Tips for grow­ing beau­ti­ful roses

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Classic Blooms -

Po­si­tion Roses need plenty of sun, about six hours or more a day. The sun­ni­est as­pects are north, north-east or west­fac­ing po­si­tions. They will grow in most parts of Aus­tralia, ex­cept the trop­i­cal far north.

Soil Th­ese are long-lived plants, so soil prepa­ra­tion prior to plant­ing is key to healthy growth. Add aged ma­nure and com­post to en­rich soil, and en­sure the area drains freely. Im­prove heavy clay soils us­ing or­gan­ics and liq­uid gyp­sum.

Plant­ing time Bare-root roses are bought and planted in win­ter. When you buy them via mail or­der, plant into the ground as soon as pos­si­ble after they ar­rive (see How to plant a bare-root rose, page 76). If you

buy them at a nurs­ery in pots, plant them the same way as any pot­ted plant – there’s no need to mound the soil or spread roots. Make sure the bud union (the graft­ing point on the stem) is above the soil and keep the plant moist.

Feed­ing Th­ese are hun­gry plants, so need plenty of nu­tri­ents. Ap­ply or­ganic-based rose food (such as Sud­den Im­pact for Roses or Dy­namic Lifter Plus Flower Food) in early and mid spring, and again in early sum­mer and early au­tumn. Dur­ing win­ter, after prun­ing, ap­ply a 40mm layer of aged ma­nure as a mulch.

Mulch Lucerne hay, pea straw or sugar cane are all great for mulching. Spread a 50mm layer in spring to re­tain mois­ture and sup­press weeds. Top up again in sum­mer.

Wa­ter­ing It’s im­por­tant to keep freshly planted roses moist un­til they form new feeder roots, which takes about four weeks. Once es­tab­lished, they do best with reg­u­lar deep soak­ing once a week (twice in hot weather).

Prun­ing Roses re­spond well to win­ter trim­ming, which stim­u­lates them to pro­duce new canes and more flow­ers in warmer times. Mid win­ter is best to prune es­tab­lished plants (late win­ter in cold zones). The ex­cep­tions are spring-only bloomers, which in­clude many climb­ing roses – leave th­ese un­til after they flower in early sum­mer. You can also give plants a tidy-up in mid sum­mer.

‘Ice­girl’ ‘Golden Cel­e­bra­tion’

7 8 See our BIG VALUE rose of­fer Page 78

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