Nothing quite says it like a rose. It’s the flower of romance, it has a sculptural beauty like no other, and for sheer variety of colour, scent and style, you can’t go past a rose. Roses are not as difficult to grow or maintain as you might think. Follow these easy tips to find out how to grow bloomin’ good roses.
When you plant a rose in the garden (or a pot), make sure the plant ball sits up above the surrounding soil by about 5cm so that any excess water drains away from the plant. Add soil around the plant to give the impression that it is planted on a slight mound. You don’t want the rose roots to become waterlogged.
Staking a rose is a good practice, especially if you are planting standard roses which are top heavy and can blow around in the wind.
Most people are nervous of pruning roses. Roses are tough so you can be aggressive in your pruning as they have many dormant growth buds that will come alive when you prune hard. Get rid of any wood that has died back, as well as weak or soft growth. Your aim is to leave last year’s firm mature wood, but at the same time try to keep the centre open so that the sun and air can circulate well.
Prune on an outwards facing bud; you want to encourage any new growth to be on the outside of the plant rather than it going inwards. Make pruning cuts at 45-degree angles, about 5mm above the outward-facing bud. Don’t worry if the plant ends up looking like a stick with 3 or 4 strong branches. If there are lots of dormant buds, new growth will sprout quite quickly and you will have a fully flowering plant in about 8 -10 weeks time.
If you want your rose to flower at a particular time, say for a special occasion like a wedding or family gathering in your garden, prune it 8 to 10 weeks beforehand, then it will come into flower on time.
To keep roses healthy, use Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic. Drench it over the foliage and you’ll end up with nice glossy leaves and a healthy plant. Healthy plants are more likely to resist aphids, so apply the seaweed solution both as a leaf spray and as a drench every 4 to 6 weeks.