Roses are one of the easiest plants to grow in many areas of Australia, gardeners have been growing roses successfully since early settlers first brought them from the UK. Today roses are sold as bare rooted plants during winter or as potted plants throughout the year.
You will be told that you can plant them at any time of the year, however, like many plants they are best planted when the soil is warm as this encourages good root growth.
Ideally you will prepare the soil before planting. All roses prefer a humus rich soil so dig in plenty of well rotted compost and aged manure a few weeks before planting. It is important that and manure or compost is aged so the the danger of any heat still in them is removed, this prevents root burn.
Growing Roses in Pots
Roses will grow well in containers or pots given a little extra care. In pots they will need lots of water and fertilizer to produce good flowers, they do require regular pruning and deadheading and are harder work than when grown in the ground.
In pots and other containers the roots will dry out quickly and in summer or any dry periods they will need water every day.
Repot container grown roses every second or third year, (in late winter) and prune the roots back by a quarter. Use the best quality potting mix available.
In urban areas when grown on balconies, patios, or other dusty areas you can water or wash the foliage to remove the dust, but do this in the morning.
General Growing Notes
The concept that roses will grow in any soil is ‘almost true’ however in general heavy clay soils are not suitable, so be sure to amend such soils. Poor drainage can be overcome by raising the garden bed.
Bare rooted plants should be planted immediately, some gardeners like to soak the roots in a diluted seaweed fertilizer first, check to see the condition of the root system, a well packed bare root rose may not need this. Potted specimens should also be planted as soon as possible, the black plastic pots used by nurseries are not suitable for long term growing.
It is a good idea to stake roses when they are newly planted, and weeping roses as well as standards will have a better growth habit if supported, In fact all weeping roses should have a support.
Always plant to the right depth, the same as it would have been when purchased. Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertilizer and keep moist, but not wet through the first summer. Always water the soil, not the foliage, especially during warm weather as this will help prevent diseases.
Remember to fertilize with a specialist rose fertilizer early in spring and again in early summer. If you follow these basis growing instructions you will easily grow some great roses.
Choosing which roses to grow.
A few factors should be considered when choosing which roses to grow.
- Style of rose:
Bush Rose, Standard Rose, Weeping Rose, Climber or Ground Cover Rose.
Decide what style you are looking for.
- Size of rose:
Small, Medium Big.
Decide where you are going to plant your rose, and remember they grow, so ask at your nursery, how big will they grow.
- Rose Species
There are so many styles and colours that you could spend a lifetime researching. If you see something that you like the look of, and find out about its growing habits, you should be on the right track. Visit some of our links below to look at the varieties available, email or phone our mail order nurseries and ask for a catalogue.
Growing conditions for roses.
- For optimum growing conditions, roses require full sun for six hours a day (minimum).
- Well drained soil improved with organic matter such as well rotted manure or compost is ideal to grow roses. Gypsum added to clay soils can help.
Prepare soil well in advance as with any planting (2-3 weeks).
Well rotted manure and compost can be added to the soil before planting.
Trim any damaged roots.
Soak the roots of bare rooted roses in a bucket of water with a stimulant such as Seasol added. This really helps the plant get off to a good start.
Dig the ground over well, preferably to an area 60cm wide and 30cm deep for bare rooted roses. Make a mound in the centre of the growing hole and place the rose on this , spreading the roots. Cover the roots with soil and tamp down. Backfill the hole to half the depth with soil and carefully but firmly tamp down again. Fill the remainder of the hole leaving a saucer shaped depression to assist with watering. Water well to remove any air pockets.
Water in well after planting.
Basic Rose Care.
Water deeply and avoid wetting the leaves.
Keep well mulched.
Fertilize regularly with a recognized rose food (six times a year)
Learn how to prune your roses. Many specialist ‘rose farms’ have workshops, as do local garden clubs.