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
- First, give the root ball a good soak in a bucket of water for 15 minutes before you plant.
- Dig a hole around one foot deep and at least a foot wider all around than the root ball of the plant.
- 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.
- Plant with the top of the root ball level with the ground and pat in firmly
- 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!
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.
Are there any particular types that are most suitable in Ireland?
Types of Roses
There are many types of roses but some of the most popular varieties in Ireland include:
- Hybrid Teas
- These look like a typical traditional rose with a single large multi-petalled flower at the end of a single long stem. Modern hybrid breeding gives them excellent disease resistance. These make great cut flowers and some varieties can be trained as climbers.
- Choose these for masses of colour through the summer months. The flowers grow in little bunches at the end of each stem but open just a few at a time, keeping the plant in flower for ages. Floribundas are lookers but don’t tend to have much if any scent.
- English Roses
- Also known as David Austin roses. These roses combine the old-world look of traditional roses with a wider range of colours and repeat-flowering abilities of the newer hybrids. Many are highly fragrant.
- Climbers & Ramblers
- Climbers are repeat-flowering and grow well up walls or pergolas. Ramblers grow taller and can also be trained along ropes or arbours as well as over bigger areas like trees or sheds if given a little support. They have large clusters of smaller flowers and can be quite rampant so avoid planting in confined spaces.
- Patio Roses
- Patio roses and miniature roses are available in almost any colour and tend not to grow more than two feet high. They have shallower root systems suitable for containers but
- In their first year, roses should be pruned back to three to five buds from the base in late February/March. This will leave them around 10” high and looks brutal but it will encourage healthy root growth and they will thank you for it.
- Plant climbers at least 45cm from the wall of the house so that they get watered by the rain regularly.
- If you want to plant a rose where a rose once grew you need to replace the soil to a depth of 45 centimetres. This is because of a condition called ‘Rose Replant Disease’ present in the soil after old roses are lifted. It causes stunting and poor growth in new rose plants. Another alternative is to use a product called ‘Rootgrow’ which counteracts this disease and helped roses get established.