The rose calendar is for the South Puget Sound area of Washington
State - Olympia area, Thurston County, specifically. It should be
pretty applicable to most of western Washington State as well as
Vancouver Island and the Vancouver, BC area. Western Oregon is
warmer and drier, but much the same. Eastern Washington and Oregon are
very different - cold-winter deserts instead of temperate rainforests.
This calendar won't work at all east of the Cascade Mountains, south of
Eureka CA, or north of Juneau AK.
Jan | Feb
| March | April | May
July | Aug
| Sept | Oct | Nov
- Make certain winter protection remains in place and has not
washed away from rain.
- This is a good time to test your soils for nutrient deficiency
- Prepare beds for planting.
- Purchase bareroot rose plants from garden centers as soon
as they arrive. Plant them immediately and cover them with soil
(completely cover the crown -- cover with about 8" of soil
or compost so they don't dry out) for about a month before slowly
- Prune climbers towards the end of the month. Remove dead
and twiggy growth. (See also
- Remove winter protection.
- Conduct spring pruning. Remove any dead, diseased, or twiggy
canes. Cut canes back to undamaged wood (pith should be apple
green). Prune to an outside bud except for cultivars which tend
to sprawl, in which case prune to inside buds. (See also
- Plant new bareroot roses before March ends.
- Clean up the rose beds, rake up winter debris, pull weeds
while they are small.
- Begin fungicide spray program when first foliage appears.
- A soil test, such as those available at nurseries, will give
you an idea of what nutrients your garden will need this year.
- Make first fertilizer application
when roses have about 4" of new growth. A high nitrogen fertilizer
(e.g. 20-5-5) in early spring will help replenish nitrogen leached
from the soil by winter rains.
- Admire new growth and start dreaming of the rose show trophy
- Be alert for insect pests. Remove them by hand when they
appear. Spray only if hand-picking no longer can control the outbreak.
- Continue fungicide sprays, remember to alternate chemicals
to avoid fungicide resistance.
- Make second fertilizer application. Either a balanced
rose fertilizer, or a general-purpose fertilizer, will be fine.
Apply alfalfa tea.
- Watch the weather and water when necessary.
Roses need about 1" of water per week.
- Replenish mulch once
soil has warmed up and roses are actively growing.
- This is the main month for rose shows. Get your bushes groomed.
- Apply new mulch if needed.
- Continue spray program.
- Make third fertilizer application.
- Deadhead bloomed-out canes fairly low on plant to stimulate
- Start to water consistently as soon as spring rains let up.
Roses will forgive many things, but won't forgive lack of water.
- Increase watering; occasionally wash off foliage as temperature
- This is the last month to apply conventional fertilizers.
- Continue low deadheading as blossoms fade.
- Pay attention to watering as the temperature heats up.
- Watering begins to become critical. Water deeply two or three
times a week during hot dry weather.
- Be alert for spider mites. Wash them off with water or control
them with miticide.
- Continue fungicide spray program.
- Canes should now be deadheaded higher on the plant to avoid
stimulating basal breaks, which may not harden in time for
- Order new roses from catalogs for next year - many growers
sell out of the best varieties before August ends.
- Continue watering program until fall rains begin.
- Continue insect and disease control.
- Be vigilant in your campaign against spider mites.
- Enjoy the fruits of your hard work from all year; September
is a great month in the rose garden.
- The winter rains have usually started and watering can cease.
- Spraying for diseases or insects can also cease.
- Make garden improvement plans.
- Lime garden if soil test indicates pH is below about 6.0.
- Toward the end of the month, allow spent blooms to remain
on bushes to promote dormancy.
- Apply organic fertilizers and composts for next spring's
growth. Roses love chicken manure, mushroom compost, or
- Plant new bareroot roses if you prefer fall transplanting,
and if you can find new bushes.
- Prepare bushes for winter by:
- cutting tall bushes back to about 2' above the ground to
lessen wind damage,
- removing and discarding all leaves,
- removing and cleaning up debris in rose beds,
- dormant spraying bushes before applying winter protection,
- applying winter protection, such as mounding the bushes 6
to 8 inches with soil or mulch
- Don't forget to winterize your irrigation system too, by
insulating valves and draining lines. Remove hoses from
faucets, and put away for the winter. Even frost-proof
faucets can be damaged if the hose remains attached.
- Stay out of the garden and enjoy your free time, knowing
your roses are safely put to bed.
- Read some good rose books and spend time in front of the
fireplace dreaming over rose catalogs.
- Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The photos are stunning, the colors sublime
The various plants look Number 1 Prime:
Fragrants, Old English, exclusive rose trees,
Moderns, Rugosas, new Hybrid Teas.
Too early to tell if my roses have died,
The mulch still around them, tips brown and dried,
I'm bewitched by the pictures of Pink Grootendorst,
Alfred de Dalmas, City of York.
There are people to visit in rose catalogs:
Robin Hood, Handel, Don Juan, Goldilocks,
Princesse de Monaco, Empress Josephine,
Dolly Parton, Mister Lincoln, Roger Lambelin.
Places of note abound in the names:
Tuscany, Mojave, Granada, Dublin Bay,
Nevada, Saratoga, Holy Toledo,
Camelot, Oklahoma, Over the Rainbow.
With winter's withdrawal, my thoughts turn to blooms.
I dream of bouquets rich in flower perfumes:
Sparrieshoop, Keepsake, La France, Nancy Hall,
Friendship, Tiffany, Baby Betsy McCall.
The pages are wrinkled from all the perusal,
Comparing old favorites with the new or unusual:
Commandant Beaurepaire, Henry Nevard,
Tour de Malakoff, Ferdinand Pichard.
My corolla is boggled, my center confused
By trimming selections down to a few.
The floriferous choices are too many to call;
Enough of this pruning, I'll order them all.
By Susan Moon
Published in the "Rose Herald,"
Tri-City Rose Society, Washington State USA