Questions and Answers about Roses

Question:
How do you get starts off rose plants?

Answer:
Probably the easiest way to start new plants from your existing rose plants is to take a green cutting. The best time to take a cutting is early/middle summer.

You need to cleanly cut a six to eight inch length of cane underneath the eyes (buds). Then remove all of the leaves, except the topmost two. Next, dip each cutting into rooting powder (available in stores and garden centers). Then stick the cuttings about two inches apart into a container filled with a growing medium such as Perlite. Place the cuttings slightly at an angle, right up to the base of the leaves. Press in the cuttings and then water them.

You will want to cover the container with a plate of glass and aerate it from time to time. The container should be placed in a bright but not sunny place. If after about six weeks roots have formed, transplant the plants into a pot with a somewhat more nourishing compost-potting soil mixture or garden soil. To over winter, place your pots in a cold frame or plant the cuttings outside and protect them from frost with pine branches.

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Question:
What is a rose collar?

Answer:
A rose collar is something that fits around a rose plant. It is used to hold winter protection material in place. You can make a rose collar out of newspaper, cardboard, brown paper sacks or even fiberglass screening. It goes from the ground to the height of the material being used. Then place mounds of dirt, straw, leaves, peat moss, manure or whatever to winter protect on the inside, and the collar keeps it in place to protect the rose from continual freezing and thawing during the cold weather.

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Question:
I have some beautiful rose bushes in my yard. They started blooming in early May with very large fragrant flowers. Now the leaves are getting brown spots, the flowers are smaller and turning brown at the edges but the plants seem to be growing exponentially. What should I do? Also, how and when should I prune these rose bushes?

Answer:
In the summer, you can still thin out your rose bushes to stimulate development of new growth. Do this pruning immediately after flowering. You will want to remove canes that are too close together or crossing. Cut back the remainder to about a third of their last-year's growth. When making the cuts, cut on a slight angle no more than .5 cm (1/4 inch) above the bud. Long spindly stems often cause smaller flowers. Thus, pruning is needed.

The brown spots on the leaves may indicate the plants have a disease called Black Spot. The brown spots on the leaves often occur among canes that have been attacked by aphids or scale. The aphids and scale excrete sugar-containing juice that is colonized by the spots on the leaves. To prevent these spots, spray the rose bushes with cold water, soft soap solutions (1 tablespoon baking soda, a few drops of soap or mineral oil and one gallon of water) or insecticide. Spray the undersides as well as the top surfaces of the leaves. To be most effective, spray every week or so. If you notice that only certain stems have spotted leaves, it may benefit the bush to remove the diseased stems.

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