Summer Rose Care

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Watering Roses

Well established roses can be quite drought resistant but they appreciate an extra drink when it’s hot and dry. But did you know that the spores of black spot, the most hated of rose fungal diseases, can only germinate if there’s moisture on the leaf for about seven hours and if the temperature is about 18°C? This stringent-sounding set of requirements is easily met on a moderately warm summer night, which is why it’s so important to water roses in the morning – it allows time for the leaves to dry before nightfall. And, obviously, if you can water at the base without wetting the leaves, that’s even more helpful.

Mulching Roses

A layer of organic mulch spread around a rose will help stop weeds and keep the soil cooler and moister. The advantage of an organic mulch is that it eventually breaks down to improve the soil. Many gardeners use lucerne hay to mulch roses. It’s relatively expensive but, because lucerne’s a legume, it adds extra nitrogen, a major plant food. Other mulches can also do a good job. It’s often a matter of what’s the easiest mulch for you to get hold of.

Fertilising Roses

Roses are often described as ‘hungry’ plants. This means that they need plenty of fertilising during their growing period. And most roses are repeat flowerers that will bloom again and again through the warmer weather. A well formulated fertiliser like Dynamic Lifter PLUS Flower Food will support all that growth and bloom production. Potted roses are usually more easily fed with a liquid such as the new Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food. Remember, though, that any liquid will have to be applied regularly – at least once a fortnight. Then stop feeding altogether during the rose’s winter dormant period.

Rose Pest & Disease Control

Pests and diseases love roses as much as we do. They can be frustrating but there are lots of things you can do to keep them at bay. Grow roses in full sun with plenty of air space around them. Cut back often – not just in winter but throughout the growing season. Fertilise well. Accept the fact that, as summer progresses, especially in humid climates, diseases will start to take hold. Use a good quality rose fungicide on a regular basis. Yates Rose Gun Advanced has a systemic fungicide combined with an insecticide and a miticide. Rose Shield is a concentrate combination that suits larger gardens. Every so often try some Yates Triforine. It, too, is a systemic fungicide, but one that approaches the disease in a different way.


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