Q

Garden News (UK) - - THE PROBLEM SOLVER -

Why do our Hy­brid Tea roses look so scruffy? Kay Si­mon, by email

A

Your roses show a num­ber of symp­toms con­sis­tent with star­va­tion. Hy­brid Teas thrive on heav­ier soils with high fer­til­ity, so they’re hun­gry plants and need ad­e­quate feed­ing.

To help your roses re­cover, hard prune the bushes in late Fe­bru­ary to about 20cm (8in) from the ground. Cut out dead stems, spindly shoots or those cross­ing or rub­bing.

Ap­ply a gen­eral pur­pose fer­tiliser, such as Grow­more, at the end of Fe­bru­ary at about 70g per sq m (two hand­fuls) and re­peat this in early June. A gen­er­ous mulch of well-rot­ted farm­yard ma­nure in spring will help re­tain mois­ture.

Pur­ple colour­ing to the leaf edges is a symp­tom of phos­pho­rous de­fi­ciency, which is com­mon on light soils. Gen­eral fer­tiliser, to­gether with an­nual ap­pli­ca­tions of ma­nure, should ad­dress this, but in ad­di­tion you may need to ap­ply su­per phos­phate ev­ery four to six weeks from March to late Au­gust at 70g per sq m, gen­tly fork­ing it into the mulch if the prob­lem per­sists. Wa­ter thor­oughly once a week in dry weather.

Al­ways re­mem­ber roses are re­ally hun­gry plants

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