Care for your roses in April with proper planting techniques, constant grooming, plenty of water, and regular fertilizing. Inspect your garden for pests and diseases and take appropriate steps to control these issues. Follow these guidelines to enjoy a thriving garden!
It’s time to talk roses. The focus during March has been planting, pruning, and initial fertilizing. Is April too late to plant new bushes? And how can you provide your roses with the best care this month? Let’s dig in.
There is Still Time to Plant
If you still have plans to plant rose bushes, do it now. You can plant year-round in Florida, but roses experience much less stress if transplanted during spring than in the heat of the summer.
You can add full-size bushes wherever there is room, as long as the conditions won’t compromise the plants’ basic needs. Smaller plants can be grown in containers, used to fill in garden beds, or installed as edging. Wherever you plant, keep in mind these things that your roses will need to thrive: regular watering, plenty of sunshine, and fertilization every month.
- For smaller rose bushes kept in containers, follow these guidelines:
- Use good, loose potting soil for planting instead of nutrient-poor Florida sand.
- Choose a container with a diameter at least 1 to 2 inches wider than the plant’s root ball.
- Water well as soon as you plant.
- Apply the first fertilizer feeding one or two weeks after planting.
Take regular walks through your garden, assessing the rose bushes and tending to them. Inspect the plants for damaged shoots and diseased or weak stems; trim them back. Keep the rose bushes from growing into walkways or other plants; use your hand pruners or loppers to reshape them.
Check the soil around your plants daily. For larger, in-ground rose bushes, they may be able to go a few days without water. In fact, if you refrain from daily watering, they are more likely to establish a deep root system that is less dependent on your watering.
Roses in containers usually need water every day since they develop a relatively large root system for a small amount of soil. Consider installing a timed micro-sprinkler in each pot that you can set to turn on every day. (Note that if your container roses need water more than once a day, it is time to transplant them to a larger container.)
Roses need food regularly. Apply either a monthly fertilizer or a slow-release type that will provide necessary nutrients for several months. Once you have established a standard feeding schedule, you might try tweaking the feeding routine to better support your roses. This could mean feeding more regularly but with a smaller amount of fertilizer, incorporating manure into your application routine, or alternating between liquid and dry fertilizer applications. Keep in mind that too much fertilizer can harm your rose bushes, burning the foliage and stunting growth.
Pest & Disease Control
As you walk through your garden for enjoyment or pruning, inspect your rose bushes for pests and fungi. Look out especially for aphids, mites, thrips, powdery mildew, and blackspot. Handpick any insects that you can, or trim off pest-infested shoots. If needed, apply a fungicide to rid your garden of disease.