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Grow Guide: Roses

When and where should they be grown?

Roses purchased in a pot can be planted at any time of the year. Whereas bare root roses can be planted when they are dormant, any time between November and February.

Any good soil will grow roses but all roses like a sunny location that has some protection from the wind. Choose a site that gets at least half of the day in the sun. Patio or miniature roses will thrive in containers and are ideal for small gardens or where space is limited. Choose a deep container 20-30cm deep.

Planting your Roses
  1. First, give the root ball a good soak in a bucket of water for 15 minutes before you plant.
  2. Dig a hole around one foot deep and at least a foot wider all around than the root ball of the plant.
  3. Add some organic matter generously; garden compost or well-rotted horse manure is ideal. A handful of rose plant food at this point is also a good idea but not essential.
  4. Plant with the top of the root ball level with the ground and pat in firmly
  5. Water in afterward and water regularly in year one and two.
Feeding your Roses

Some rose varieties bloom from early summer right through to Autumn which makes them really greedy for nutrients They will thank you for a fortnightly feed during the summer with a high potassium feed like Tomato or Rose food to promote healthy growth and keep the flowers coming.

Roses don’t need much watering really once they are established but it is a good idea to mulch around the plant with well-rotted manure or bark during the summer month which will conserve moisture as well as keeping weeds down and providing nutrients Other than that all you have to do is keep sniffing the flowers and enjoy!

Pruning Roses

Deadhead regularly throughout the summer taking off the spent flower heads to encourage new blooms. Pruning roses is a vital step in the maintenance of a healthy rose bush, pruning will encourage the production of new blossoms and reduces the risk of diseases.

February to March is the high season for the pruning of most varieties of your roses, however, always check when is best to prune your particular variety of rose before pruning.

Early spring is the ideal time to prune your roses before growth commences. Most shrub roses can be shortened to three feet or so, unless you wish them to climb up a trellis. In that case, reduce last year’s growth to two-thirds until they have gained the height that you require. Aim to snip out crossing branches, dead twigs and old stems to leave last year’s nice straight stems. It is best to snip them just over a bud where last year’s leaf was. Also, try to find an outward-facing bud so that you get an open centre. However, if you are not sure don’t worry as roses are as tough as old boots and won’t die!

Roses can also be pruned back a bit in November after they have finished flowering. The objective is to reduce the impact of wind on the plant (wind rock). This isn’t your main pruning and don’t be worried about damaging the plant, you could use a hedge trimmer for this if you want to.