Tips for growing and keeping roses
As the nation’s favourite flower, the rose is a timeless classic and if they’re planted and cared for properly, your roses can last a lifetime. There are hundreds of beautiful rose species which come in a variety of colours and scents. Roses are renowned for being easy to grow and very versatile as they can be grown in borders, containers, over arches, pergolas and as groundcover.
For centuries, roses have been an icon of beauty, transience and romantic love that exists all over our art, literature and media. While the classic red rose is the most popular and most commonly associated with love, other colours of roses represent different values. For example, yellow roses represent friendship, orange roses represent enthusiasm, white symbolises purity, and pink symbolises joy. See below for our tips on the best way to plant and maintain your roses.
Planting Your Roses
Roses will grow in almost any soil, as long as it’s well-drained but they do prefer a rich soil such as clay. Each plant likes slightly different conditions but the majority favour a sheltered yet sunny position.
Mix in some well-rotted organic matter and some general fertiliser into the area where your rose is being planted, forking it into the top 20-30cm of soil. Farmyard manure is ideal for this.
For each rose dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plant’s roots and the depth of a spade’s blade.
Carefully tease out the roots of the container plants and place the rose in the centre of the hole. Using a small cane, ensure the graft union (where the cultivar joins the rootstock and the point from which the branches originate) is at soil level but not below as this may increase the risk of rose dieback. Then back-fill with the unearthed soil and organic matter mixture.
TOP TIP: Want to prevent rose replant disease? Try replacing about 10 centimetres of soil with fresh topsoil around the roses and using mycorrhizal fungi to help the roses best adapt to its new environment. And once the roses are planted, be sure to water the roots to help them adjust!
Caring For Your Roses
Watering your roses
Roses are deep rooted plants so they can survive on the moisture present naturally in the soil. However, it is essential to water your roses regularly in their early lives and where soil is particularly dry. We recommend wetting the top 25cm of soil every 10 days or so in prolonged dry spells to give the best results. For roses in containers, these should be watered enough so that the compost doesn’t dry out and but isn’t soggy.
Fertiliser for roses
The regular use of fertiliser will help with the longevity of your roses. If you apply organic mulch to 3cm deep in the spring and again in mid-July, your roses will look better than ever.
Pruning your roses
Another great tip for maintaining your roses and ensuring they look properly groomed is to prune them regularly. By cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, your rosebushes will look lively and they’ll grow much faster!
The best way to prune a rosebush is to cut back a third to a half of the previous year’s growth until you find healthy, white centres inside the cane of the branches. You can do this regularly to keep your roses well-groomed, or just during your climate’s dormant season.
With these simple tips for planting and maintaining your roses, your garden should look better than ever – happy planting!