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