Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Fabulous Flowers -

PLANT­ING Dur­ing the warmer months, you can plant pot­ted roses. In win­ter, when they are dor­mant, roses are sold as bare-root plants. They look some­what like a bun­dle of sticks, as they are leaf­less, thorny stems with the root ball wrapped in a bag with com­post. See Plant­ing your bare-root rose, op­po­site.

FEED­ING Roses are big feed­ers. Give them a dress­ing of rose food when new buds ap­pear in spring and wa­ter well. Ap­ply a hand­ful of food every six weeks dur­ing the flow­er­ing sea­son.

WA­TER­ING Young plants need to be kept well wa­tered while ma­ture plants like a deep soak twice a week dur­ing sum­mer – re­duce wa­ter­ing dur­ing the cooler months. Wa­ter the soil, not the leaves, to pre­vent fun­gal prob­lems.

PRUN­ING Give es­tab­lished plants a prune in mid-to-late win­ter while dor­mant. Re­move any spindly branches, leav­ing 3-5 strong­grow­ing stems to cre­ate a vase-like V shape. Cut these stems back by a third to en­cour­age new growth to fill out into a bushy shrub shape.

MULCH Use su­gar cane, pea straw or lucerne mulch for roses. Ap­ply a 5cm layer in spring and top up again in sum­mer.

‘Pierre de Ron­sard’

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