Ten Commandments for Growing Roses by Margaret Downey

I. Thou shalt be devoted to growing beautiful roses--maybe even joining a local Rose Society.

II. Thou shalt purchase the best rose plants available. Try to find "Grade 1" plants that have at the very least three strong, lively shoots. A plant that has a paraffin coating is not a good plant.

III. Thou shalt plant in a location that will get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. The location must also have good drainage.

IV. Thou shalt dig a 18"deep by 24" wide hole using a soil mix with lots of nutrients. Space between plants should be 36"-42" from the center of each plant. Plant only what you can manage--no more--no less.

V. Thou shalt take time to fertilize.Roses need frequent fertilizing after pruning. The best recipe includes organic and chemical fertilization. Feed your rose bed at least every two months.

VI. Thou shalt treat your roses to disease and pet control protection. Roses are subject to fungus diseases tht can be avoided by applying chemicals that will prevent spores from developing. When insects appear, use insecticides. Control of diseases lies in consistency. Extreme care must be taken when applying toxic chemicals.

VII. Thou shalt prune with great love and care. Rose bushes require pruning in order to stimulate new growth. Do not conduct any major pruning in the winter. Begin pruning when the roses arise in the spring. Some pruning of dead growth may be needed to keep the plant in good shape.

VIII. Thou shalt be aware of harsh winter weather damage. Extra mulching and covering of plants may be needed.

IX. Thou shalt water the ground carefully making sure that the foliage has time to dry before the sun goes down and not allowing the water to boil and burn the precious roses. Watering the root system is key. Roses will not survive without enough moisture.

X. Thou shalt cut the faded blooms on a regular basis. This provides for a cycle of blossoms.

This is a photo of my backyard rose garden. I was inspired by my one-time neighbors The Mikels Family. I miss them so much and I think of them as I take care of the lovely flowers I manage to grow. I hope they are happy living in North Carolina.

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.