Watch Martha Uncover the Secret for Growing Perfect, Lush Roses

In this vintage clip, Martha interviews a famous rose expert for his best growing tips.

Before you followed Martha on Instagram, you looked forward to learning from her on the air—and you still can. The Best of the Martha Show takes you right back into our founder's studio to rediscover her most timeless homekeeping tips and Good Things, galore.

They say "a rose is a rose is a rose," but Martha's roses are unlike any other. And if you have ever wanted to know how to grow gorgeous, full blooms just like our founder's, start right here. Martha shared the secret to perfecting her rose bushes years ago during an episode of her former television show, which you can re-watch via the clip above. As part of the segment, she visited the garden of David Dawn, who was a well-known rosarian (if you're not familiar with the term, a "rosarian" is someone who cultivates roses, typically as a profession). Alongside Martha, he gave his expert tips for establishing healthy, beautiful roses sans blemishes or spots. It all boils down to three main factors, they say: Light exposure, drainage, and water.

Give your roses plenty of sunlight.

Without access to quality sun exposure, roses will never reach their full potential. If you want full flowers thick with petals, your garden should ideally be east-facing, so that it can get up to eight hours of light per day. "You need at least five to six hours of sun exposure for roses," Dawn explained to Martha, affirming that directionality is key. "Preferably eastern exposure."

Ensure your soil has proper drainage.

Another key part of the equation is adequate drainage. "You must have good drainage," Dawn told Martha. "Drainage is simple. Dig a hole, fill it with water and wait and see how long it goes down. If it takes hours and hours or overnight to [recede], then you've got a problem—and you need to dig out the muck that's underneath."

Water regularly.

"The third ingredient—and most important for a rose—is water," explained Dawn. "Fertilizer is not as important, because the rose gets 90 percent of its needs from the air." Remember this mantra, he notes: "Roses love water, but they hate wet feet." In other words, these flowers enjoy a good shower (water yours two or three times a week), but can't grow in standing water; they're not swamp plants. "The ideal pH level of garden soil for roses is 6.5," continued Dawn. And when Martha saliently asked about spraying for pests and disease? "One of the chief problems with roses is fungus," answered Dawn. "So you should spray once a week or every ten days."

Consider plant food.

If you have those three key ingredients down, you're well on your way to vibrant, fluffy roses. But plant food also makes a difference, Martha pointed out. While sun, drainage, and water are certainly the most important factors, plant food can bolster the health of your bushes. "I would recommend '10-6-4' plant food, " explained Dawn. "A 50 pound bag will last you for years if you have a small garden." Those numbers stand for the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the mix, respectively (this is also known as the N-P-K ratio). "Another trick is alfalfa meal," added Dawn. "Alfalfa has an enzyme that stimulates roots."

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