Garden Blooms

As we welcome spring, our roses begin to awake from their winter nap.

Each year in late January, I trim my roses back for winter. This is the best time for Southern California blooms. I always marvel at their strength for within a week or so of pruning, I can see tiny sprouts popping their heads toward the sun announcing springs arrival. While I gage this by my roses, most people rely on a calendar. My old habits die hard.

Roses need three things: water, sun and food. Water your roses often. They can’t get enough of it. As for food, there are lots of choices available from your local gardening center, and their staff can recommend the right type for your garden. I personally use a granular organic fertilizer and my roses bloom profusely all summer long.

When spring arrives, your roses need to be fertilized. Roses require a lot of nutrients to produce healthy growth and beautiful flowers. Fertilizers should be placed around the outside of the plant, one to two feet away. Carefully pull back any mulch and place the fertilizer into the first inch of the soil surface. Take care not to damage tender roots which may rest near the surface of the soil.

As for summer, roses need to be fed once a month during their growing season, however, make sure to stop feeding your roses in the fall, or at least four to six weeks prior to the first annual frost date. If you fertilize too long, your roses will continue to produce new growth which can be damaged by the cold.

Enjoy your blooms this year!