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Home > Care Guide > Species

China rose (Rosa chinensis) Care Guide

Roses are world-famous ornamental flowers with bright colors and fragrant scents. They are very often used for garden decorations as a parterre or flower border, or are simply cut and placed in a vase for appreciation. Most roses are shrubs with indispensable value in landscaping. They can climb around a pergola in various forms and be shaped into small shrubby plants. In addition to many plant forms, they also bloom flowers in a variety of colors. Rose is one of the most popular and well-known species.

Quick Care Guides

  • How much and how often should I water my china rose?
  • What kind of soil should I prepare for planting china rose?
  • How much sunlight do china rose need in order to grow?
  • How do I protect china rose from pests?

Condition Requirement

Water and Hardiness

China rose is widely distributed from cold temperate zones to tropical areas. It likes cool, ventilated environments and is not tolerant of high temperatures. The optimum temperature range is 15 - 26 ℃. Some species can tolerate temperatures as low as -26 ℃ and high temperatures of up to 35 ℃. When the temperature is below 4 ℃ in winter and above 30 ℃ in summer, the plant becomes semi-dormant and has poor growth. The flowers during this period will have a few small, white petals with a dim and lusterless color and are not good-looking at all.
China rose favors moist conditions but is not resistant to water-logging. It can tolerate moderate drought. Provide more water from budding to flowering, but reduce watering after blooming time. After blooming, wait to water again until the soil is basically dry to avoid any accumulation. Ensure good ventilation and drain excess water during the rainy season to prevent damage to its roots.

Sunlight

china rose favors full sun and also can tolerate a half shade environment. In partial shade, it usually only grows leaves and does not bloom. Even if it has flower buds, the flower is neither gorgeous nor fragrant. As a result, it is recommended that gardeners ensure sunlight at least 6 hours per day during the growing season (but not necessarily in winter). In summer, it should be appropriately shaded to prevent overexposure to sunlight.

Soil

China rose can adapt to a variety of soil types and grows best in acidic soil which is fertile, loose, and water-drained. When planting in the garden, you should choose a place on higher terrain with sufficient sunlight, good air ventilation, and slightly acidic soil. Planting in high terrain helps avoid water accumulation in soil. Before planting, deeply loosen the soil and use organic fertilizer as base fertilizer. If planting as a potted plant, use humus-rich and slightly acidic sandy soil.

Care Guide

Planting

If planting potted china rose in your garden, it's best to find a suitable site with adequate sunlight, fertile soil, good drainage, and preferably a place that hasn't been planted with any roses before. A field that previously grew roses may increase the probability of infection. Transplanting can be done in all seasons except winter.
First, dig a pit that is twice as big as the flower pot. Add a small amount of base fertilizer to the pit, and place the root system or rootball into the pit so that the root crown (where the aboveground part and the underground part connect) is at or slightly higher than the surface of the soil. Backfill and slowly compact the soil. A layer of organic mulch can be used to cover the soil surface for heat preservation of roots and also reduce the growth of weeds. Water thoroughly after transplanting and water often in the first week to avoid wilting caused by a lack of water.
If transplanting china rose from one part of the garden to another, do it in fall to avoid the cold of winter. Water the plants three days before transplanting; this makes it easy to dig up and retain the rootballs. Then, trim off the overlong branches and excessive leaves, leaving 3-4 branches per plant to reduce excessive consumption of nutrients and ensure its survival. Prune any unhealthy roots left after being dug up.
If a bare-root rose cannot be immediately planted after purchase, it can simply be placed into a pit and covered with soil. If it has already gone without water for some time, it's better to soak its roots in water for half an hour before planting to help it recover. It is recommended to plant bare-root roses in gardens in the fall.

Water

China rose favors moist but not water-logged conditions, so it's important to keep the soil well-drained whether it's planted in the ground or potted. When growing outdoors, it can be watered when the soil surface is slightly dry (except for in winter) with no fixed watering frequency. Keep the soil moist, as drought will reduce the number of flowers.
In drought, the plant needs to be watered every 2-3 days. Pay attention to drainage and avoid water-logging during the rainy season. Winter is its dormant period, so it's okay to stop watering then. The plant is not tolerant of water-logging; its roots easily rot. Avoid water accumulation when watering, and also avoid splashing water onto the leaves to prevent disease.
Potted china rose can be watered every 2 days during the growing season except for winter. Only water the plant when the soil surface is slightly dry. In high-temperature seasons, the evaporation of water increases, and the plant is in a weak and semi-dormant period. To prevent it from drying out, water it twice a day in the morning and at night. Additionally, avoid too much exposure to sunlight.
It’s recommended to water potted plants until excess water seeps out from the bottom of the container. Remember to drain the standing water, or place a saucer with pebbles under the pot to allow excess water to flow out easily. During the dormancy period in winter, it should be watered less often. Only water often enough to prevent the soil from becoming extremely dry. China rose needs to be watered more from budding to flowering, and the amount and frequency of watering should be reduced after flowering.

