1. TIME - Spend time caring for your Roses. Growing roses is a time consuming passion, that will reward you with lots of wonderful flowers. You should allow at least 1 to 2 hours per week for an average sized garden of 10-15 plants to carry out all the required maintenance tasks.
2. SOIL - Roses prefer a well drained soil, preferably sandy loam with a PH of 6.5. Most poorer soils can be improved to accommodate roses. NB – Always check soil PH level at least 4 weeks prior to planting and then once or twice per year there after to maintain correct PH level. Never plant new roses in freshly composted or manured beds. This should be done 8-10 weeks before planting.
3. LIGHT - Roses require at least 5-6 hours of full sunlight per day. Plant a minimum of 3m – 4m away from large trees and palms to avoid root invasion and shading from sunlight by tall trees. Afternoon shade is OK and in most cases beneficial on hot summer afternoons. Where possible, position rose gardens on the north – eastern side of your house for the best results.
4. SPACE - Do not over crowd rose gardens with annuals, other plants or shrubs. Roses grow best when planted in a bed of their own. Plant roses at least 90cm. apart and follow planting guides when planting new roses.
5. MULCH - Keep surface of rose bed well mulched, with either Lucerne hay, straw, grass clippings, old dry natural cow manure or woodchips, BUT NOT pine bark. Mulching keeps weeds away and in summer, retains moisture and prevents heat burn from loose soil.
6. NUTRIENTS - (Fertilizer) Roses will only grow as good as you feed them. Fertilize in Spring, Summer and Autumn with 60-70 grams / sq. m. of Nitrophoska Rose Food. Three weeks after each application, you should apply some organic fertilizer such as Dynamic Lifter or Organic Life, to maintain correct Ph. levels and to avoid soil burn out. Pamper your roses weekly in summer with liquid fertilizer such as Phostogen or Fish Emulsion. This promotes strong healthy growth of foliage and flowers and helps plants to resist attack from pests.
7. WATER - Deep water root systems by soaking soil with a sprinkler on well established plants for about 1½ – 2 hours every fortnight, or as required – depending on the weather conditions. In windy, dry conditions, you should be prepared to check the soil every couple of days to ensure that moisture is still present in the soil underneath the mulch. Water only if soil is starting to dry out.
8. SPRAYING - Regular spraying is essential for a healthy rose garden. Spray roses every two weeks to PREVENT Black Spot and other fungus diseases before they occur. Inspect the flowers and leaves weekly for signs of any pests, that would damage the Leaf system. Common and most damaging to roses are Aphids, Mites, Thrips, Scale, leaf eating beetles and caterpillars. Use only recommended rose sprays and chemicals on targeted Pests. Always follow directions on pack when using sprays and fertilizers
9. PRUNING - Hard prune bush roses from mid July to early August to promote strong Spring growth. Light prune again in mid March to remove any dead or spindly twigs, (but leave on any new strong growth) for a vigorous Autumn flush.
10. HYGIENE - Maintain your rose garden in a weed and pest free environment. Do not allow near-by plants and gardens to harbour pests. Regularly remove old dead flower heads and diseased leaves to promote fresh new growth. A healthy root and leaf system are essential to obtain, a beautiful flourishing Rose garden.