Friday, May 15, 2009

Growing Rose - First 90 days - Part 5

by Richard Chew

If you have done the fertilizing as mentioned in Part 4, you are now ready to see new growth.

After fertilizing, it is time to prune to make way for new growth. I have posted about pruning, you may want to read it at because I don't have the intention to repeat it here.

However I will add some extra points on the dos and don'ts here.

If you just got your rose plant from the nursery and probably just transplanted the rose, it will take time to adapt to your garden environment. One of the major factor is the rate of transpiration. Transpiration to plants is like us breathing and exhaling air.

The rate of transpiration increases during warmer or hotter weather.

As the new roses adapt to new environment, the rate of transpiration or rate of fluid flow in the stems changes. Larger stems require stronger push (pressure) than smaller stem to achieve minimum fluid flow in stems. If the flow stagnants, then the stems will die-back or the leaves will wilt. If the plant is too exposed to hot sun, then you will face a different problem, but I won't discuss it here.

On the other extreme if the soil mix that you transplanted the rose is too moist, it becomes heavy and may also affect the fluid flow. It is like putting a water drenched clothes to dry in a bucket of water. Water in the clothes cannot be released because it is held by the water in the bucket. This is the reason why watering heavily under hot hot afternoon sun is a no no thing.

I won't discuss about watering and achieving better soil drainage here. But what I want to point out is that retaining smaller stems when pruning help the rose plant to adapt to new environment better.

If I am unsure and suspect the rose plant is not established yet, then I would do a very light pruning in the beginning, and in the following weeks look for new bud growth. Upon seeing where the growth emerges, I would complete the 1/3 prune and retain the new bud growth.

If you have done all the above, and not seeing the desired result, then try relocating the rose plant where it receives more direct sun. This helps to increase the rate of transpiration and may promote growth.