Norm A. Plate
To succeed at landscaping with roses, follow these guidelines for planting, care, and maintenance.
Plant in a spot that gets at least six hours of full sun per day and plenty of air circulation. If soil is not fast-draining, grow roses in raised beds.
Amend the soil by mixing compost into the planting hole.
Mulch after planting with compost or other organic matter to a depth of 1 to 3 inches (avoid mounding it around the rose canes).
Water often enough to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, to a depth of 16 to 18 inches (check water penetration to make sure you're watering long enough).
Fertilize after main (dormant-season) pruning and again after each bloom flush (or per package directions).
Prune off old flowers when they fade. Trim back surrounding plants as needed so they won't engulf the rose bushes.
Control pests and diseases with nonchemical methods or low-toxicity chemicals and by choosing varieties that resist disease.
Aphids and mites: Rinse off with a strong stream of water, or spray plants with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
Black spot and rust: Avoid overhead irrigation, prune off and discard infected foliage, and pick up fallen leaves.
Powdery mildew: Prune off infected leaves.