Fertilizer

China rose favors fertile soil, so it's best to apply fertilizer several times during the growing season, but only in small amounts each time. In the spring and summer, you can use liquid fertilizer twice a month and use slow-release fertilizer every two months. Add more nutrients for more lush plants and flowers. A slow-release organic fertilizer can be used in winter so the new shoot and buds in next year's bloom will be lush; these flowers will be large and gorgeous.
If china rose is to be used for fresh-cut flowers, fertilize them 1-2 times a week during the florescence. Pay attention to the cultivation of branches with flowers. Cut off flower buds from weak branches of the plant to concentrate nutrients in the stronger ones. Additionally, a sprinkling of Mycorrhizal fungi (which is also sold as Root Grow) at the base of the plant will allow the beneficial fungi to form a symbiotic relationship with the root system, helping it to absorb nutrients and water.

Pruning

China rose has a strong sprouting ability and grows luxuriantly. Without proper, timely pruning, it will attract diseases and pests in hot, humid, insufficiently lit, or poorly ventilated conditions. After the first bloom, the plant should be slightly pruned. Promptly cut off faded flowers and thin, overlapping branches, leaving only young and strong branches. During winter dormancy, careful pruning is recommended.
For vines, keep main branches at 2 - 3 m long and cut off the rest. For bush plants, cut 1.02 cm above full buds, prune the whole plant to 1/3 of its original height, and leave 4-6 thicker branches while ensuring that the overall shape of the plant meets your desired appearance.

Harvest

China rose produces excellent fresh flowers that can be pruned with sharp scissors as soon as they bloom. It is best to pick flowers in the morning to avoid loss of water through plant transpiration at noon. After picking, it is necessary to trim the base of the branch at a 45° angle to increase the water absorption area. Quickly put the flower into a vase with clean water to avoid water loss.

Propagation

China rose can be propagated by grafting. Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) is often used as rootstock for grafting. Generally, grafting is carried out from the end of summer to the beginning of autumn, and the grafting part is as close to the ground as possible. Cut a T-shaped cut on the outer skin of the rootstock with a knife on one side of the stem and branch, then select a bud from the middle of a well-developed branch in the same year, cut the bud with bark, insert it into the T-shaped cut, bind it with plastic film, and place it in proper shade. It can usually be untied 15 days after grafting, and will germinate and survive after 30 days.
You can also select a branch that has not yet developed a leaf bud as a scion if the thickness of the scion is more similar to that of the rootstock. Cut a 2 cm deep cut on the rootstock longitudinally, insert the scion into the cut, and then fasten it with plastic film. The incision will heal after about 10 days.
China rose can also propagate by division. It can be planted deeper and filled with soil to the roots so that new roots can grow at the bottom of each branch. In the early spring or late autumn, the whole plant can be dug out with soil to be divided into ramets. Select a stem with 1-2 branches and some fibrous roots, and then separate it from the whole plant and plant it in a basin or garden. At the same time, prune the branches on the ground to reduce the evaporation of water and improve the survival rate of transplanting.
Cutting propagation, another useful way to propagate china rose, is generally carried out in spring and autumn. Branches with 3-4 buds can be cut off to use. The substrate for cutting can be a mix of river sand, rice chaff ash, or vermiculite, etc. Insert the branches into the substrate, shade it properly, and spray to maintain humidity. The branches will take root 20-30 days after cutting, and the survival rate is 70-80%. If the branches are dipped in rooting powder and then inserted into the substrate, the survival rate will be higher. Additionally, the cuttings can be immersed in water for cutting; the cutting temperature is 20 - 25 ℃, and new roots will grow after 20 days.

Seasonal Precautions

In warm and humid seasons such as spring and summer, various diseases and pests commonly occur. Drugs that can be used in advance to prevent the plant from getting sick are recommended. Pruning in time after flowering and before entering winter can also help plants reduce unnecessary nutrient consumption and grow better with concentrated nutrition.

Common Problems

Why is my china rose not blooming?

