What If My Soil
Isn't Good For Roses

by Sandra

QUESTION: I have tried many times to plant new plants but only the wild flowers stay alive.

I can't even get any shrubs to stay alive.

The dirt that I have behind the house is very dry.

Almost sandy like. No matter how much I water it, it doesn't soak up the water.

Just sort of beads over the top.

I'm looking to purchase a bunch of climbing roses to cover my old privacy fence up.

My question to you is: will I need to dig out my dirt and put in new soil before purchasing your roses?

Or does it not call for rich soil? If so, whats the best soil or additives for me to buy?

I live in the Tampa Bay area so I'm not sure what type roses that would survive in this heat.

I'm looking to purchase a lot of them.

I would like to cover all three privacy fences.

Could I mix different roses for color? Please let me know.

Sorry for the silly questions but I'm new at the gardening thing. Thanks, Sandra

ANSWER: Hi Sandra! There are no silly questions. In fact all your questions are very good.

Let me start with you rose soil question.

Your soil is not suited for roses, or most plants.

Don't panic! You should simply add lots of soil amendments, such as compost with manure, especially for roses.

You will find bagged compost for roses at garden centers.

You most likely need to add 50% compost to improve nutrients to your soil.

You don't need to dig up your sandy soil, just work in the compost really good to about 18 inches.

You need to find out if the soil drains well now, before a doing anything to the soil.

If there is standing water, you need to build a raised bed about 18 inches high, and fill it with good soil, and compost mix.

Yes you can mix your rose colors. However, check your color charts at the paint stores, to find colors that look good together.

I recommend staying with 2 colors, 3 max for sure.

Now lets address the Florida climate in Tampa Bay (been there, love it!).

I have a page about growing roses in Florida that will give you lots of information, including a list of the best roses to grow in Florida.

I recommend any of the Noisette roses. They love Florida and the Southern climates.

If you need any more help finding roses, just contact me again.
Best Regards,

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