Cabbage rose plants are an old-fashioned favorite of many gardeners. The blooms are large and full and generally have a wonderful fragrance. They are sometimes called old-fashioned roses. Their thick, full, multi-petaled growth habit is how they got the name of a cabbage rose.
Step 1 - Rose Advice
Roses are not for everyone. They can take a great deal of work and care but it is well worth it. If you are not a gardener at heart or only have weekends to work on your garden, you may want to try another type of plant.
Always purchase the best grade rose bushes you can afford. There is a different in quality between cheap and expensive rose bushes. Try to purchase from a reputable garden supply store or nursery. Many beautiful varieties can be found online from seasoned rose growers that are knowledgeable and will answer questions you may have.
Always plant cabbage roses in an area where they will get at least 5 hours of sunlight per day. Most roses need this amount of sun to grow properly and produce lush blooms. You may have small blooms or no blooms at all the first few years. Don't give up, it is just your plant acclimating itself to where its planted.
Step 2 - Soil and Fertilizer
Roses need a good rich soil that is heavy in garden loam or peat moss. The soil must drain well and not puddle around the roots of the roses. This will cause black spot which is a fungus on roses that is almost impossible to get rid of once the rose is infected with it.
Rose fertilizers are found in many types and strengths. Purchase one recommended by a nursery if you are unfamiliar with what type to buy. It should be equally balanced, meaning the three numbers on the label should be the same. Use only as directed. Do not apply to the leaves of the roses.
Step 3 - Pruning
Roses need to be pruned and shaped, especially if you are wanting large blossoms, such as those on cabbage roses. You will want to prune new shoots and buds. Try to keep 1 or 2 buds per stem as a rule, this will produce a larger blossom. Always be sure to pick dead blossoms from the plant, especially if it is a variety that blooms all summer. Keeping the plants neat and well kept will protect them from disease.
Step 4 - Repelling Insects
Roses are susceptible to insect infestations. Many gardeners believe it is because of their colors and fragrance. The best way to repel insects and protect the cabbage rose plants is to use a multi purpose rose insect killer on a regular basis. Many gardeners spray their roses once a month. Liquid sprays are the best to use and the most easy to apply.
There are insect dusts that are available that are also favored by rose growers who want to produce lush roses. These powders and sprinkled on and become attached to insects if they walk on the leaves of the rosebush.