Roses – Sun, Humidity, And Spacing
As in the case of any other plant, the conditions in which you grow your roses largely contribute to their success. Nearly all varieties of roses require direct sunlight for no less than six hours daily. In addition, they require a fertile soil having an excellent drainage system and sufficient space for robust growth. Besides, you also have to ensure that they are sheltered properly during the harsh winter months. Most roses also need spacing and adequate watering.
While it is not possible to do anything to alter the prevailing climatic conditions in your garden, it is still possible that you will find or develop a small portion of your garden in a manner that will help roses to thrive. The truth is that no matter how harsh the environment in your area may be, there will still be some areas that will be protected from the conditions prevailing in your garden, mainly due to the dissimilarities in the vegetation, difference in topography, or the proximity of the neighbouring buildings and other structures. For instance, if the south wall of a dwelling is sunny and warm, it will usually shelter plants that will die when they are grown in a cold and windy garden.
In case you do not have an appropriate location in your garden for growing roses, you may possibly develop one by making small modifications like constructing a fence to protect the plants from wind or by trimming the foliage surrounding the area to allow additional light and air circulation. Since the roses you grow will be with you for several years ahead, it is definitely worth taking the extra effort to give them the best possible environment.
Nearly all roses require direct sunlight for a minimum of six hours daily to grow robustly and produce the best blooms. It is always preferable that these sunny hours are in the morning and not afternoon when the heat is intense. On the other hand, the sun’s rays are less intense in the morning and help to dry off the foliage quite early, thereby diminishing the risk of developing various diseases. Moreover, unlike the hot afternoon sun, morning sun does not burn out the leaves and blooms, particularly in places having hot climatic conditions.
If your roses do not receive sufficient sunlight, they will have frail and sluggish growth and their canes will be weak and slender. Compared to the normal, robustly growing plants, the leaves of weak roses will be more at a distance. In addition, they will be producing less and poor quality flowers. If you notice that the roses in your garden are developing such symptoms, you should fix the problem by moving the plants elsewhere, cutting back branches of neighbouring trees that may be preventing the plants from receiving enough sunlight or by changing the color of the adjoining fence or wall while so that the available light is reflected to the plants. At the same time, you may also use light-hued mulch.
Provided you take some additional care and precautions, it is possible to grow a number of roses in partial shade. Grow your roses in a location where they will not have any competition from other plant for acquiring their food and water. While roses that grow in shaded locations do not grow as big as the ones that are grown in full sun, the space between the plants should be the same in both cases. When the spacing between the roses is adequate, it will allow proper air circulation – something which is essential for roses grown in shades. This is important because when growing in shaded locations, your roses may be more prone to invasion from disease-bearing organisms like mildew, which thrive in such places. Prior to planting your roses, add some additional compost or other suitable organic substances with a view to help the soil to retain more nutrients and moisture. However, do not be tempted to add extra fertilizer with the intention of recompensing for the absence of adequate sunlight, because roses generally do not grow profusely when there is lack of proper light. In the absence of sufficient sunlight, roses also require fewer nutrients. Providing the plants with excessive fertilizers will not only be a waste of your hard-earned money, but it can also burn up the foliage and roots.
Different classes or types of roses have different requirements for light and, hence, you may get excellent results when you plant a number of rose classes at the same time. In case your garden is very shady for growing modern roses, you should try growing any one type of hybrid musk, which possesses the aptitude to grow as well as flower in less sunlight compared to the other rose varieties. While other rose varieties require no less than six hours of direct sunlight every day, hybrid musks need only four hours of sunlight daily. Similarly, miniature roses can also endure somewhat lesser sunlight compared to the larger rose varieties and will grow well with just four hours of direct sunlight daily. Several climbers can also grow robustly even when they are grown in filtered shades of neighbouring trees.
If the air around your roses is very humid, the plants become more susceptible to diseases. This is because the fungal spores that invade roses thrive in conditions where the humidity is high. Therefore, it is important that you choose a location where there is free air circulation. However, you must be careful to keep away from any windy sites, as swift flow of air can not only dry off the roses, but also destroy the blooms and foliage. On the other hand, in places where the moisture is naturally low, you can raise the humidity level by lessening the air flow by constructing a fence or any other structure or by mulching the rose beds with coarse materials. Placing the coarse mulch will help to evaporate much of the moisture present in the atmosphere or the dampness caused by frequent or excessive watering. In addition, the humidity in the region of the roses will be high if you mist or spray the plants in the morning.
Since roses demand adequate sunlight, water as well as nutrients, it is important not to grow them in locations that may already be full with other plants. When roses are grown in crowded locations they will have to face stiff competition from other plants for food, water and sunlight. Preferably you should also try not to grow your roses at tree bases or very close to taller plants. While growing roses at the base of trees force the roots of the roses to compete with those of the trees, selecting a spot close to taller plants may prevent them from receiving sufficient sunlight, which is important for manufacturing food. In case you do not have much option and have to plant your rose close to a tree, it is advisable that you plant your roses somewhere midway between the tree trunk and the farthest limit of the tree’s branches. It will be even better if you chose a spot for your rose that is absolutely outside the tree canopy. If you are planting your roses close to any tree, ensure that you cut back the lower branches of the tree to ensure that there is additional light and air circulation for your roses.
It is advisable that you plant roses no less than three feet from the base of other trees and shrubs. This may not always be possible if you have a small garden. In such cases you should dig a hole measuring about 24 inches to 30 inches in width and about 24 inches to 30 inches deep and set up an underground barricade around all the roses in your garden. It would be best if you use any metal sheeting (like aluminium, vinyl siding or sheet metal) or plastic to install this underground barrier, which will thwart the roots of adjoining trees or shrubs to invade the area in the region of the roses. It is certainly easiest to construct the underground barrier at the time of planting the roses. However, if you have not done so, you can always dig out the soil some time later, restrain the invading roots of neighbouring trees and shrubs by cutting them away, and set up the barrier underground. While installing the barrier, ensure that it is closest to the border of the hole, thereby allowing the roses’ roots to develop freely and to their fullest. If a large rose plant is located close to another plant that may compete with the rose for food and water, it would be much easier for you to set up the underground barrier around the whole rose bed and not just around each rose.
At the same time, you can interplant roses with small shrubs, annuals, perennials, bulbs as well as some varieties of ground cover like periwinkle and ajuga. However, it would not be a wise idea to interplant roses with ivy. This is primarily because ivy is a very aggressive plant and will usually invade the roses and also deprive the latter of water and fertilizer. In fact, roses grown amidst other plants will require additional water and fertilizer.
If you plant a rose close to any solid fence or a building, ensure that you locate the plants no less than 18 inches away from the construction with a view to allow the plants enough space for robust growth as well as providing the plants with maximum air circulation and sunlight. If the climate in your region is hot, you should avoid planting your roses close to a white fence or wall, as it will reflect sunlight and heat towards the plants, thereby causing them to burn. On the other hand, you are advised to plant your roses close to a reflective fence or wall in places having cool climatic conditions, as this will help to augment the growth and health of the plants.