How to care for your roses?

Elvis Elvis

A rose by any other name smells just as sweet, but good rose care will ensure better blooms. Clean dead foliage and leaf litter from under them. This helps to discourage the spread of pests and fungal spores that often attack the bush in the moist heat of summer.

Weeds will often grow through your mulch from the soil level, so it’s a good idea to place landscape fabric over the soil before putting the mulch down. This will help to suppress them.

Overhead sprinkling wets the leaves and encourages black spot, so water your roses at ground level only, making sure the leaves remain dry. A fortnightly application of seaweed spray will help keep black spot at bay. A neighbor recommends a spray of brown vinegar and water to get rid of this annoying disease.


A regular weekly application of fertilizer is best to unsure second and third crop blooms are equal to the first crop in both quality and quantity. A balanced rose fertilizer with a NPK ratio of 8:10:8 + a monthly dose of Epsom salts (1/2 cup per bush) will do the trick. The last mentioned ensures optimum production of chlorophyll.

How to care for your roses?

For clay soils, uses a soil penetrant to make sure nutrients are available to the deeper roots. Rose care includes the correct type and amount of feeding to produce top blooms. There are many good rose care products on the market these days.

Grow roses with companion plants to fill in the understorey that can become rather bare-looking. But make sure these plants have the same needs as your roses or they will not grow well. A good companion plant is smoke bush (cotinus coggygria, ‘Royal Purple’)

Top Tip

Roses will last longer in a vase if they are cut early in the morning or late in the evening. Water plants well the night before cutting. Wash your vase in mild bleach before using it. Remove all thorns and any leaves that will be under water in the vase. Use water at room temperature and make up a solution of one part lemonade to three parts water. The bubbles in the lemonade help the stems to absorb sugar and so feed the bloom. Before arranging them in their final position, hold the stems underwater and cut about 1cm off the end.