Basic Rose Care for the Chihuahuan Desert
In the desert, plant roses in enriched soil in morning sun with some afternoon shade. Feed roses monthly in the spring and summer with Happy Frog Rose Food or Fertilome Rose Food (both of which we carry at our garden center).
*Please avoid systemic types of rose care. It might harm bees.
See www.beeaction.org for more information.
Roses like cool roots. Mulch your plants with 1-2 inches of bark or pecan shells. You can also grow with companion plants of thyme, rue, catmint, verbena, marigolds or alyssum.
In the warm months water deeply 2-3 times per week. Do not spray the leaves with water, especially at night. This can cause diseases like powdery mildew.
To prune, cut crossing branches or any weak growth. You want an open V-shape so that the sun can reach all the branches. To cut roses for bouquets or to remove faded blossoms, cut to a leaf with 5 leaflets. This will create strong new growth. Avoid cutting to a leaf with only 3 leaflets.
Expect pests like aphids in the spring. Spray them off with a jet of water and repeat again in 3-5 days. Also expect leaf cutter bees to cut perfectly round holes in the leaves. This does not hurt the plants and the bees are good pollinators for our farms.
Give roses room between other plants. Give climbing roses a strong trellis and tie with our green tie tape. Hybrid tea roses are a good choice for flowerbeds, or try the spreading carpet or drift roses.
For a formal look the tree roses give a wonderful display.
Miniature roses can be grown in containers or flower beds.