Grandiflora Rose Bushes Have Not Grown Since Being Planted In Clay Soil

Question From: Grosse Pointe, Michigan, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, I planted two grandiflora rose bushes in mostly clay soil. They have not died but they are not growing at all!!! Is the clay the problem? My husband says we should dig out a lot of the clay and replace it with dirt. I also heard that roses love clay soil. Thanks for any advice. Susan

A: Susan, It depends on the density of the clay. It it was solid and chunky when you planted the roses, it's probably smart to dig them out, amend the soil and replace them. I would use a combination of good quality compost, such as OrganiMax and English Gardens Soil Conditioner mixed with the clay. That said, I would not do this until fall when the weather cools and we have more rain. Plants tend to go dormant during times of heat and drought. So for now just keep them watered and do nothing to stress them further. Fertilizing now is a big no-no. Good Luck and Happy Yardening, Best Nancy