When planted right, and in the right spot, Sunrosa Roses are exceptionally easy to grow. They rival the ever-popular Knock Out Roses in flower power, disease resistance, and heat and humidity tolerance. That said, a little good advice regarding how to plant, fertilizer, prune and water Sunrosa Roses can go along way with getting the most out of them. I hope this article provides the helpful tips and instructions you need to plant and grow these superior dwarf roses like pros.

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know...



Cultural Preferences



Soil Preferences

Sunrosa Roses perform well in the ground or in pots and other containers. 


In The Ground

Sunrosa Roses are very easy to grow in a wide range of soil types, but grow best in a well-drained moist soil of average fertility. As with other roses, constantly soggy or wet soil conditions can cause root rot and other plant diseases. So make sure to plant Sunrosa Roses in well-drained soil.
 

How To Test Soil Drainage 

If you are uncertain about soil drainage in the area you intend to plant your Sunrosa Roses, it's well worth taking the time to test the drainage before planting. To test soil drainage, dig a hole 12" wide by 12" deep in the planting area. Fill the hole with water and let it drain. Then, after it drains, fill it with water again, but this time clock how long it takes to drain. In well-drained soil the water level will go down at a rate of about 1 inch an hour. A faster rate, such as in loose, sandy soil, may signal potentially dry site conditions. A slower rate indicates poor draining soil and is a caution you need to improve drainage, plant in a raised mound or bed, or look for plants that are more tolerant of wet or boggy conditions.


In Containers  

Being dwarfs, Sunrosa Roses are excellent candidates from container culture. Those who live north of USDA Zone 4a, where they are not cold hardy, can enjoy them in containers that can be brought indoors during the winter. 

When growing in pots Sunrosa Roses appreciate a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy soil can and often will cause root rot or other harmful or deadly plant diseases. Therefore, choose a pot with a drainage hole(s) and use a good potting soil or potting mix, or a 50/50 mix thereof for planting. Avoid the use of native soil. You can add about 10 to 20 percent perlite or pumice to the soil mixture to help with drainage.



Soil pH

Sunrosa Roses grow best in a mildly acid to neutral soil ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 on the pH scale. Most average garden soils fall between a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. 


Testing Soil pH  

Soil pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of soil and is measured on a scale of 1-14, with 7 as the neutral mark. Any measurement below 7 indicates acid soil conditions, and anything above 7 indicates alkaline. If you're unsure about the pH of your soil, or whether or not it's suitable for growing Sunrosa Roses it's a good idea to test the soil pH in the planting area. You can quickly test soil pH with an inexpensive soil pH tester probe. To raise the pH (make more alkaline) you can add pelletized limestone to the soil. To lower the pH (make more acid) you can apply Soil SulfurAluminum Sulfate, or Chelated Iron. Adding organic compost to the soil or using compost as mulch can also help to increase acidity and maintain acid soil conditions.




Light Preferences

Sunrosa Roses grow best in full sun to mostly sun, however will tolerate some afternoon shade. As with all other roses, the Sunrosa Roses require morning sun to dry the morning dew from their leaves. The densest growth and best flowering occurs with at least 5 hours of direct sun per day from spring through early fall, when plants are actively growing. 




Planting Sunrosa Roses In The Ground

Scroll down for container planting instructions and care tips


Site Preparation When Mass Planting


Weed Elimination

Before planting, eliminate existing weeds or grasses in the planting area. You can pull weeds by hand or spray them with a solution of glyphosate-based broad spectrum weed killer. Wait at least two hours after spraying, or until spray has dried on weeds, before you begin planting. Before using any chemical read the mixing and application instructions on the label.
 

Soil Preparation

Tilling the soil in the planting area is optional. There are several reason I usually don't recommend it. Tilling on sloped ground loosens soil making it more susceptible to erosion in the event there comes heavy rainfall. Tilling can also bring buried dormant weeds seeds to the surface, and freshly tilled ground is a perfect environment for weed seeds to sprout in. Also, if you are planting groundcover plants under established trees, be aware that tilling can cause serious damage to tree roots, which can effect the health of a tree. The feeder roots of trees can often extend well beyond the perimeter of the canopy.

If you do decide to till, we recommend the application of a landscape landscape weed preventer to the soil surface. 


How Many Plants?

If you are mass planting your Sunrosa Roses, to determine how many plants you will need to fill the planting bed it is often necessary to determine total square feet of the planting area. Once you have the square footage, you can determine how many plants are required to fill the space. 

