun but afternoon shade. I have been thrilled with her performance. Some common sense attention to the needs of rose location will make both you and your rose happy.

Rule Number 2: Winter Care Matters
When I am too busy to take care of my roses, I tell myself that roses are very hardy and do not need to be pampered. This is true. But it is also true that roses as well as people respond better when their health needs are met. Prune properly this month. Clean up and dispose of the debris around the base of the rose, placing the debris in the trash bin and not the compost pile. Apply a dormant spray to kill any disease spores under the rose. Epsom salts around the drip line will promote new basal breaks. A good quality mulch at a depth of two to three inches will nourish the soil, hold moisture and moderate soil temperature. And without winter rains, be certain to water well during this period. Yes, this might sound like more than you can do when the days are short and you are a tad frantic with all the various demands being placed on you. But the reward for yourself and your roses will be great if you make the time to give your roses the




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