Regional rose tasks for January
Summer rainfall Reduce the height of roses that have grown too tall, or thin out dense bushes, but only if the roses can be regularly watered. It is best to cut back gradually, over two to three weeks. Do not cut back defoliated roses but wait until they have recovered. Fertilise with Vigorosa in mid-January and spray every two weeks with Ludwig’s Insect Spray mixed with Chronos or use Rose Protector to control fungal diseases and pests. Water deeply two to three times a week (using grey water) in the absence of rainfall.
Winter rainfall Summer pruning can be carried out on roses that are well covered in leaves and if there is water available for irrigation. Over a space of two to three weeks, reduce the height of overly tall roses or thin out dense bushes to allow new stems to grow. Water two to three times a week, fertilise with Vigorosa, and spray with Ludwig’s Insect Spray to control pests.
Lowveld and KwaZulu-Natal coast The challenge of the intense heat is to keep roses covered with cooling leaves that also shade the roots. Water deeply two to three times a week and mulch to keep the soil surface cool. Don’t remove dead blooms or trim the roses, as this will encourage sprouting. Spray with Ludwig’s Insect Spray to control pests; drench the underside of leaves to prevent red spider. Should there be good rainfall, boost growth with Vigorosa and spray with Chronos.