Roses in summer should bloom for many months, flowering right through to after Easter. To keep them looking their best, you need to give them some extra love and care, but its well worth the extra flowers they give you in return. And healthy roses deal with plant pathogens and pests better too.
Roses are gross feeders, which means simply that they love heaps of nutrients. Use “Up-Down-All Around” to help you meet their needs.
- Nitrogen helps shoots (above ground)
- Phosphorus helps roots (below ground)
- Potassium is used by the whole plant and especially promotes flowers and fruit (like a vitamin).
A good organic mulch of lucern straw or cow manure will gently feed your roses with nitrogen, and keep moisture in the soil too. Add a few handfuls of Dynamic Lifter will also help promote luscious leafy growth.
A slow release fertiliser like Osmocote Plus Trace Elements will help provide phosphorous and other trace elements to ensure your rose bush is resilient to disease, and it includes a wetting agent to help water and nutrients soak in to the soil.
Liquid potash is great at promoting flowers and fruit. At this time of the year your bushes will be using up lots so a fortnightly application will help your roses significantly.
Earthlife is a great product to use too as it gives your roses lots of silca, which in turn helps it grow sturdy strong foliage that is resistant more able to resist black spot.
Alternatively try Sudden Impact for Roses which is a pellet form, organic based boosted fertiliser. It includes a full range of secondary nutrients and micronutrients in a natural form along with boosted levels of Iron and Magnesium and is used in many of the key rose gardens around Australia.
Lastly, roses like a fairly neutral pH so if you're unsure what your soil is, then come and have it tested. Eden Gardens offer a Soil Test so you can be fully clued up for only $10.
Pests and Diseases
Some pest love to make a meal out of you roses. In particular aphids, mites (red spider), and scales which are hard to deal with pests. Black spot too can become a problem. Yates Rose Gun will treat all these and is available as a ready to use product if you only have a few plants or a concentrate if you’re thrifty or have lots of roses in your garden.
by Meredith Kirton