March 2025



A common misconception about roses is that they are difficult to grow and care for. Despite being a universally admired flower, roses have garnered a reputation as being fussy, especially by those who have not had much success growing them. 

Roses are actually one of the easiest flowers to grow in your backyard and are so resilient they can even survive drought. The most common mistake people make with them is not knowing the secrets such as when to feed and prune them, as well as what their optimal growing conditions are. 

Plant them in the sunlight: While roses can grow well in filtered light, both the quantity and quality of the flowers may be reduced. To avoid this, make sure to plant your roses in a position where they receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Remember to protect roses with some shade from the midday sun during summer to avoid wilting and the scorching of leaves and flowers.

Fertilise regularly: Roses that are fertilised regularly not only maintain their growth and continue to flower strongly, they are also better able to withstand pests and disease. Apply a controlled release fertiliser every few months.

Use bleach or antiseptic when pruning: When pruning roses, dip the blades of your secateurs and pruning saw in a weak solution of household bleach or antiseptic between plants to prevent the spread of diseases from unhealthy to healthy bushes. Cut back the healthy stems from last season by one third and make your cut just above an outward pointing bud or node. You can also cut off spent flowers during peak flowering times to encourage more flowers to grow.

Use a compost mix when planting bare-rooted roses: Bare-rooted roses usually have their roots encased in damp sawdust and plastic to stop them from drying out. Once you take your new rose home, it is important to make sure that you plant it as soon as possible and keep the roots moist. Prepare a planting hole that will comfortably hold the roots and add a compost mix that contains natural bio-stimulants, such as Scotts Osmocote Premium Compost, to the base of the hole.  

Give your roses regular deep watering: Once roses are established they are able to tolerate periods of dryness well. However, roses do need regular deep watering for the first year after planting. This ensures that when the conditions are right, the controlled release fertiliser you’ve applied will release its nutrients to the roots. Water your roses twice per week over spring and summer, making sure that the soil is soaked to a reasonable depth.


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