Archive for the ‘Rose Shrub Care’ Category

Organic Rose Garden Care | Growing Organic Roses


Organic Rose Garden Care is gaining ground today
with more awareness of the toxic repercussions of
commercial chemical usage. ‘ Going Green’ – growing
roses organically –  with more natural alternatives
for rose garden fertilizer  &  rose pest and disease
treatment – not only saves our planet, water and food
supply – but benefits the health of flora and fauna of
all species – including us!





 Organic Rose Shrub Care                   Organic rose gardening saves money and our planet!



Roses and plants of all descriptions have flourished for millions of decades sans the chemical industry.  Granted,  chemical fertilizers and pest control formulas are convenient and often quick, but are they the best solution for the roses — or for any of the rest of the species that admire them and/or use them for shelter and even medicinal purposes?  The answer may lie in the fact that more and more people are ‘going green’ and growing roses organically.  Increased numbers of rose gardeners and gardeners and home owners in general are more aware of the dangers involved in our ‘over-consumption of chemical solutions and rediscovering the natural means of rose, lawn and plant horticulture  — the old-fashioned organic ways to grow and maintain our  beautiful roses, plants and food crops.


 Chemicals - poison   Many chemically produced fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides used for decades have been banned from use, found to be toxic to soil, leave harmful residues in edible plants and contaminate our water and soil resources.  Their toxins have been found to harm birds and other wildlife as well as beneficial insects, not to mention the negatives of our own exposure, that of our children and  also of our pets, who love their outdoor sojourns in our yards and rose gardens.


Additionally, these substances actually destroy the beneficial organisms in the soil, which serve to ‘work’ the soil, making nutrients therein available for assimilation for your roses and garden plants to use for nutrition.  The beneficial bacteria and microorganisms defend your rose roots, keeping harmful organisms at bay.  And did you know that your roses can actually become ‘addicts’ via our chemical treatments?  Roses and other plants can develop a chemical dependency on our man-made chemicals, losing their  innate ability to take up the needed nutrients they would naturally obtain from their soil.


So how do we go about doing things more naturally?  How do we’ go green’ with our colorful roses?


  Organic Rose Shrub Gardening at Home


As mentioned in other areas of this site, one of the easiest ways to grow healthy, show-stopping roses in your home garden is to select the right roses for your area.


♦  Choosing the most disease resistant types of roses for your climate and region takes you a long way to far less work.


♦  Position your rose bushes far enough apart to allow for good air circulation and prune out canes from the center of each rose shrub to help allow air and sun to reach through.  These simple procedures will  help prevent rose rust, black spot  and powdery mildew from taking hold of your glorious rose foliage. Then, attend to watering properly, providing a healthy foundation of rose soil and keeping watch through the season for signs of rose pests and diseases to help round out the simple techniques of organic rose gardening.


♦  Keep your rose beds sanitary!  Clean up diseased leaves and canes and remove them to prevent further infections.   Your roses need and love a clean’ household’ as much as we do!cleanup


♦  And don’t forget your trusty rose gardening tools!  Clean them regularly – preferably after every use. You never know when you may have unwittingly come across a diseased stem or branch, even on other plants, which can be transferred to your precious rose friends! Cleaning your tools after use is also good for their longevity as well!  Simply dip your tools into a pail of 10% bleach solution – wipe them off with a clean cloth and allow them to dry.  Apply a light oil coating to all the metal to keep them tip top.


In selecting the proper rose types for your home garden, don’t assume that what grows across your neighbor’s fence will grow as well on your side!  There may be vast differences in soil composition, due to what was hauled in when your home was built, excavations, overused soil that never was re-nourished, etc.menOnFence


Additionally, your wind and sun patterns may differ due to building placements, overhanging shrubs and the  like.  So assessing your situation before you take that first step in planting your newest rose companions will help you assure … along with the other preparatory tasks discussed above … that you enjoy your flowered friends for years and years to come.


high heels

  Provide the Proper “Footing” for your Organic Roses


Preparing the rose soil with needed organic amendments and maintaining it with organic additions is  fundamental to good organic rose garden care.  Get soil tests done, which you can do with kits or usually quite inexpensively with a local service, to determine the nutrients missing that you need to replace.  Also check on the consistency of the rose soil there too much clay, too sandy..too hard? Adding the right organic materials will make it perfectly friable and help your roses sing in color!  


