Roses, symbolic of love and beauty, have been growing wild and in gardens for thousands of years. Not only do they look beautiful in a vase with some greenery, but they’re perfect for drying and using in a dried f arrangement or potpourri. To grow gorgeous roses, it’s important to choose varieties that grow well in your region and take measures to help them thrive season after season. Here are some tricks to growing perfect roses:

TRICKS TO GROWING PERFECT ROSESUSE BANANA PEELS

A dose of phosphorus promotes flowering. Many rose lovers count on banana peels to provide a bit of phosphorus to plants. Chop 2-3 banana peels and bury beneath a rose (in the area beneath leaves, but not against the stem). Dig carefully to avoid disturbing roots. Bury peels about 4 inches deep to outsmart digging critters. You may also pulverize peels in a blender, adding water if needed. Allow the solution to sit for 15 minutes. Apply directly to soil beneath a rose. Toss any solid residue onto your compost pile.

DRAINAGE

Roses must have good drainage, so check the site if you’re not sure. Dig a hole 18 inches deep at the desired planting spot and fill it with water. If the water is gone within two hours, the site is suitable for roses. If water is still standing after two hours, build a raised bed for your bushes.

PRUNING

Pruning means to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth. Prune and deadhead your roses to keep them lush, healthy, and full of blooms. As you prune roses, keep in mind you want your plants to grow with an open centre so air can flow freely through the plant and to keep your rose from looking like a crazy mess of branches. As you do this, cut out any dead branches, as well as small, weak canes.

PREPARING SOIL

If your soil is good enough to grow grass, shrubs and Flowers, it will probably grow roses. But you may want to add organic matter such as peat moss, compost, or decomposed manure. You may try this: Save old hair from your hair brushes and combs. Spread a handful of old hair in the bottom of the hole, then cover with organic material. Fertilize entire bed at a rate of 3-5 lbs per 100 square feet.

SUNLIGHT

Plant roses where they will receive a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of full sun per day. Roses grown in weak sun may not die at once, but they weaken gradually.

PROTECT FROM HARSH WEATHER

Roses that are left tall may be damaged by heavy winds and frosts during the winter. Trim the canes down to 2 feet (0.6 m). Tie them together with twine, to help protect them from inclement weather. Heap a mound of compost around the base of the bush, then top it with a layer of straw. When the weather warms to above 51 degrees, remove the compost mound.

PLANT DISEASES

Roses are prone to black spot and powdery mildew. Choosing varieties that are resistant to these common diseases, such as knockout roses, is your best bet. You can also protect your roses by using a fungicide at the beginning of the season. Go to your local nursery to ask about how to best protect plants from these diseases in your region.