En­sure good year for roses

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING -

If new roses or fruit trees bloom and die, it can mean the tree was al­ready dead at pur­chase be­cause the roots had been al­lowed to dry out af­ter lift­ing. Take them back for re­place­ment.

An old nurs­ery­man’s tip to res­cue dy­ing roses is to soak the plant for a day in a tub of wa­ter be­fore bury­ing it deep with just the tips of the canes show­ing above ground.

When plant­ing a rose, fruit tree or berry cane, fill the hole with wa­ter and wait un­til most of it drains away (don’t do this if the wa­ter ta­ble is high). Even if the top­soil is moist, the sub­soil may be dry, and the soil around the roots needs to be nice and wet.

To as­sist growth, put sheep ma­nure pel­lets and or Bio Boost, a good sprin­kling of Rok Solid, a lit­tle BioPhos and some Wallys Neem tree Pow­der into the plant­ing hole.

For the first year in its new lo­ca­tion, the rose must have ad­e­quate root zone mois­ture. A new rose will need about a bucket of wa­ter a day dur­ing drought times or when the soil mois­ture level is low. Cut the bot­tom off a plas­tic cor­dial bot­tle and in­sert the bot­tle neck into the soil above the root zone to keep roots wa­tered when the top­soil is dry.

Be aware new roses have not been pruned, they have been cut back to make trans­port­ing eas­ier, so 4-6 weeks af­ter plant­ing do a fi­nal prun­ing.

When prun­ing or open­ing up a dor­mant fruit or or­na­men­tal de­cid­u­ous tree, stick the re­moved branches in the ground and later on they will flower, as there is suf­fi­cient sap to open the dor­mant buds. Even bet­ter, put them into a bucket of wa­ter.

To pre­vent dis­ease, spray the plant and sur­round­ing soil with potas­sium per­man­ganate at a quar­ter tea­spoon per litre of wa­ter with 1ml of Rain­gard added to each litre. This also deals to black spot and to curly leaf in stone fruit. Make this part of a monthly pre­ven­ta­tive spray pro­gramme.

At the first sign of aphids, spray with Wallys Su­per Neem Tree Oil mixed with Key Pyrethrum. Re­peat when new aphids come along.


Healthy roses start at plant­ing. Keep­ing roots moist and hav­ing a pre­ven­ta­tive spray pro­gramme will work won­ders.

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