The flower of poets and love, Roses (Rosa) add beautiful, rich bursts of color and a lovely, heady fragrance to the garden from their first blooms in June through the final days of summer.
Bred for smaller blooms than their larger cousin, the stately tea rose, miniature roses are profuse repeat bloomers throughout the summer and into fall. It's not too late to plant roses if you want to add fragrance to next year's garden. Roses can be successfully planted in October and November across the Midwest, Northeast and Eastern Seaboard. In the South, Southwest and Pacific Coast, plant roses in December and January; and from January to April in the Pacific Northwest. Miniature roses make beautiful specimen plants and are particularly effective in borders and as edging plants.
Choose a sunny location for roses. To thrive, roses need at least four hours of direct sunlight daily. Roses grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. Amend dry soils with humus. In moist locations, raise garden beds at least two feet to ensure adequate drainage. Miniature roses are particularly hardy specimens and will do well where more finicky tea roses fail.
To plant roses, dig holes twice as wide as the root area. Container or potted roses are the best choice for fall planting; plant to the same soil level as the pot. Bare-root roses are best planted in spring, but fall plantings can succeed where winters are mild. Plant bare-roots with the bud union (knobby joint between root and canes) 1 inch above the soil surface in warm regions, at soil level where winters are moderate, and 2 inches below the surface in cold regions. Water heavily after planting.
Roses require diligent watering (1 inch per week) and should be fertilized monthly for best display. Deadhead roses regularly to prolong blooming. Stop fertilizing in early autumn and mound soil 6 inches over the base after the first hard freeze.