Adding organic material to the rose soil helps make the soil more ‘comfortable’ for your roses, allowing them to assimilate more readily the nutrients they need, which are provided by  some of these organic materials.  These organic additions are favored  by and attract scores of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, which go to work to serve up the nutrients in the soil to your roses in a manner in which they can actually use them. 


 There may be loads of nutrients in the soil, but if your roses cannot assimilate themroseHungry2 into their system, they are of no use.  Many scratch their heads, wondering why their roses languish, when they are given the best fertilizers they know of.  Bad rose soil conditions simply do not allow your roses to take up the food they need in soluble form. In a way, your roses ‘starve’, while surrounded by an ample supply of  nutrients.  Rather like us having a pantry full of delicious canned goods…but no can opener!




blueribbon   Best Organic Rose Soil



The best rose garden soil must include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in proper amounts.  These rose -growing elements are found in organic material that you simply add to the soil, since ‘perfect soil’ is hard to find naturally. Compost is a valuable source of these nutritive elements.



Make convenient piles of compost ingredients around your garden.  Or create one compost area in the back of your rose haven. You can purchase ready made, efficient Compost Bins  or make your own from wire and stakes or wood slats.  Piling the makings of good compost in a big pile will also suffice, but it will take longer to be usable unless it can be turned periodically, which can be some work.



Create your compost from grass clippings, leaves, straw or hay,  other healthy vegetation and salt-marsh hay.  Coffee and egg shells are great for roses too!   Add table scraps from fruits and vegetables, but no meat.  Unless you can bury it well in the pile and assure sufficient heat to decompose it rapidly, animal products and grease may attract unwanted critters, including mice and rats and other unwanted critter visitors … along with stinging insects!  Ouuuuuch!      waspwasp



Building a compost heap can save you lots of work  – and keep your wallet plumper – while saving Mother Earth!  Rather than dragging tons of grass and plant clippings to the curb, you turn it into healthy, nutritive meal supplements for your roses!  You save on lots of plastic bags, aching backs and commercial fertilizer expenditures!  Making a compost pile is simple  – and if done right,  you will create free, organic ‘Gold’ for your garden  – and  a yardscape full of happy, healthy breathtaking roses for all to enjoy with admiring ‘oooohs and aaahhhs!



  Add a Good Layer of Organic Mulch to  Roses



Add 2 – 4 inches of good organic mulch around your plants to keep weeds out and moisture in.  An organic mulch base will also serve to minimize splash up from rain and watering, which can encourage rose pests and rose diseases.



Wood mulch is a common one used, but these woody materials have a very high carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. The high ratio means that these woody materials will steal soil nitrogen away from your plants as they decompose. Therefore, unless you have composted them – which few people do –   apply  down some nitrogen fertilizer before you put on the mulch, to help avoid depleting the soil – and defeating your purpose.



Compost makes an excellent mulch too, and it’s one of the few mulches that also acts as a slow-release fertilizer.  Rain and water from your hose leaches out nutrients that microbial activity has converted to soluble forms. The bottom part of the compost mulch will convert to become part of the upper soil by the end of the growing season.  In a few years, you can have an organic-rich soil without any work, while feeding your roses, keeping the weeds down and the moisture in!



If you don’t recycle your grass clippings into your lawn with a mulching mower, you can use the clippings as a garden mulch. Apply the grass clippings gradually,  however – not all at one time. Otherwise, a thick layer of green clippings will heat up and form a dense mat as decay sets in. This ‘heated’ mat will restrict the flow of air and water to the soil.


One bonus to using grass clippings is that they contain nitrogen, which will eventually leach slowly into your soil  to fertilize your roses.  Less work needed from you!




