Here are our 10 tips to care for roses.
1. Know Your Roots
Before planting a rose bush, prune all the branches right back to about 15cm to ensure the plant concentrates its energies on forming a healthy root system. Roses, like all plants, require a robust and vigorous root system to collect water and nutrients.
2. Be Selective
There are lots of different classes of roses, varying in the way they grow, their size and colour. While you may be tempted to fill your whole garden with roses. Be selective with the varieties you choose to include. Allow adequate space between plants. Your garden will love you for it, benefit both your Roses health and a disorderly mismatched garden!
3. Location, Location
Roses like full sunlight, but they can survive on a minimum of 4 hours per day. They also prefer not to be placed in areas with a cold draught or waterlogged ground. Roses prefer neutral soil and flower best in fertile clay soil. If possible positioning roses on the North East side of your house. Do not overcrowd your roses with other plants, they grow best when in a bed of their own at least 90cm apart.
4. Time it Right
The best time to plant roses is in spring, on a calm, cloudy day. Planting on a hot sunny day, or during a summer heatwave can cause the rose stress. For best results, plant bare-rooted roses as soon as possible after purchase.
5. Dig Deep
The size of the hole you plant your rose in is essential to starting a sound root system. When planting a Rosebush, ensure that you dig a much bigger hole than you think you need. Also, ensure you add lots of organic matter or manure. The hole also needs to be deep enough that the graft union (which looks like a knot on the lower stem) will sit 4cm above ground level once planted.
6. Nutrients are essential
To produce an impressive show of flowers, a rose bush needs to be fed regularly. Roses are greedy too so for best results plant them in organic-rich soil, mulch annually with compost, seaweed or manure. Organic fertilizers provide a slow, steady release of nutrients to the plant. However, you will need to feed the roses with a rose fertilizer in Spring & Summer.
7. Water wisely
Soak newly planted roses straight after planting. Continue to soak the entire root zone twice a week in dry summer weather. Avoid frequent light sprinklings of water if possible as this does not promote healthy root growth. As the weather cools reduce the amount of water you are giving your roses accordingly. They don’t like to sit in water.
8. Prune like a pro
The best time to prune your roses is from mid-July to early August to promote strong spring growth! When pruning, start by removing all dead and damaged foliage and buds. Next cut back the branches and stems approximately one-third of the previous year’s growth until you find healthy white centres inside the stems.
9. Keep them healthy
The best way to prevent rose diseases is to choose disease-resistant varieties!
If you spot the first signs of black spot, then make sure you treat it right away by removing diseased foliage and burning it. You can avoid powdery Mildew by watering roses at ground level in the morning. This will prevent wet foliage overnight. Pruning will also allow good air circulation. Pesky insects that like to feed on roses can be controlled with insecticides.
10. Show them off!
Roses are famous for their beautiful, fragrant flowers. To preserve harvested roses best, make sure you use sharp scissors when cutting their stems. Try to harvest just as the petals start to open, either in the morning or the evening. Be sure to trim the stems on a diagonal, and remove any lower leaves that fall below the water line before placing them in a vase to enjoy!