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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Rose bush soil

Zone 3/4 | dksandene added on May 17, 2012 | Answered

Can rose bushes reside next to evergreen and juniper shrubs and trees? I am wondering why my rose bushes are having trouble growing at all in my garden on a hill. Are the pH levels of these items much different? What can be done to the rose bushes this spring to boost their growth and bloom for me? They were planted last year at this time. Is it too late to move/transplant them somewhere else?

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Answered on May 22, 2012

It is not a good time to transplant right now if they are actively growing and forming buds and blooms. The soils pH could be part of the problem and it would be a great idea to have your soils around them tested. The feeder roots on the evergreen and juniper shrubs are typically agressive and can starve a rosebush of available nutrients. I would suggest using a garden shovel and pushing it down into the ground as far as it will go, in a 30 to 36 inch diameter circle around the rosebush. Place some plastic or metal edging material down in there. This should help disrupt the shrubs roots that are taking the soils nutrients and give the rosebushes a chance to get growing better. Some of the shrubs roots will still be there but it should help give the roses a better chance. Testing the soils is the first thing I would do though. Also, do the rosebushes get good sunlight or is it blocked or filtered by the shrubs? That too can cause some problems with performance.
If you do the edging, I would also form a soils and mulch mix ring around each rosebush to help hold the water and nutrients by the rosebushes so it can penetrate down to the root zone fully. Sometimes on hills everything runs off too fast and the penetration to the root zone suffers. As to pH levels, 5.5 to 6.5 is okay for the junipers and evergreens and 6.5 is good for rosebushes, so they should be able to thrive in a soils pH between the two of 6.0.

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