SPRING ROSE CARE
WHY DO WE PRUNE ROSES?
There are several reasons we prune roses. Pruning allows us to shape roses to desirable heights and size to compliment our garden. We can prune to encourage the production of large, long-stemmed flowers from our hybrid teas or smaller but more abundant clusters from our floribundas.
Proper pruning will also help to create a healthy rose by removing the 3 –D’s (dead, diseased and damaged canes). By thinning canes from the interior of the plant air circulation is increased. This decreases the likelihood of some common fungal ailments such as mildew. By removing dead or damaged canes we increase the overall well-being and beauty of our roses.
These general pruning recommendations are most applicable to hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses. Climbers and miniatures have different pruning requirements and techniques.
WHEN SHOULD WE PRUNE OUR ROSES?
Roses should be pruned in April, once the chance of heavy freezing passes (mark your calendar). Typically, when the forsythia begins to bloom, it is time to prune.
Pruning a little late is not as tragic as cutting your plants back too early, causing them to suffer damage from a late winter freeze.
WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED?
A pair of long handled bypass loppers is necessary for large canes. The long handles provide extra leverage necessary to cut thick old growth. In some cases a pruning saw may also be needed.
Protective clothing should be worn to avoid injury from thorns. A good pair of rose gloves will protect your hands and forearms from cuts. Try West County Gardeners Rose Gloves. Wearing a long sleeved shirt and long pants is also recommended.
- Always use clean, sharp tools.
- Consider the overall plant shape you are seeking.
- Remove all dead branches and canes. Healthy growth will generally appear green or red where dead canes will generally turn gray or brown. As you cut into the canes if the pith is dry and brown continue cutting further down until you reach a green or cream color. Also remove damaged canes and ones that cross or rub on other healthy growth. Prune to open the center of the plant to light and air circulation.
- Prune Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras down to about 10”-12” above the ground. Make clean cuts at 45 degree angles, about ¼” above a bud that is facing toward the outside of the plant.
- Climbers, Miniatures, and Shrub Roses should be shaped, and remove any damaged, diseased, or dead wood.
- Remove any weak or twiggy branches smaller than a pencil. With floribundas you can leave some smaller branches.
- Leave only 4-6 main branches, keeping only smooth, green branches.
- Remove sucker growth below the graft.
- Remove any remaining foliage, and clippings from the base of the plant. Throw these away and do not add them to your mulch or compost pile. Many rose pests and diseases survive in old rose debris.
- Apply Fertilome Dormant Oil (horticultural grade oil that kills insects, bacteria, and fungus).
- During the growth season, regular deadheading (removal of all spent blooms) will increase blooming. Cuts should be made similar to pruning cuts made on canes. Find a leaflet with five or more leaves and with a bud eye pointing in the desired direction of growth. Make your cut just above this location. Remove any petals or leaves that fall into the bush or on the ground.
DO I NEED TO FEED MY ROSES?
Feed Roses every 2 weeks with Fertilome Rose Food, which feeds the plant, and kills the insects. If organic gardening is your thing, use Fox Farm American Pride Super Premium Fertilizer, it is exceptional for roses. In spring, apply Bone Meal (this will enhance color and quality of the blooms).
WHAT IF I DO NOT PRUNE CORRECTLY?
Fortunately for us roses are resilient. Experiment and see what type of pruning works best with your roses. As long as you keep your rose healthy you can prune again next year and try something different.
Seed Starting: Get Growing!
Whatever your motivation is for starting seeds indoors, the process can be fun and simple. When you understand what factors influence a seed you’ll be able to create a formula for success, and then repeat it again and again.
Many gardeners like to germinate their own plants each year, for a number of reasons.
- Getting a jump on the season (having good sized plants when the time is right)
- Not having to wait on commercial growers
- Growing unique varieties, not commonly found in stores (check out Botanical Interest seeds)
- Reduced costs, once you are set up you can grow great plants for next to nothing
- IT’S FUN!!! This time of year it is great to see little plants growing, and kids love it!
Seeds respond to light (or absence of light), temperature, and water. Also, making good choices for soil and containers will help you grow a strong plant, able to live a healthy and productive life.
Your Botanical Interests seed packet will have any special sowing instructions you need to consider. Ample light is one on the major factors influencing the physical strength of seedlings. Sufficiently intense light of the right duration will make a shorter, stronger seedling than weaker light sources. A basic and adequate setup can be as simple as four fluorescent tubes, two cool and two warm spectrum, hung no more than three inches from the top of your seedlings. A timer will help you consistently deliver 14 hours or more of light per day.