Note:  Under the description tab on every plant page in Wilson Bros Gardens you will find a spacing recommendation. 







Step-By-Step Planting Instructions


Step 1

Start by digging your planting hole at least two to three times as wide and not much deeper than the rootball. The wider the hole the better. Place native soil removed from planting hole around the perimeter of the hole, in a wheel barrow, or on a tarp.


Step 2

Depending on the type, fertility and porosity of the soil in the planting area you might need to amend the native soil. When planting a gardenia in heavy clay, or other compacted or poor soils, it is beneficial to thoroughly mix in some good organic matter such as composted cow manure, mushroom compost, and/or a good planting mix at a 50/50 ratio with the native soil removed from the planting hole. When planting in very sandy, quick-draining soil you might want to consider mixing in some top soil, peat moss and/or compost to help retain moisture. When planting in fertile, moist but well-drained soil there is no need for adding a soil amendment, though some composted organic matter might be beneficial.


Step 3

Tip: Water the root ball deeply before removing your Sunrosa Rose from its container.

To remove your Sunrosa Rose from the nursery pot it was growing in, first squeeze the pot to loosen rootball and then very gently try to remove it from the pot. If the root ball is stuck in the pot use snips to cut the container away. After having removed the plant from the container, gently loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball.


Step 4

If you are planting in well-drained soil, to allow for settling set your rose in the planting hole so that the top edge of the rootball is at or slightly above ground level. If your soil is moderately drained (drains at less than 1-inch per hour) the top of the root ball should sit 1 to 2 inches or so above ground level, as shown in the planting diagram below. If necessary, add some backfill soil mixture to the bottom of the planting hole to achieve proper planting height. 

Note:   If the soil is poorly drained (constantly soggy or wet) either improve soil drainage in the planting area or choose a different plant species more tolerant of wet soils. 




Step 5

After setting your rose in the planting hole, use one hand to hold the plant straight and your other hand to begin pulling your soil mixture around the root ball, tamping as you go to remove air pockets. When you have filled the hole to the halfway point you can soak the soil. Then continue back-filling to the top edge of the root ball. If you are planting higher than ground level taper your soil mixture gradually from the top edge of the root ball to the ground level, as shown in the planting diagram above. To avoid suffocating your plant, avoid placing any soil on top of the root ball.


Step 6 (Optional)

When planting your rose in a location far from a water source, and in well-drained soil, you can use remaining soil mixture to build a water retaining berm (catch basin/doughnut) about 2 inches high around the outside perimeter of the planting hole, as shown in the illustration above. This basin will help to collect water from rainfall and irrigation reducing the need for hand-watering. The berm can be removed after a growing season or two.


Step 7 

Next, deeply water the planting area, including the root ball, to a depth equal to the height of the root ball. For an extra boost, to reduce plant shock and promote greener, more vigorous plants by stimulating early root formation and stronger root development, you can also water you newly planted Sunrosa Rose with a solution of Root Stimulator.


Step 8

Spread a 1-inch layer of shredded or chipped wood mulch or a 2-inch layer of pine straw around the planting area to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. As the mulch decomposes it will add vital nutrients to the soil that your rose will appreciate. Avoid the use of freshly chipped or shredded wood for mulch until it has cured in a pile for at least 6 months, a year is better. Avoid placing or piling mulch directly against the base of your rose as this could cause the bark to rot.




Planting A Sunrosa Rose In A Pot


Their dwarf size, heat tolerance and flower power make Sunrosa Roses excellent candidates for growing in pots and other containers.

Sunrosa Roses growing in pots appreciate a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy soil can and often will cause root rot or other harmful or deadly plant diseases. Therefore, choose a pot with a drainage hole(s) and use a good potting soil or potting mix, or a 50/50 mix thereof. Avoid the use of native soil. You can add about 10 to 20 percent perlite or pumice to the soil mixture to help with drainage.

Also make sure to choose a container that is large enough to allow for 2 to 3 years of growth before having to shift up to a larger size container. This might mean your planting pot would be 6 inches or more in width than the root ball of your plant. 

Container color will matter as well. Not only will you want to select a color of container that goes well with the flower and foliage color of your rose, you'll also want a container that matches the style of your home or other structures or plants in the surrounding environment. 

Many nursery & garden centers offer a wide variety of containers to choose from. Before heading out to buy a container take pictures of your home and the surrounding environment. Doing so will help you to choose just the right color and style.



