When someone mentions roses, what’s the first thought that crosses your mind? It has to be beauty followed by colour, but there is a lot more than just beautifully coloured flowers. There is a lot of maintenance that must be put in place, especially in the summer, to keep them healthy and flowering into autumn. If you want to a lavish variety of roses, well, some pruning, mulching, feeding and paying a keen eye to insects will be key to bringing that bright colour to your flowers. In this article, we will give you a complete guide on how to go about it.
Before we dive into the rose maintenance bit it’s important, you take care of your health and specifically your hands. It is particularly painful to take care of roses as compared to other flowers such as daisies, and why is it so? Thorns. They are quite sharp, and once they pierce your hands, they can cause you some intense pain. Therefore, I recommend you get high-quality gardening gloves, preferably made of leather and should cover most of your arm, all the way up to the elbow.
Do some light pruning
So we are well into the summer period now and your roses are not very rosy, well, now it is time to do some light pruning to remove the used up flowers which are starting to look a bit dry to encourage new leaf and flower growth.
• It is essential not just to chop the spent flowers up but instead cut the flowering stems back to two or three leaf sets to get the length just right. Your flowers should be back to full bloom after around four weeks.
• You should cease pruning at about three to four weeks before the first serious frost to prevent the roses from being damaged by the cold.
• Cut back overgrown rose bushes – It is important to be very gentle as you do not want to ruin a perfectly good rose plant, ensure you have the right tools for this particular task and take your time for you to get the best results.
Cleanliness is key
It is crucial to stop trouble before it even thinks of starting, especially in the summer.
• To keep away fungal diseases such as black spot, it’s essential to clean up the area under the tree as well as around it, check for spent blooms, dead leaves and trimmings.
• Ensure that you tidy up your pruners before you move to the next plant
• Planting disease resistant roses such as Rogosas and Flower carpet and the kind will benefit you a lot during the summer.
Provide enough: Feed, water and mulch
Up to this point, you’ve done a lot of pruning, and you can expect lots of growth. This will deplete a lot of energy from your plants. Hence they will require a regular supply of food and water.
• Push soil out around the base of the plant to create a water catchment area, make sure you put a lot of water around the base at least once a week.
• Put organic fertiliser around the base of the plant and ensure you provide enough water. You can use rose food as an alternative.
• Finish off with a layer of organic mulch, manure or well-prepared compost-make sure it is around 2 inches in depth.
Beware of pests
Pests can be a pain in the neck, your plants may be healthy, but they are not immune from insects
• Releasing aphid-eating ladybugs into your garden can be very beneficial to your rose plants
• It is crucial, to begin with, the methods that have the least risk to damage your rose plants and only use more powerful means if results are not showing.
• Beware of pest infestations and act swiftly in case they are already lurking.
• For help identifying pests and coming up with solutions consult your local nursery.