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Photo by Irene Roth



     Plant disease and insect and mite invasion are likely to appear during the growing season. Disease requires a preventive spraying program while insects and mites are dealt with when they appear. Always abide by the labeled instructions on the container and use extreme care when spraying. Protect your bushes as well as yourself.

     Do not permit the bushes to grow wildly. Prune with care and shape them as you will want them to appear their best in the rose garden. Contact a Consulting Rosarain for pruning instructions, as there are many different facets in this operation. A few tips on pruning are in order. Remove unproductive growth and shape the bush to provide good air circulation. This helps to restrict disease in the plants. It also aids in the spraying operation by enabling the rosarian to have easier access to the waiting foliage.

     Roses are actually fruit trees. The blooms evolve into hips that contain seeds for future rose bushes. Therefore, it is imperative that spent blooms be removed promptly. To prevent this fruiting operation, the crafty rosarian deadheads. This deadheading operation ushers in another crop of blooms, as the plant tries to go to fruit again. Some geographical areas experience four or five bloom cycles. In tropical areas the bushes are forced into dormancy. This enables the plant to rest for a period of time. Remember -- the quicker deadheading is performed, the sooner a new crop of roses bloom.

     Most areas of the USA experience frigid weather. Providing winter protection for these areas is mandatory. The farther north, the more sophisticated the insulating procedure. In the temperate areas, a simple covering of the bud union is enough protection. Covering the bud union with 10 to 12 inches of top soil and pine needles is sufficient. This mulching should not be hastily removed in the spring. Leave it intact as long as frost or freeze is expected in the area.

     Of all operations that deal with rose growing, none is more important than keeping the bushes well hydrated. Watering is critically necessary and the most vital commodity needed by the bushes. Even in winter, test the moisture level of the soil to make sure the roots are well irrigated.

     The foregoing comments are basic guidelines that even the veteran must remember. Performing them with all diligence will greatly improve the quality of roses produced. Never be reluctant in seeking advice from a Consulting Rosarian. It is their creed and obligation to help any striving rosarian to produce the best roses possible -- even if their student successfully beats them at the show table of rose shows.
(By: Ted Mills, ARS Master Rosarian and Judge)

     Mills Magic Rose Mix is a 100% natural product formulated and developed by Ted Mills -

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