General Care of Rose Bushes and Climbers

by Arleen
(Illinois (Cook Cty) Zone 5)

Hi, my mom passed away (a few years now) and, now,I reside at her home (my childhood home).

It never dawned on me to ask what kind of roses she has - so I'm not sure how to identify any of them, except some are climbers and some are bush. It also never dawned on me to ask about the care of her roses. They always looked terrific.

Now that I'm caretaker - everything is a disaster! Every spring brings beautiful green leaves, but then, shortly after, leaves start turning yellow and fall off ... some get black spots ... and some get mildew.

I've heard that roses need a lot of circulation; however, all her roses are surrounded with other plants. Is this a problem. Every year I worry about having to cut out/down the roses; they keep getting smaller and shorter and they never get to look beautiful like I remember!

I have looked through books to find out what kinds of roses they are - too many to identify.

Is it as simple as a scheduled maintenance program? Also, one climber has a lot of ants - can this be a problem.

I've taken down tips from your website ... anything else that you
can share with me to help me bring back my mom's roses?
Hello Arlene,
Sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. You will always miss her, I know.
Lets see how I can help you identify what types of roses your Mother has in her garden.
Hybrid Tea Roses can be identified by how they only produce one single bloom per stem and the flowers are fragrant. Also they have a vase like shape and tend to have a bit bare lower canes (few leaves there).
Floribunda Roses are not as tall as hybrid teas and produce flowers in clusters with a light fragrance. The bushes are also shorter and wider in appearance.
Shrub Roses are landscape roses that very seldom has any fragrance, but are very disease free and produce masses of flowers all season long.
Climbing Roses have the long arching canes and are easy to recognize.
Here is my page about caring for roses and how to maintain them.
Pay attention to their pruning needs so they will do well.
Roses do fine with companion plants. However, if these companions starts crowding some, just trim the companion plants a bit and it should be ok.
I interplant most of my roses, but if plants grow out of bound I take a pruner and go to work.
You can do this any time of the year, spring or summer I mean.
Don't be afraid to prune the roses so they look good and fit in your garden. Roses are actually tough.
Don't forget to water. Roses can not take up nutrients if the feeder roots don't have enough moisture.
Give them some Epson Salts (half a cup) and water really well.
Best Regards,
If you have any more questions let me know.

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