  Organic Rose Fertilizers   -
Feeding your Roses Naturally


Feeding your roses is a necessity.  They consume lots of nutrients from the soil to become and remain as breathtaking as we all love them to be!


Farm animal trio  One of the main organic rose fertilizers is simply — manure.  Be it from poultry, rabbits, pigs, sheep,  cows or horses!  Sold in different forms, raw, dehydrated and composted, it may not be our idea of the perfect ‘vitamin boost’… but our roses love it!


Raw manure is the least desirable.  Smelly, messy, fly-attractive – it doesn’t appeal to most rosarians or other organic gardeners.  The undigested seeds often found within can also germinate and grow quickly in this nitrogen-rich matter…making more work with weed control than opted for.   Fish emulsion – or ‘tea’ –  or seaweed are also good organic rose fertilizers.  Fish heads are sometimes buried near the rose shrubs rather than throwing them out as well.  Dig them in deeply enough to keep critters from scratching them out..and avoid digging too near the base of the rose shrub to avoid hurting the roots.  They will decompose over time and slow-release nutrients to your plants.  You can even soak them in water for a while before digging them in  and use this ‘tea’ water on your rose shrubs.


Other healthy soil amendments that help feed your roses organically –  blood and bone meal,  alfafa pellets and epsom salts, which contain various minerals that benefit your roses and garden plants.


  Organic Rose Rx -
Save Your Roses from Chemical “Addiction”


There are numerous non-toxic natural formulas you can make yourself that can be as effective and far safer than commercial chemical applications. Some may work slower and need more applications, but it’s a small price to pay for the benefits to our environment and our welfare as well as the rest of Mother Nature’s creations. Additionally, simple organic pest and disease control techniques will rescue and defend your rose flowers and shrubs from disaster.


Other simple techniques can be employed which are as effective and far safer than the highly toxic chemicals still widely legal and allowed for use on roses and other plants.


 Simple Organic Rose Gardening Methods


Simply hand-picking any uninvited ‘guests’ and disposing of them in a container of soapy water can be highly effective.


♦  Japanese beetles, for instance, can often be shaken or plucked from the rose branch into a waiting bin of water below, or crushed underfoot.  A simple type of rose-garden stress therapy perhaps?  :-)


For some…just getting used to seeing ‘bugs’ is a major step….but it’s simply a matter of doing it once…and it gets easier from there.  Most rosarians and other gardeners adapt readily to ‘defeating the enemy!   And it’s  satisfying to know you’ve saved oodles of cash, your precious rose flowers..and spared even more toxins in our air, soil and water.


Beneficial Rose Insect Friends


♦  Attracting lady bugs and birds to your rose haven is a great organic solution to rose pests.  Adding bird baths that are protected from natural predators are not only entertaining, but helpful to the birds, who, in turn, will feast on any unwelcome insect pests that have their appetites set on your rose companions!



♦  Frogs, lizards and harmless garden snakes are also effective, natural garden arsenal to employ… and all  come free of charge.  Mother Nature has spent millions of years perfecting natural defenses for her  beautiful creations while providing a circle of life for all her creatures.  Certain wasps are also beneficial weaponry for taking out  dastardly deadbeat rose pests.



♦  Order some ladybugs and green lacewings through the mail and unleash them in your rose gardens!  After washing away aphids, spider mites and whiteflies with the garden hose, allow your new rose garden residents free to feast to their hearts’ content!



 _Water_DropWater – Problem AND Rescue


Although water left standing on the finery of our gorgeous rose ladies is not their preference – who likes to live in a wet suit — and it definitely can attract rose pests and disease –  water can also be a good defender to ward off unwanted dinner guests and common rose disease.  Water as Pesticide!


♦  A good spray blast of a simple garden hose can knock aphids off your rose petals and stems, for instance, and deter them from returning.  Just be sure to use this technique when your rose beauties have time to sun-bathe and dry off their finery, or you will multiply the initial problem.


♦  Simple soap and water sprays can also prove effective in eliminating aphids and spider mites.  Just put a few drops of gentle dish soap, such as ‘Ivory’,  in a spray bottle and thoroughly spray rose stems and both sides of rose leaves.


