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.
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.
A seasonal guide to growing roses
- Autumn in Australia may seem to be a time when there is not much to do in the rose garden, however a few chores need to be carried out.
- In early autumn, remember to deadhead your roses for the chance of one last flush of flowers before winter.
- It is also time to stop fertilising roses as they do like a winter dormancy.
- This is a great time to look at online rose catalogues to choose new roses.
- This is the time to prune your roses.
- It is also a time to plant new bare rooted roses as they arrive from online catalogues. 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.
- You can also successfully move established roses during winter dormancy.
- Its a good time to weed around roses and apply a little light mulch.
- As the garden comes back to life after winter its time to fertilise roses. Waist until the first signs of new growth appear and then you can fertilise your established roses.
- If you have a dry early spring, water your roses for better flower production and larger flowers.
- Also remember to water before and after fertilising.
- Watch for water shoots that should be given some support, these are fast growing new shoots that can easily be broken off.
- Watch out for aphids and use an organic method of aphid control.
- In humid areas watch out for fungal problems and spray if needed.
- Watering will be needed hot dry summers as long as your soil is good. A good deep soaking when the soil drys will help encourage more flowers.
- After deep watering you can top up the mulch to help maintain a cool moist root run. Use a good organic mulch that will break down.
- Potted roses will need regular watering through summer as the soil in pots does tend to dry more quickly.
- Watch out for any signs of pests and diseases.
- Remember to keep deadheading as the flowers fade.
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.
How to Plant Roses
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.
- 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.
- 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.Trim any damaged roots. Potted specimens should also be planted as soon as possible, the black plastic pots used by nurseries are not suitable for long term growing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Water in well after planting and mulch.