Temperature is the factor in the life of a plant, especially germination, which governs the rate at which things happen. While the ideal germination temperature for some plants may be higher or lower, normal household temperatures are usually within the range that encourages germination in a vast majority of commonly grown plants. If temperatures are too low, germination may slow or stop entirely. There are some plants that germinate at a higher ideal temperature. Many of these are tropical plants grown as annual flowers and vegetables in cooler climates. They include but are not limited to: asparagus, begonia, celosia, impatiens, petunia, tomato, watermelon, cucumber, eggplant, pepper, pumpkin, zucchini, and melons. All of these plants germinate at an ideal temperature above 70° F. You can increase germination percentage and speed by applying heat to your soil. You can do this by placing trays and pots near a heat vent, radiator, or other gentle heat source. You can also buy a specially designed heat mat made for this purpose at San Juan Nurseries, Inc.
There is more water in a plant than any other constituent. The way you apply it becomes one of the most important factors in determining the overall health of your seedlings. When a seed comes in contact with water it begins to absorb it. This signals to the plant that it is time to come out of dormancy, germinate, and grow. The plants are fragile in the early stages of life. At this time, consistent moisture is vital. When starting seed indoors, they depend on you to create and maintain the right amount of moisture in theirsurroundings. After sowing, seeds should be watered gently, but thoroughly. If your seeds are tiny, or are to be sown shallow, you may want to wet your soil before sowing. Moisture should be maintained consistently after the first watering, but never to the point of soggy soil. Saturated soil can create conditions that will rot your seeds before they germinate. You can cover your seeds with plastic wrap, removing it after seedlings emerge. There are also capillary mats that supply water, via wicking, to the bottom of containers. This is a good choice ifyour containers are relatively shallow. If your sown seeds are allowed to dry out too much after germination, they may die.
Now that you know what a growing seed requires you can try starting some, or all, of your garden indoors. Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!
There is nothing better than sitting in your back yard with friends and family enjoying an evening Fire (I prefer gas because I won’t get smoke in my direction!) The Glow on everyone’s face and being able to pop your toes close to the fire and really warm up is so……relaxing.
Wait a minute!….why not take this to the next level!
A Fire Pit Table gives you two products in one….you can start out your entertaining with Snacks, chips & Dip…favorite beverage…”you know the drill”. You may choose to eat dinner around your Fire Pit Table then when the sun is setting the evening temperatures are starting to cool, all that is needed is to take off the Burner Cover start your igniter – slowly turn on your gas and WOW! You have a beautiful – warm – glowing fire! Everyone can enjoy the evening and when it’s time to go in….just turn off the gas supply valve, replace the burner cover and you can go indoors for the evening. The end of a great day! Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!
O, Live Christmas Tree!
Times are changing. Live Christmas Trees are ‘the in thing’ this Christmas and really gaining popularity as our world learns to ‘live green’. These are trees that come in pots and can be planted outside after the season is over. Becoming an intimate reminder of special holidays past as it continues to grow in your yard year after year.
Things to consider when using a live tree:
- Select a tree that fits into your current landscape plan. What size and shape will your space allow?
- Water the tree thoroughly and hose it off to clean the tree good before moving it in.
- Spraying the tree with an anti-desiccant or anti-wilt product will help prevent the loss of moisture and needles.
- Acclimate your tree, by placing on a porch or garage 2 to 3 days before introducing it into the house.
- If possible place your tree in a cool part of the house, and keep away from heating vents and fireplaces.
- Place the tree in a large plastic saucer, in order to allow for sufficient watering a couple times a week.
- SJN does not recommend leaving a live tree in the house more than 5-7 days.
- After Christmas, slowly acclimate the tree back outside over 3-5 days.
- The tree can then be planted outside. It is important to maintain adequate watering through the remainder of the winter (twice a month).
Tip: When selecting your live Christmas Tree, consider your climate. San Juan County Trees to consider include: Pinion Pine, Austrian Pine, Bosnian Pine, Blue Spruce, Cypress and Alberta Spruce (shown in picture). Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!
Poinsettias…Poisonous or not??
For years poinsettias had the bad reputation of being poisonous, so we believed it.
The truth is…poinsettias have undergone extensive testing. Government agencies, health centers, veterinary groups, and plant and flower organizations agree that poinsettias are not toxic and do not pose a health threat to children or pets. In fact, in 1992, the poinsettia was included on the list of houseplants most helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air, and is able to remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours! Therefore, poinsettias are breath-taking and breath-giving!
They’re beautiful, they’re safe, and they say Merry Christmas. The only remaining question is whether to save them from year to year. Now that you know they are safe, watch for our ‘advice you can grow with’ article on how to “How to Force Poinsettia Blooms again next Christmas”
Tip: Display them on their own or as a group for a dramatic impact! Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!
ENTER TO WIN $50 from San Juan Nurseries, Inc.
DO WE GIVE SATISFACTION?
