Roses are back in fashion. Not only because they are the most economical way to get colour in the garden for years to come but also because they are extremely water wise and hardy. October is rose month in Gauteng with gardens filled with the most perfect blooms. It always amazes us when we see the first flush, almost as if one forgets how spectacular your roses are.
Growing roses is an easy way to add colour to the garden that won’t need to be replanted every year. When planting roses, group three similar or of the same colour quite close together to make a striking show. There are new varieties coming into circulation every year and the quest these days is to develop a fragrant naturally disease resistant rose that flowers freely.
Our tips to grow the best
Roses give opulent colour to the garden and home. Look out for large single blooms which are generally more fragrant and last longer in the vase. Roses that flower in a clusters on the end of a stem and are used more for colour in the garden.
By following these easy tips you too can grow the best roses in your street or complex!
- Roses need full sun to half-day sun.
If they get to much shade you will find that they do not flower as well and the growth is long and the leaf colour is a light green opposed to the deep green normally associated with healthy roses.
- Water roses less frequently but more thoroughly.
Roses are 1drop #WaterWise plants and as such adapt well to drought conditions. A light daily watering encourages surface roots and weak growth as well as making the conditions perfect for disease. A deep watering once or twice a week will keep them tough. Mulch around the base with a layer of compost to help retain moisture and improve the condition of the soil.
- Roses flower on new growth so feeding is important.
Bio Ocean organic flower food is a simple easy way to feed every six to eight weeks. Being organic it is slow release and it also promotes stronger growth that is more disease resistant and flowers that are tougher with more intense colour that last longer. BioOcean can be used safely in containers too and has water retention properties.
- Keep deadheading the old flowers. This encourages new growth and more flowers.
- Spray with insecticides only when needed.
Ladybirds love roses, in particular the aphids on the roses. By spraying to soon or unnecessarily you could kill them off when they could easily be part of your biological control. When you have to spray, Rosecare is a simple easy to use product that is a combination insecticide and fungicide. It controls the most common problem on roses as a contact spray.
Bush roses are by far the most popular of all roses, they can be grown as a shrub or as a lollipop, standard. The most well know rose in South Africa is Iceberg seen in almost every neighbourhood as they flower on mass continually through summer. Every year there are more and more varieties available. So much so that even for a seasoned rose grower remembering the names can be difficult. We recommend that you always try to select your roses in bloom. That way you know you will love it and can sniff the fragrance for yourself.
Roses do not actually climb but their longer canes can be attached to supports such as a trellises or topiary frame. Many of the bush roses are available as climbers but there are some new varieties known as pillar roses, bred to flower all along the stem giving a more spectacular show. Roses need at least six hours of sun so when positioning a climbing rose, make sure it will get enough sun and is not shaded by the wall or nearby trees. Do not prune a climbing rose until it has covered the whole trellis or position you want to grow it in.
Ground cover roses produce low mounds of rose on long canes. Our best sellers are the Flower Carpet roses. This is a genuinely easy-care groundcover rose and they are consistently one of the most disease-resistant roses ever bred - ideal for the established or new gardener alike. Simple to grow and easy to maintain, it doesn't require spraying. Simply cut back to a third of its size in late winter. During the long flowering season, this rose will self-clean so that there's no need for fancy pruning or deadheading.
Companion tip: Plant some yummy strawberries under the rose bushes. Strawberries will bloom in the spring, before your roses will. They will thrive in the same conditions that your roses enjoy. To keep the bugs at bay plant some Marigolds to act as a natural bug repellent between the roses.