Dear Gracie: Your questions, my answers!

We get hundreds of rose gardening questions every week, so we will be answering them here biweekly on our blog! Have questions? Send them our way on our biweekly question box over on Instagram!

Is it true that epsom salt is good for producing nasal breaks on roses?
Yes! A sprinkling of epsom salts around the base of your rose is a great source of magnesium that will promote new cane growth! For applying epsom salt to existing rose bushes, I would recommend to either mix 1/2 cup of epsom salts into the soil around the rose bush and water well, or dissolve 1/2 cup of the salts in water and use to water the soil around rose bush. Using epsom salt on your plants will help them reach their full potential! I would advise doing this process on a cooler day, when the sun isn’t blazing hot! THIS brand works great!

What is your go to product for fungus and mildew?

We rotate between two different horticultural oils: Bonide or Monterey mixed with spreader sticker. We also use Cease.

Pro tip: Disease is all about prevention. You must spray before a disease outbreak as once mildew or rust develop, they’re hard to control. I would suggest getting on a spraying schedule (we do every other week) and sticking with that to prevent disease from ever settling in on your plants!

When is the best time to plant my roses and to feed them?
The best time to plant your roses is in the Spring! Here are a few links to roses we love and recommend growing. They’re all gorgeous, great bloomers, and very fragrant!

Jubilee Celebration
Princess Charlene of Monaco
Francis Meilland 

I always tell people to feed your roses a balanced organic granular fertilizer (such as Dr. Earth Premium Gold All Purpose Fertilizer or EB Stone Organic All Purpose) when planting and then every month during the growing season. Make sure you add it to your calendar so you don’t forget to keep feeding them! 

What’s the best way to arrange garden roses for a vase?
We love using pitcher vases, or vases that have a wider base with a more narrow top. Both allow the stems plenty of room to drink water, and space for the garden roses to open. Since the roses arrive in bud form, we suggest giving them a little bit of space to open in your vase! HERE is the link to some of our favorite vases, as well as a video on how we like to arrange our roses HERE!

Is there a good “starter rose” you would suggest for first time rose growers?
Floribundas are the easiest roses to get started with. There are several that I love (and that we grow here on the farm), but if I had to pick one, it would be Koko Loko. This rose is so unique, and truly incredible! The color is taupe to nude to palest mauve lavender or blush! It has a full petaled shape, often with multiple heads per stem! It has a medium scent, and the size of the blooms can range from 3-4”. You can find the bare root plant here, and the cut rose here!