"IN THE ROSE GARDEN"
with Ed Bradley
A month-to-month guide to growing roses in South Texas)
arrival of February means our vacation is over!!
February is a pretty busy month in the rose garden.
We begin to anticipate the Spring season with optimism and
enthusiasm – a time when gardeners and gardens really come alive.
February is an extremely important month for laying the foundation
for an exciting and successful Spring rose season.
is pruning month. Regardless
of the type roses you grow, you will need to do some fairly heavy pruning
of your rose bushes. Pruning
is one of the most important practices in growing healthy bushes and
beautiful roses. Pruning is
the way to rejuvenate the rose bush, get rid of the dead and old canes,
and encourage new, strong growth, which produces rose blooms.
Please refer to pages 9 – 10 in our little blue book “How
To Grow Roses” for detailed illustrations and descriptions of the
proper pruning techniques.
you don’t have a copy of our little blue book, you need to buy one –
only $3 and available at our meetings, or $4 from our web site. A
couple of points need to be emphasized:
pruning is typically done during the last two weeks of February.
pruning is usually quite severe, generally removing as much as one-half of
(by-pass) shears make the cleanest cut.
removing a dead or dying cane, cut it smoothly at the bud-union.
A new cane will often emerge.
and Old Garden Roses are pruned somewhat differently.
Please refer to the “little blue book” or ask a Consulting
are new canes emerging from the bud-union.
They are usually growing very vigorously, but are not yet strongly
attached to the bud-union. Be
careful working around these – you do not want to break them off.
These new canes will extend the life of your rose bush.
As you are pruning, remove all of the old foliage, since it may
likely harbor insects, mites, or fungus spores.
To provide a clean environment for the new growth, the newly pruned
bush and the bed area should be “doused” with a clean-up spray,
containing both a fungicide and an insecticide.
For example, mix a combination of Ortho
Rose Pride Disease Control (formerly Funginex) and the Ortho Insect Killer (acephate/orthene),or Malathion, or the organic Safer
Soaps/Insecticides and Fungicides.
(There are other brands.) Also
use a Manzate product (Maneb or Mancozeb) which will kill any fungus spores that may already be in
Since the bush is dormant and void of any foliage, this would be a
great time to spray with an oil-based substance such as Rose Defense or Neem Oil.
These oil products will generally take care of any fungus, insects,
mites, and scale that might be lingering on your bushes, and there
is no risk of damage to the foliage since the bush is bare.
(See the special comments by Jackie Clark on the next page.)
who keeps one of the cleanest gardens in town, has contributed the
following comments on garden clean-up, which is excellent and timely
use of dormant spray is intended to eradicate disease spores that
over-winter and to control certain insects by suffocation.
In recent years, however, the use of such sprays has not
been a part of Winter rose care in most of our gardens.
may now be time to re-adopt the practice.
Scale insects have been appearing in area rose gardens in recent
years, spores of downy mildew arrive on bare root rose bushes, and spider
mites over-winter undisturbed.
Spray” in this part of the country is usually a “horticultural oil”
which is typically of lighter viscosity than in the past and is formulated
for year round use – the dose rate is usually doubled when used in the
which are readily available at local nurseries and garden centers are:
Volck Oil, Neem Oil (aka Rose Defense), Horticultural Oil, Sunspray
(Ultrafine Oil). I personally
prefer the Neem Oil as “clean-up spray” for use after completion of
Spring pruning. It is a
combination Fungicide, Insecticide and Miticide and leaves a “waxy”
coating on the canes.
host plants such as hollies, evergreens, fruit trees, etc.
These products should generally be used when the temperatures range
from 45 to around 80 and combination with insecticides and fungicides is
sometimes recommended. Always
follow label directions for dilution rates, spray intervals for roses,
compatibility with companion plants, and any other specific warnings –
in fact, it may not be a bad idea to read the instructions twice!”
Disclaimer: While the advice and information contained in this web page is believed to be true and correct, neither the authors nor committee members can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The San Antonio Rose Society makes no warranty, expressed or implied with respect to the material contained herein.
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