Does your Houston landscape need an eye-catching addition that will heighten your pleasure in your gardens and be the source of compliments from friends and guests? That certain something special? Then planting roses could be just the idea you’ve been looking for.
At Exterior Worlds, we advise clients that planting roses doesn’t really start with the rose bushes. Rather, it’s the familiar maxim: location, location, location. In general, roses do well in our area in full sun with good air circulation. Select a site for your Houston rose garden that receives sun for at least six hours of the day. Preferably an area with morning sun and afternoon shade.
After you have selected an appropriate location, you will want to consider the planting soil. We recommend a mixture made up of 1/3 loam (or soil), 1/3 sand, and 1/3 organic matter. Good sources of organic matter are leaf composts, pine bark, peat moss or some combination of these substances. We further advise that you work the soil prior to planting, a job best done by a rotary tiller. Then you should let the new beds lie fallow for a few weeks to give them time to settle.
Next—actually planting roses. Start with quality bushes and avoid those that have dried out while in storage or shipment. The best time to plant bare-root roses in Houston is during January and February, although potted roses can be planted throughout the year. Dig a hole about 12 inches deep in the prepared bed. At the same time, form a cone in the planting area to support the roots. The bud union (the joint where the rose grafts and roots meet) needs to be two or three inches above the soil level of the bed.
The next critical step in the care of your roses is mulch installation. Mulching has several benefits: it keeps the soil moist, reduces weeds and helps prevent erosion. Exterior Worlds uses premium mulch, which your plants will greatly appreciate. We have also found that bagged mulch is easier to haul around and less messy, especially in large, sprawling yards. We carefully avoid putting mulch up the trunk of the rose bushes, as it can smother the plants.
Roses require meticulous ongoing care and attention. Our Houston rose maintenance program includes pruning the bushes in the spring to encourage new growth. Also fungus control and insect protection. Additionally, roses require regular feeding and thorough watering. These garden services are all available through Exterior Worlds.
To add a stylish sensibility to your property, and as part of your landscape master plan, select the colors of your roses that make the most of the tints and textures already existing in your yard and your home’s architecture. Icy white tea roses can create the border of a garden bed. A mass of deep pink roses stand out against the green shutters of a house. Red climbing roses intertwined in a garden arbor make a classic focal point.
Whatever your choices, you will enjoy planting roses. With their marvelous colors, silken petals and pleasing aroma, they will give you a whole new insight into the word “delight.”