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What Light and Soil are Best for Roses?


“We will be planting roses on the north side of the house this summer. We have clay soil. What do you recommend mixing into the soil?” question from Roseanne of Rockford, Illinois
Answer: Roses grow and resist disease best when grown in full sun. The north side of your home may not be the best spot for roses unless you plant them far enough from […]

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What are the Best Perennials for Foundation Plantings?

Large, showy perennials with a long season of interest make the best foundation perennials.
“What are the best perennial plants to use for foundation planting? [I need] something to cover a fairly tall, 5ft swath of concrete foundation. Thank you!” Question from Trish of Newton, New Jersey
Answer: There are lots of wonderful garden perennials ideal for foundation plantings. Those that I recommend the most are long-lived, […]

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When Should I Prune My Knockout® Roses?


 
“I live in South Louisiana.  When should I prune my Knockout roses?” Question from Deborah of Saint Amant, Louisiana
Answer: Many growers advocate you that prune shrub roses in late winter or spring before they have leafed out, but some rosarians disagree (see our Black Gold video on pruning hybrid tea roses below.). Either way, I like to prune mine at this time because it’s […]

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I Bought Rose Seeds Online. Are They Good?


“I purchased rose seeds on [online] and didn’t know they were from China till they shipped (rose image above). I’d love it if you could tell me if they are or are not rose seeds. I’m new to roses, and knowing if these are or are not rose seeds will be very helpful. Thank you so much! :)” Question from Bradley of Cleves, Ohio

Answer: […]

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How Do I Prevent Rose Black Spot?


“Please give me advice on the prevention of black spot before it occurs.” Question from Carol of Drums, Pennsylvania
Answer: Black spot (Diplocarpon rosae) is such an annoying fungal disease of roses. Here are six measures to help prevent it:
1. Clean your bushes in fall and winter. Remove all fallen leaves and any dead branches from your rose bushes. The fungus overwinters on dead, infected […]

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Why are My Rosebuds Dying Before They Bloom?


“I have a beautiful pink rose bush, but the flowers are starting to look like they are dying as soon as they open.  What can I do?” Question from April of Dresden, Tennessee
Answer: I bet you have had a cool, wet spring because this is when rosebud problems appear. Climatic changes can roses to turn brown on the stem, but fungal disease is the […]

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What Shrub Rose is Heat- and Drought-Tolerant and Fragrant?

Rosa californica ‘Plena’
“I’m looking for a low-maintenance shrub rose that produces highly scented flowers that will thrive in Las Vegas, NV.” Question from Katherine of Las Vegas, Nevada
Answer: There are several fragrant shrub roses that can withstand high heat in your dry USDA Hardiness Zone 8-9 location. But, there are no classic, cultivated shrub roses that can withstand extended drought. There are, however, some native […]

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What are the Best Plants for Mother’s Day?


“What are the Best Plants for Mother’s Day?” Question from Catherine of St. Louis, Missouri
Answer: Well, it really depends on what your mother likes in terms of flowers, but there are several standby flowers and flowering shrubs that are pretty, sweetly scented, and bloom all summer. These are good qualities in a Mother’s Day plant. Here are five great choices that are recommended and […]

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Is It Too Late to Prune My Roses?


“I live in Kitsap County, Washington (state); is it too late to prune my roses?” Question from Jennifer of Silverdale, Washington
Answer: It’s not too late! Many gardeners advocate pruning roses when they are dormant, usually in late winter, but you can prune them at any time. Whether you have a shrub rose, climber, or hybrid tea, you can make strategic cuts throughout the growing […]

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When is the Best Time to Plant Roses Up North?


“When is the best time to plant bare root roses and potted roses?” Question from Deb of Lynbrook, New York.
Answer: In northern climates like yours, the best time to plant roses, bare root or potted, is in the spring. This allows new roses time to become fully established over a season. By the following winter, they will have set good root systems to help them […]

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