Top Tips for Growing Roses

A beautiful dark pink rose.

Roses are one of the most popular flowers in the world for good reason; they look beautiful, smell fantastic and are extremely good cut flowers. Roses can be challenging to grow however, but with these top tips and hints, you can grow great roses. Check out our YouTube video below for everything you need to know to plant your new rose.

Position
Location, location, location! Roses love sunlight, therefore choose a bright, open sunny position with good air circulation.

Choose the right variety
There are literally thousands of rose varieties to choose from, some more disease resistant than others. If you have never grown roses before, start with the Iceberg varieties. They are the most disease resistant and always flower no matter how they are treated. If you are considering other varieties, check with your neighbours and friends, which varieties they prefer and grow best in your area. Also examine the plants carefully in the nursery and only purchase those that are disease free and looking vigorous and healthy.

Planting
Roses will tolerate many soils, from sandy loam through to heavy clays. No matter what your soil type it is always a good idea to enrich the soil by turning over and digging in some organic matter, such as compost, garden mix or cow manure. Dig the whole twice the size of the pot. Remove the pot and if root bound, gently tease the roots. Place the root ball in the hole, keeping it at the same level as it was in the pot and then backfill. Water well and keep moist for the first couple of weeks, until the roots grow out into your soil. If planting in rural areas, don’t forget to protect roses from rabbits and or wallabies as they will feast on the new shoots.

Mulching
To reduce water loss and reduce weeds always apply mulch. There are many suitable mulches, sugarcane, lucerne, teatree, leaf litter etc.

Watering
The drought in the past couple of years, has certainly proven how hardy and drought resistant roses actually are. Once established, they will survive without any irrigation, although for best results it is ideal to give them two good soakings a week in the hot summer months.

Fertilising
Fertilise regularly during the growing season, specifically after every flush of flowers. The key is to fertilise in small amounts, but often. We recommend the use of organic fertilisers such as, Organic Life, chicken manure, blood and bone, cow manure or Dynamic Lifter. Water your plant well and remove any mulch from around the trunk to allow air flow. Spread the fertiliser evenly around the soil underneath the canopy, but not directly against the trunk. The amount varies, depending on which fertiliser you choose. Don’t be afraid, you can apply a few large handfulls per plant of organic fertiliser.  Generally the organic fertilisers are less harmful if you accidentally overfeed.

Pruning
Many people are terrified of pruning roses, in case they get it wrong. The first rule in rose pruning is don’t be scared!

Summer  Pruning
Throughout the growing season as each flush of flowers finishes and the petals start to drop, dead head these blooms. This is simply done buy cutting off the finished flower and a small portion of stem below it. This encourages the plant to shoot away with new growth producing more flowers.

Winter  Pruning
Winter pruning is done each year, ideally around the end of June or start of July when the rose is loosing its leaves and going dormant. A general rule of thumb is prune off two thirds and leave one third. Remember, don’t be scared.