calendar of Rose care



  • Clean Debris around roses that has accumulated during winter, insects and disease may be present in the debris.
  • The soil in North Carolina is typically acidic. Apply Lime (1/2 cup) and Gypsum (1/2 cup), around the base of the plant and work it into the soil. This will increase the alkalinity of the soil. The application of Lime and Gypsum should only be done twice a year, once in early Spring and once in mid Fall. A soil test should be done yearly to determine the need for the additional Gypsum or Lime.
  • Begin to check for Aphids,Wash off aphids (water blast) at first sign (best to do early morning).


  • Prune roses Mid February, after this time roses may begin putting out new growth.
  • Plan fertilizer applications from late February through September.
  • Apply a 2-4 inch thick layer of compost to the rose bed in order to prevent weeds and conserve water.
  • Protect bushes if a freeze is predicted.
  • combining the lime/gypsum supplements and 2" compost application then layering the mulch on top all at once in middle to late February and optional to repeat the process in October in colder winter areas.

  • March

  • As leaves appear, start your fertilizer program.
  • Good clean up and organic methods are always the first line of prevention for future pests.
  • Apply organic fertilizers.
  • Continue planting new bare root roses.
  • Roses love to be fed regularly. Roses need lots of food for foliage and bloom.


  • After danger of frost has passed, remove mulch from around the graft.
  • Water roses three times a week. Use a water soluble fertilizer. Roses required 2 inches of water per week.
  • Keep a rose journal and enter pests and time of appearance,also enter when each rose blooms.
  • Begin planting new potted roses.


  • Continue fertilizer program.
  • Water as needed. Roses required 2 inches of water per week.
  • Cut spent blooms to encourage new growth. (Deadheading).
  • Continue planting potted roses.

  • June

  • Cut spent blooms.
  • Water as needed.
  • Check leaves for yellowing (possible iron deficiency) contact your local ag agent with questions about your rose problems. Most counties have hotlines you can call with garden questions.


  • Not a good time to fertilize due to our intense heat.
  • Cut spent blooms.
  • Water as needed.


  • Continue fertilizer program..
  • Cut spent blooms.
  • Water as needed.


  • Continue fertilizer program.
  • Cut spent blooms.
  • Water as needed.
  • Fertilize with a dry slow-release fertilizer.
    Start fall pruning. Prune roses back about one-third. Clean up debris.
  • Plant New bare root roses.


  • Stop fertilizing program until next spring.
  • Start preparing area for new rose beds.
  • Water as needed.
  • Cut spent blooms.
  • Anchor long canes in climbing and shrub type roses to prevent wind injury.
  • Begin selecting and ordering new roses for next spring
  • Plant New Bare root roses.


  • Stop deadheading to allow plants to go dormant.
  • Let hips form to encourage dormancy.
  • Continue selecting and ordering new roses for next spring.


  • Top all rose bushes back to about 1/2 their height to protect them from being up-rooted during winter winds. Postpone severe pruning until February.
  • Place mulch 6 inches high over graft for winter protection.
  • Water as needed.

Lynn Cochran member of the American Rose Society.