PREPARING ROSES FOR COLDER MONTHS
How to trim them and remove diseased plant matter
THEY may look beautiful and smell divine, but roses certainly don’t offer up these gifts cheaply. Having nursed them through the pests and droughts of summer, you now need to set them up to survive the winter.
The first thing you need to do is cut back the stems by around a half. This can be heartbreaking if you still have plants in bud or bloom, but it is for their own protection. Rose roots grow fairly shallow, so removing excessive top growth prevents them being rocked and weakened by winter storms.
You should also remove any dead, diseased, crossing or damaged growth now, creating an elegant, open plant with good ventilation.
If you have a standard rose, shaped like a lollipop on a stick, snip off dead and shrivelled branches, as well as any over-exuberant growth as harsh winds can severely damage these delicate heads, and even snap them off. This is also a good time to really get to grips with rose black spot, a common and disfiguring fungal disease. It shows itself with yellowing marks on foliage that gradually turns brown and black, and the leaves eventually fall.
It is hard to get rid of, so you should cut away all affected plant material and either burn it or dispose of it in the household rubbish. Then carefully scoop up all the fallen leaves around the plant, to avoid the black spot spores overwintering in the soil. Dispose of these in the same way as you do the other diseased material.
As well as cutting back, this is peak season for planting bare-root roses that are widely available now.
For the best results, plant them in fertile soil that has been enriched with well-rotted compost and manure.
Gather up and destroy all fallen leaves with black spot Remove and get rid of black spot Cut back roses to protect them from wind-rock
Drip-feeding a citrus plant - see opposite