Early Spring Rose Care Tips

Written By Sharon Bell

Posted 03/18/15

Updated 03/18/15

In Our Gardens

Whether you believe it or not, growing and maintaining roses is not that difficult. Roses will keep growing and blooming even if we neglect them entirely. However, like with most things, roses benefit from a little TLC. At Biltmore, we take a proactive approach to gardening – with roses in particular. Most of the efforts you make in caring for your roses in early spring will mean fewer problems during the growing season. Here are a few tips from Biltmore's rose garden experts!

1. Prune starting in late March, or when Forsythia starts to bloom. Any earlier before the leaf buds swell and you’re chancing it should a late freeze come along.

2. Start with simple clean-up: Remove deadwood, diseased or damaged canes. Then, thin out the branches as needed to promote air flow and new growth. Remove crossing canes.

3. When temperatures are right, remove any excess soil, mulch, leaves and debris you used to protect bushes in winter. This allows for much needed sunlight on the plant to force new canes from the base.

4. Once buds start to open, apply fertilizer to bushes. Try a mix of one half-cup of cottonseed meal, a half-cup of bone meal and blood meal, and ¼ cup of Epsom salts for each plant. That gives your roses a little kick-start for the season.

With roses being a part of Biltmore's culture since Olmsted's original design and hosting the International Rose Trials since 2011, our garden crew knows a thing or two about proper rose care. Comment with your questions below, or share photos of your roses on Biltmore's social media pages!  

Photo: 2014 winner George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose Of The Trials (Best in Show) “Miracle On The Hudson,” bred by Robert Neil Rippetoe of California

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