Roses fill our gardens with glorious blooms and an intoxicating scent. If looked after correctly, rose plants will you last you years and years, filling your garden with colourful flowers every spring and summer. Looking after roses doesn’t have to be a difficult task, and can be done by even the most amateur gardener. Here are our tips for growing your very own rose bush.
To begin with, there are two main types of roses you can buy:
These are rose roots that have been packed in peat moss or water. They are good quality and great value, and can be planted in early or late winter, ready for the summer. They will take time to bloom over the spring and should be planted as soon as you can after purchasing. Soak the roots in water for at least 2 hours before planting, being careful not to leave them in water for more than 6 hours. You may have to wait a couple of months before the leaves start showing. At this time, you can then begin to feed them.
These are roses that are already flowering, and usually cost more than bare root roses. They are perfect for gardens where you don’t have the space, soil or sunlight to successfully grow roses in the ground. They are available all year round, and will still last you years, even though they live in containers.
Where the roses are to be planted, mix organic compost with fertiliser, adding extra fertiliser on top. Put the rose into the ground and cover with compost. Water well. If possible, cover with mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds and disease. If planting in a container, ensure there are drainage holes.
If your soil is moist and healthy, you shouldn’t need to feed your roses regularly. However, they do benefit from some extra nutrients, especially if you have poor soil. Specialist rose fertiliser can be easily purchased, but normal garden compost will also do fine. Be careful not to overfertilise your roses, as this can damage the plant.
Rigorous pruning and deadheading is essential to keep your rose bush producing big, healthy flowers. Pruning is best done in spring, before growth starts. Throughout the year, remove rosehips and dead flowers to encourage new flowers to form, cutting back any dead or weak stems.