When I went to the nursery to buy my roses, the person who helped me used to look after the roses that the nursery used to enter in flower competitions, before they had sold that part of the business. It’s an adjoining restaurant, where I got married. You can see a photo of it in my post entitled “Wedding Photography in South Africa – Review“. Unfortunately you can’t see much because it’s a night shot.
Anyway… When he was helping me pack the roses into my car, I asked him for his top tip on caring for roses. He gave me his top tip, and added another, and added another… So I thought I’d compile his best tips for caring for roses.
1 – Water your roses
THIS is the #1 tip for roses, as they need lots of water. You can use a sprinkler system for watering roses, but sometimes you just need to stand with them and use a hose-pipe to ensure that they get a good soaking. He did mention talking to them while you’re watering them, but I think I’ll leave that to you to decide.
(Although, my mother always says you should talk to your flowers if you want them to grow 😉 ).
2 – Feed your roses
For this you’ll need rose fertiliser. I use “Wonder Rose Fertilizer“, which says it is an “8:1:5 (25)” fertiliser for all roses. You need to give the roses fertiliser once every 3-4 weeks, and only a very light sprinkle, ensuring that it doesn’t touch the roses, and water them THOROUGHLY. If you put too much and your roses start to look “burned”, you will probably have to remix your soil and re-plant your roses.
But believe me, using this fertiliser REALLY does wonders for the roses.
3 – Spray your roses
For this I use something called “RoseCare 3” from Efekto. It protects roses (and other ornamental plants) from powdery mildew, Blackspot, Rust, Aphids, Thrips and Redspidermite. When you first get your roses, you will need to spray them with a more concentrated amount (15 or 20 ml per 1 litre, instead of the usual 10ml). You should use the more concentrated mixture for the first 3 sprays. You need to spray your roses every 1-2 weeks, at least at the beginning, and then possibly make it 2-3 week intervals.
4 – Prune your roses
I’m not talking about the makor cut-back that you will have to do mid-winter, where you cut your roses bushes all the way back. This is just the pruning of the flowers once they have bloomed. The more you prune, the more flowers you will get. I was told to prune my roses once they had bloomed, and the lower down I cut them, the bushier my rose-bush would get. The added bonus is, the lower you cut the flower, the longer the stem, and the more likely you can put the rose in a vase of some sort.
So, if you have anything to add to these tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below, otherwise, happy rose gardening, and I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me.