♦  Another option gleaned from a fellow rose lover is to mix a solution of 50% water and 50% Listerine mouth wash from the drug store and spray to make your roses unpleasant to visit by aphids and other unwanted visitors!


Water as a Fungicide Too?  Yes!


♦  To combat powdery mildew fungus, give your roses a strong, thorough spraying of water from the hose.  This is best done when the mildew first starts.  Respray every 3 – 5 days.  This spray blast will also take care of a goodly bunch of  aphids as well.
♦  Clean up is vital! To avoid re-infesting your newly washed rose baby,  pick up all the fallen petals, leaves and any cuttings and tie them up in a bag to dispose of.  Do NOT compost!  It takes a lot of heat to destroy fungi and rose disease spores…and the average home compost pile doesn’t usually attain this.  It’s best to dispose of all diseased material in sealed bags.


♦  Black Spot and powdery mildew can be handled with a safe organic spray. You may want to pull out more guns to fight fungus with this formula:


Baking Soda/ Potassium Bicarbonate Fungus Control Formula


Mix Together into 1 GALLON water:

 –  1  TBS of baking soda (or Potassium bicarbonate)

-   1  TBS  of vegetable oil (or citrus or horticultural oil)

-   2  drops of liquid dish washing soap

 Shake well and spray your rose shrubs thoroughly – upper and lower leaves included.

Spray on foliage of plants to combat black spot, powdery mildew, brown patch and other fungal diseases.



♦  Garlic does more than keep vampires away!  Garlic is a gift from mother nature that can help ward off rose fungus problems You can chop a clove of garlic – or use ready-chopped  versions – and add to 1 gallon of water. Spray your roses thoroughly, top and bottom of leaves  – to fight black spot.  Spray early on in the day to allow your roses to dry their leaves and stems. Spray each week or so until you see no further signs of rose disease.


You can also opt for some  ready-made fungicide – insectide soaps  to control rose rust, black spot and powdery mildew.  Apply to roses every week or two until there is no further sign of disease. These organic rose soaps are safe,  resistant to rain wash-off and friendly to Mom Nature and all the rest of us!

Look into THESE Treatments!

 Safe Organic Rose Fungicide/Insecticide

Bonide Bon Neem II 32 oz Ready to Use Bonide Bon Neem II 32 oz Ready to UseBonide Bon Neem II A broad spectrum fungicide insecticide miticide for control of insects, diseases and mites on vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs, spices, roses, flowers, shrubs, houseplants and turf grass around the home. Kills stink bugs, boxelder bugs, fungus gnats. Neem plus Pyrethrin for extra fast knockdown. Use up to day of harvest, indoor/outdoor. This product cannot be shipped to CA or NY

Bonide Liquid Copper Pint Bonide Liquid Copper PintLiquid Copper Fungicide Perfect For Organic Growing Liquid Copper controls many varieties of blights, mildews, spots, rust, etc, on edibles and ornamentals alike, in a safe and effective way. Anthracnose is a group of diseases found on many deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, among other plants. Anthracnose symptoms vary with the plant host, weather, and time of year infection occurs. The fungi affect developing shoots and expanding leaves. Small tan, brown, black, or tar-like spots appear on infected leaves. For new plantings, choose varieties that are resistant to the anthracnose fungi. Plant them widely apart to maximize air circulation and increase sunlight, both of which facilitate faster drying of leaf surfaces when trees are fully grown. When treating a large specimen, be sure to cover it well, for more a more effective means of control. Common Problems & Diseases Liquid Copper Controls Powdery Mildew Black Spot Rust Anthracnose Botrytis Blight Soft Rot Colletotrichum Needle Blight Bacterial Leaf Spot and Blight Downy Mildew Fruit Spot How It Works How To Use Dilute with water. Apply with hand, pump, or backpack sprayer. Where To Use Safe for use on roses, fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and turf. Cautions Safe for most any application. See label for complete details. Active Ingredients Copper Octanoate (Copper Soap)…10%  Disease and Fungicide Pint Concentrate Ships Quickly!



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