How to care for roses
Considered one of the most romantic flowers you can find, roses are also one of the most popular garden plants for a British horticulture enthusiast. You’d be surprised at how easy they are to grow too, while the array of different colours, fragrances and varieties make them one of the most rewarding flowers to host in your garden.
Roses can play a wide range of roles in your garden, from centrepieces to borders. What’s more, they’ll do it all whilst looking absolutely gorgeous! Like any plant though, they need to be looked after. But how do you keep roses in tip top conditions throughout the year?
- Pests can be a problem for roses and tend to stick around even in the colder weather of autumn and winter. Keep an eye out for spider mites (on the underside of leaves) and woolly adelgidae (rose aphids, greenfly and black fly), as well as bugs. Stay on top of pests until it’s really cold outside, and even then continue to check your roses every week or so for any really persistent visitors.
- If your climate has a particular tendency towards a harsh frost or strong winds, then it’s a good idea to put something in place to protect your roses. If it’s really icy, use burlap to help prevent against frost crack. If you have heavy winds, put a breaker in place during the festive season.
- Roses will grow in almost any soil, as long as it is well-drained but adding some well-rotted garden compost or manure into the planting area will get your roses off to a great start.
- Roses aren’t just roses: as mentioned above, there are thousands of different varieties. This means that it’s vital to do your research; you need to find out which roses will suit both your climate and the local soil, as well as deciding which colours, fragrances and varieties you’d like to see in your garden.
- Roses require a decent amount of sun and good, well-drained soil. You’ll need to dig out individual holes for each of the rose bushes that you’re planting.
- Water, but in moderation. Make sure you constantly give the rose enough water during the establishment period, but once it’s up and running, natural rainfall is usually enough to keep the roses happy.
- Ensure that you provide roses with enough fertiliser and composted manure worked into the soil, especially during the spring months.
- In the early spring (February or March), you’ll need to prune the bush for the first time. This should be when the buds have begun to swell, but before any leaves have appeared on the stems. Also use this time to cut away any dead wood or broken branches.
- Roses are hardy, deep rooted plants that can survive on the moisture that’s naturally in the soil when they’ve become established. However, in the first few years after planting and during prolonged periods of dryness, thorough watering is recommended around every 10 days on the top 25cm of the soil.