We know the Rolling Stones couldn’t get any – but that’s probably because they weren’t shopping at San Juan Nurseries, Inc.
We’d really love to know what you think of our buzztown page at http://www.buzztown.com/business/115802/san-juan-nurseries-inc.html . Please connect with us, and help us improve our service by giving us your review of SJN (click on reviews on the left).
And as a thank you we’ll enter you into a free prize draw to win $50 gift card from SJN. The free prize draw will take place on Dec. 16, 2011.
Thanks very much for your time.
San Juan Nurseries, Inc.
Amaryllis plants are among the most spectacular of all flowering bulbs you can grow. They are attractive, easy to grow, and can produce several stems of giant trumpet shaped flowers in one season! They are available in a wide variety of color including white, pink, salmon, red, and yellow-green!
Amaryllis can bloom for extended periods of time and add amazing color to a home for months. There are different quality bulbs; the older larger bulbs will normally produce 3 to 4 flower stalks, smaller ones producing only 2 to 3. Each stalk will normally produce 4 flowers approximately 4 to 7 inches wide.
What you will need:
- Amaryllis Bulb
- A pot slightly larger than the bulb (1/2-2” around the side of the bulb)
- Well-draining Potting Mix
- Bamboo Stake
Planting a new Amaryllis Bulb
- Choose bulb(s) that is plump and still has some roots at the base.
- Make sure the pot you choose is large enough for the bulb. Generally a 5-7” pot will work fine. The bulb needs to feel crowded to bloom.
- Partially fill the pot with potting mix and place the bulb so the top third of it will be exposed when you fill in potting soils around the sides of the pot.
- Place the bamboo stake along side the bulb. The flowers can get top heavy and inserting the stake now will help you avoid damaging the bulb and roots later.
- Water well.
- Place the pot in bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist, but not wet.
- A thick flower stalk should shoot up within a few weeks. The flat leaves will follow as the flower stalk matures.
- Turn the pot every few days, so the flower stalk gets uniform exposure on all sides and grows straight.
- You can feed the Amaryllis every other week with a good liquid fertilizer at about half the recommended rate.
- When the flowers fade, cut the flower stalk back to just above the bulb. Keep watering the plant until it goes dormant in the fall. You can move or plant the Amaryllis outdoors for the summer, in partial shade.
Forcing Amaryllis to Bloom Again
- The key to getting the bulb to bloom again is to leave the leaves, and continue to fertilize your plant for the rest of the winter.
- Once the chance of frost is over, plant the bulb in a partially shaded area, primarily morning sun.
- Fertilize and water the plant until about August, then stop watering and remove the leaves.
- Allow for 10 to 12 weeks of rest in a cool (55-65 degree) dry spot.
- After the rest period is over, replant the bulb and watch it bloom again.
Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!
Fertilize with Fertilome Winterizer
Fall is the most important time of the year to fertilize lawns, trees, shrubs, roses and perennials. We know this sounds weird, but it’s true. Why? Fall is the time of year when plants begin storing energy to survive the long, cold winter, and then produce again the following growing season.
SJN recommends Fertilome Winterizer, because it helps plants build winter hardiness, stem strength and disease resistance. As the days shorten, and temperatures drop, the plant stops using all of its energy to push top growth, and eventually stops completely. The plant will now use its energy to grow a stronger, healthier root system. This unseen process is the most important of all, as it is storing nutrients to feed the vegetative growth we will see the following growing season. Fertilome Winterizer provides plants with nutrients your soil is many times lacking with a formula concentrating on root development. Fact is a healthy and stable plant can endure the hardship of winter better than a weak plant. Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!
Like us on Facebook to see how you can save 10%-15% OFF Fertilome Winterizer!
‘Advice you can grow with’ by SJN welcomes you 24/7/365.
With ‘advice you can grow with’, you’ll find out what’s new and exciting from our garden center – Including:
- Gardening tips
- Plant information
- Landscape ideas
- Advanced notice on seminars and events
- Supplies we carry
SJN is much more than just plants (although we have a fantastic selection of indoor and outdoor plants). With emphasis on customer service and consistent unique product, San Juan Nurseries offers many wonderful product lines of which we are exclusive distributors for several, and all of our material is hand-picked from sources throughout the country.
Our friendly, knowledgeable staff of gardening and landscape experts is here to assist you with your questions and selections, as well as help you design the landscape of your dreams! We offer people a way of life, with quality advice you can count on!
Help us make this blog serve you best (get conversations rolling by leaving comments to our posts)!
- Tell us what topics you’d like us to cover.
- Subscribe to our updates by email or by RSS
- Join our Facebook page by “liking” it, or follow us on Twitter
- Tell others about us.
Now that’s ‘advice you can grow with’!