China rose needs enough sunlight and nutrients to bloom. Without sufficient light, it seldom grows flower buds. If it has buds but does not bloom normally, it is usually due to a lack of nutrients. Granular fertilizer and foliar fertilizer can be used at the same time to rectify this. Smaller buds on the same branch can also be removed, leaving only 1-2 of the largest buds so as to concentrate nutrition and avoid excessive nutrient consumption. Additionally, some varieties only bloom in spring, while others also bloom in fall and even in summer. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the varieties you planted.

Why do my china rose leaves turn yellow?

Yellow leaves can have many causes. It may be a natural phenomenon, in which case there is no need to worry. Or, it may be due to improper fertilization like excessive fertilizer concentration. this requires a lot of water to irrigate and wash the flower soil or may require replacing it with new soil to alleviate the problem. Yellowing may also be due to excessive rainfall, too much soil moisture, or root system damage, for which you can slightly loosen the soil to accelerate water loss. There may also be too much sunlight, which burns the leaves. In this case, you need to cut off the burned yellow leaves first, then provide proper shade for the plant. For example, you can move a potted rose to a shady corner, or set up a shading net for roses planted in the garden.

Pests and Diseases

In warm and humid seasons such as spring and summer, various diseases and pests commonly occur. Drugs that can be used in advance to prevent the plant from getting sick are recommended. Pruning in time after flowering and before entering winter can also help plants reduce unnecessary nutrient consumption and grow better with concentrated nutrition.

Pests and Diseases

In warm and humid seasons such as spring and summer, various diseases and pests commonly occur. Drugs that can be used in advance to prevent the plant from getting sick are recommended. Pruning in time after flowering and before entering winter can also help plants reduce unnecessary nutrient consumption and grow better with concentrated nutrition.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that usually occurs in spring and summer when the air is relatively dry. When the plant is infected, a layer of white powder will form on the leaf surface and young shoots. Leaves will turn yellow and fall off in the case of a serious infection, and this will seriously affect the growth and flowering of the plant. Pay attention to providing sufficient light and ventilation during daily maintenance, and remember to apply fertilizer to enhance plant growth. Prune before sprouting in early spring to remove any diseased shoots and withered leaves. Fungicide can be sprayed to eliminate overwintering pathogens and reduce the chance of reinfection the next year.

Black Spot

Black spot is a common plant disease that occurs worldwide. It mainly damages leaves, then petioles, leaf tips, young shoots, and pedicels. The disease forms spots on the leaves that are purple-brown to brown dots at first, then rapidly expand into round spots in the later stages. The leaves turn yellow in large areas and fall off early. When the disease is serious, all the leaves can fall, delivering the plant a devastating blow that seriously affects its growth.
Fungicides can control black spot in the early stages, but this disease is difficult to cure. As a result, the main focus is on prevention during daily care. The infected leaves should be removed quickly to reduce the source of the disease, and any fallen leaves should be cleaned away. In winter, severely infected plants should be heavily pruned to remove the pathogens.

Spider Mites

Spider Mites are commonly found on young shoots, the back of leaves, and other plant parts. They suck plant sap, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off in serious cases. To prevent spider mites, dead branches, leaves, and weeds should be removed quickly, and the plant should be checked often for signs of infestation. When the leaf color is abnormal, the back of the leaves should be checked carefully. If some leaves are infected, they should be removed promptly. When spider mites are found on many leaves, mite killer should be sprayed as early as possible. Note that all kinds of mite killer should be used alternately to prevent mites from developing a resistance to the drugs.

Aphids

Aphids tend to concentrate on young stems and leaves to suck sap, and spread virus diseases at the same time. The honeydew secreted by aphids can also cause sooty mold. They have strong reproductive capacity and can reproduce more than 10 generations a year. When damage is not serious, they can be washed away by spraying water. In severe cases, however, aphid pesticide needs to be sprayed repeatedly to kill them.

Argid Sawfly

Argid sawflies are common pests of china rose. Their larvae eat leaves in groups. In serious cases, they will eat up the mesophyll and tender shoots, leaving only thick veins. If you find this pest, the cocoon in the soil near the affected plant can be dug out in winter and spring to eliminate the pest at the source. During a larval infestation, spray with pesticide or kill them manually before they disperse or completely hatch.

Other Uncommon Pests or Diseases

Listed below are some less common pests and diseases of china rose that may also need your attention
  • Leafcutting Bees
  • Japanese Beetles
China rose (Rosa chinensis) China rose (Rosa chinensis)

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