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How to Care for June Roses

No other time of the year do roses bloom so profusely than the month of June.  June roses scream for attention and adoration, and we give them both in equal measure. My favorite time to walk through my garden is in the early morning right before the morning sun peaks over the fan palm to blindly scald the garden in a brilliant aura of light. The morning roses smell so sweet and beckon me to come nearer and have a peek. It leaves me with an incredible feeling of peace and serenity. Here are a few gardening tips for getting your June roses up to peak performance. I have included my favorite rose pictures.

Planting and care: Roses tend to be sun-worshippers, so choose an area where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.
Getting started: Prepare your rose beds for your June roses by digging a hole larger in width and depth than the size of the root system. Combine soil with an all-purpose planting mix that’s high in nutrients and organic matter. Compost is my go-to soil amendment.   David Austin Roses also suggest adding mychorrizal to the soil for those of us with less than perfect soil. It adds all the good microorganisms needs for good growth and bloom. Mycorrhizal fungal filaments in the soil are truly extensions of root systems and are more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves..  Place amended soil into the planting hole to form a cone-shaped mound, which allows the rose to sit at the correct height for planting. Grafted roses need to be planted so the graft union is just below soil level. For own-root roses, the union should be one inch below soil level.
What to do: Fill hole with soil ¾ full then add two to three gallons of water. Let it drain completely; finish with soil and water again. Pack the soil around the root system and make a well around the base of the plant to hold water. This will ensure the plant gets a steady drink. Do not fertilize or prune new plants, except to shape, until after the first period of bloom. Newly planted roses also must be watered with one to two gallons per plant every three to four days until they’re established.
General care: Roses are deep-rooted plants. They prefer deep watering close to the plant base; avoid the foliage. Water established roses about one to two inches per week, which translates into one to two gallons per plant, per week. This water regimen must continue into October. It is also wise to water 24 hours before applying fertilizers or pesticides to ensure absorption and to prevent burning the plant.
Fertilizing: Fertilize in early spring and every four weeks thereafter. To ward off pests, use a systemic pesticide; they work deep within the root system.
Pruning: Grooming is essential for beautiful roses, and stimulates new growth. Begin pruning faded blooms after each flush, starting at the fifth leaf down from the bud. Fill antique vase with your bounty. 

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Text and photography by Judy Carolyn Kopittke

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