Tips for growing beautiful roses
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