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There’s no need to convince you why roses make for a great addition to any garden. Their hardy looks, heady scents and gorgeous blooms always put on a show from spring right through until autumn.
aring for your rose garden or potted roses isn’t intimidating. That said, there are some hot tips to make sure your roses have excellent overall health and vigour. For example: Indoor roses require lots of sun and regular watering while cut roses tend to stay fresh longer if you trim their stems timely.
With our beginner’s guide to caring for roses, you’ll be enjoying beautiful, healthy roses in no time.
It’s essential for newly planted roses to be more regularly watered than an established rose bush. Roses thrive if they get approximately 2 inches of water weekly. Deep soakings at the soil line is highly recommended throughout the growing season (especially during summer) over frequent, shallow or overhead watering. As they mature you can cut back to watering them twice a week.
Be mindful to water just the soil and not the plant using soaker hoses or similar so the water will slowly trinkle directly at ground level. By doing this you can avoid encouraging fungal problems like powdery mildew or black spot that usually occur due to lingering moisture on the leaves or wet rose foliage during humid conditions and you’re also saving some bucks on your water bills too. Win win!
Roses are always hungry, so after watering them, spread a few handfuls of rose food or organic manure around each spring as you spot the buds appear and give it an extra sprinkle. Due to regular pruning in-between seasons, roses put on lots of new growth and consume more energy to nurture, so it is important to provide extra food and water.
Layer with organic mulch, such as aged manure or compost, in order to grow impressive healthy roses. Make sure you spread the mulch 1-3 inches deep for it to work best.
Introducing mulch to your rose beds makes growing easier for a variety of reasons. Organic mulch breaks down and improves the quality of your soil, it nourishes the soil, feeds the plants, effectively stops or smothers weed growth and helps retain soil moisture keeping the soil cooler on hot days, that way you don’t need to water as often.
Pruning is another important aspect to consider when caring for roses to remove exhausted flowers and encourage new growth. It's suggested to prune in winter or early spring, right after they finish blooming and the plant is dormant. Make a 45-degree angle cut about 1/4 inch above the bud or leaf node and aim to prune out 20-30cm of old growth, any twiggy or unhealthy branches. Rest assured, your bush will reward you with beautiful blooms in summer.
We love roses but so do many pests, making very disease prone. Get rid of sap-sucking insects such as aphids with an infectant rose spray. They usually get attracted to tasty new growth. Ladybirds (a natural aphid predator) or small birds can be your lifesaver in the garden in this case as they’ll be the reason the aphid population drops. Furthermore, you can also use environmental-friendly pesticides to get rid of other culprits such as grasshoppers or caterpillars that feed on the leaves.