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GardenSMART :: Three Easy Steps to Rose Success

Three Easy Steps to Rose Success

By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Do you want to grow roses but hate the constant nurturing that is required to grow a robust, disease-free plant? Many gardeners find that rose plants that looked perfect in spring are struggling along with a few meager buds and a smattering of black spotted leaves by midsummer. Roses have the reputation of being a touchy species, and traditionally plants that have full, lush foliage and heaps of blooms all summer have had their fair share of coddling to get that way. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time, know-how, or even the patience for that.

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Oso Easy Double Red rose

Fortunately, growing beautiful roses that stay healthy all season isn't hard... in fact, almost anyone can find rose success when they follow these three easy steps:

Step 1: Choose the right plants

The key to growing beautiful, low-maintenance roses is choosing beautiful, low-maintenance rose plants. Proven Winners Oso Easy landscape roses are indeed beautiful and easy to grow. With the broadest color range of any landscape rose, plus surprising hardiness (some varieties thrive down to USDA Zone 3), these roses are a stand out with an impressive display of nonstop color in any garden or landscape. Oso Easy roses are strong rebloomers, with dark green, glossy foliage and exceptional disease resistance—plus their tidy habits make them ideally suited to any landscape or garden.

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At Last rose

If you like the idea of easy care landscape roses but wish they were scented like tea roses, wish no more! New to garden centers this year, Proven Winners At Last rose combines all the romance of a fragrant, fully-petaled tea rose, with the no-nonsense practicality of a healthy landscape rose. At Last roses provide a season-long display of large, sweetly perfumed sunset-orange blossoms complimented by handsome, glossy foliage in a vigorous, rounded habit.

For gardeners who want season-long beauty in an easy-care plant, choosing roses that are resistant to diseases like black spot and powdery mildew is a must. Both Oso Easy and At Last roses have been bred to resist mold, fungus and other diseases that can typically befall other varieties, and are a great first step to rose success. On to step two!

Step 2: Prepare your site

All roses like lots of sun, so choose a site that provides full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day, good air circulation and well-drained soil. If all-day sun is not available, try to choose a location where they get shade in the afternoon, as it can help prolong the quality of the flowers.

Once you've chosen a sunny site, dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the plant's container. You can use the shovel handle to gauge the depth of the hole, comparing it to the depth of the container. Once they seem similar in depth, remove the shrub from its container by knocking briskly around the pot sides and bottom to loosen it, and carefully slide the plant out. Then, use your hands to "rough up" the root ball a bit, freeing them from the tight shape the container has molded them into. Unwind any large, woody roots, and gently loosen the small roots away from the soil, then place your plant in the space you have prepared for it.

Backfill with the soil you excavated. As you backfill, firm the soil lightly around the roots to eliminate air pockets, continuing until you reach the top of the root ball, which should be covered with about ½" of soil.

Step 3: Water and mulch

Make sure to thoroughly saturate the root ball and the surrounding soil when watering your new shrub. The best way to do this is to set your hose on a very low flow and leave it on for an hour or two. Apply the water at the edge of the root ball, and move the hose to different points around the plant a few times during this period.

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Oso Easy Lemon Zest rose

Keep your new shrub well-watered, especially in its first year. During this time, your new rose will devote a good deal of its energy to growing roots. With good sun and regular watering, it will grow more vigorously in its second season; increasing every season thereafter.

Finally, most shrubs benefit from a 2-3" thick layer of shredded bark mulch applied over the entire root zone of the plant. This helps keep roots cool and conserves water, minimizing stress on your new plant and encouraging rapid root development. And it looks nice too!

And that's it! Oso Easy and At Last roses are self-cleaning, meaning their petals fall off when the flowers fade, instead of turning brown and withering on the plant. These roses were made to look neat and clean and continue blooming all season with no deadheading or pruning… providing natural, easy-care beauty year after year. No green thumb required.

Check the Proven Winners website for a complete guide to planting shrubs, and for more information about the roses in this article, or any Proven Winners ColorChoice shrub, go to


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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photos courtesy of Suntory Flowers

As summer heats up, the garden party is just beginning for gorgeous, tropical mandevillas. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

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