Container Planting Instructions


Step 1

Before filling your container with the soil mix, we recommend lining the bottom with shade cloth or a porous landscape fabric. This will keep the drain holes from becoming stopped up with soil. If you place gravel, stones or other materials in the bottom of your pot lay the fabric on top of it.


Step 2

To remove your Sunrosa Rose from the nursery pot it was growing in, first squeeze the pot to loosen rootball and then very gently try to remove it from the pot. If the root ball is stuck in the pot use snips to cut the container away. After having removed the plant from the container, gently loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball.


Step 3

Pour a small amount of your soil mixture in the bottom of the container. Set your plant in the container and make necessary adjustments by adding or removing some soil so that the top edge of the root ball will sit 1/2 to 1" below the rim of the container.




Step 4

Begin filling the container with your potting soil, tamping as you go, until the level of potting soil is even with the top edge of root ball.


Step 5

Water thoroughly until water starts to drain from the holes in the bottom of the container. Add more potting mix if settling occurs during watering.


Step 6 (Optional)

Apply a 1/2" layer of wood chips or sphagnum moss to soil surface to help conserve moisture. 





How To Care For Sunrosa Roses



How To Fertilize Sunrosa Roses

Sunrosa Roses are fast growers and heavy bloomers that will benefit from fertilization. We recommend feeding them right after the late winter pruning, and then every 6 weeks or so during the growing season, with a rose food or an organic plant food. Cease fertilization 2 months prior to the average first-frost date in your area.


Soil pH

Sunrosa Roses grow best in a mildly acid to neutral soil ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 on the pH scale. Most average garden soils fall between a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. 


Testing Soil pH  

Soil pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of soil and is measured on a scale of 1-14, with 7 as the neutral mark. Any measurement below 7 indicates acid soil conditions, and anything above 7 indicates alkaline. If you're unsure about the pH of your soil, or whether or not it's suitable for growing Sunrosa Roses it's a good idea to test the soil pH in the planting area. You can quickly test soil pH with an inexpensive soil pH tester probe. To raise the pH (make more alkaline) you can add pelletized limestone to the soil. To lower the pH (make more acid) you can apply Soil SulfurAluminum Sulfate, or Chelated Iron. Adding organic compost to the soil or using compost as mulch can also help to increase acidity and maintain acid soil conditions.





How To Water Sunrosa Roses

Sunrosa Roses grow best in a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy or wet soil can cause root rot or other harmful plant diseases. So be careful not to over-water your Sunrosa Roses! 

TIP: When watering with an automated irrigation system it's best to set your timer to water during the early morning hours and not in the late evening or at night, which can lead to the onset of fungus and other foliar diseases. During the first few weeks after planting, check soil moisture often and adjust irrigation time if necessary to keep the soil moist, not wet.

 
At Planting Time

Immediately after planting deep soak the soil in the planting area, including the rootball, to a depth equal to the height of the root ball. For an extra boost to stimulate early root formation and stronger root development, consider watering your newly planted Sunrosa Rose with a solution of Root Stimulator. Root Stimulator reduces transplant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants. 


During the First Active Growth Season

In average garden soil you should not have to water your newly planted Sunrosa Roses every day. More often than not, this causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and other harmful plant diseases. In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water only as needed to keep the rootball and surrounding soil damp to moist. Keep in mind that deep soaking less frequently, allowing the soil to dry out somewhat before watering again, is much better than splashing just a little water on the plants every day. Roses planted during the winter dormant season, when they are not actively growing and evaporation is much slower, will require much less water. So, be extra careful not to overwater during winter!


Thereafter

When established, Sunrosa Roses are quite drought tolerant plants. Only during periods of summer drought will they require supplemental irrigation. If you see new leaves wilting or the tips of new stems bending over during dry weather this could be a sign your roses could use a good deep soaking. Check soil moisture and provide water only if necessary.




How To Prune Sunrosa Roses


Sunrosa Roses do not require pruning, however respond very well to it. 

Sunrosa Roses can be pruned heavily in late winter or early spring, before or just when new leaves begins to emerge. At this time, use a sharp pair of bypass hand pruners to cut the rose back to about 4-6" above the ground. This ensures that the plant will have a good habit and healthy blooms throughout the season. 

To encourage heavier bloom, you can prune Sunrosa Roses lightly throughout the active growth season to remove faded blooms. 

Cease pruning Sunrosa Roses two months prior to the average first-frost date in your area. 

 



Plant Long & Prosper!

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