Tag Archives: Rose

10 quick tips on how to look after roses


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In part one, I went into detail about how I at RS Gardening Services would go about planting a clients rose.
Here in part 2 I will tell you how to care for roses through the spring to the winter.

How to Care  for  your  roses  in  spring

Spring is when the season starts to get busy .with the first shoots appearing on roses.
If these shoots are left to grow they will make the Rose look very unsightly indeed.

Plus the fact that :-

  • (a) The branches will rub against each other and cause cankerous growth.
  • (b) The center will be overcrowded and thus stop the vital air flow to the plant.
    Leading to an infection of Black Spot and other pathogens to infect the plant.
  • (c) Cause of the large amount of branches your roses will only produce small flowers instead of large one .
  • (d) And finally it weaken the stability of rose itself as it becomes top-heavy

So pruning them right down is essential if you want good healthy roses.

How to prune your roses

When Pruning roses its essential you use a good quality secateurs
I prefer the  By pass  ones as they cut cleanly than the others that seem to me any way to squeeze the stems.
Sharp ones don’t snag the stem and leave an scraggy end.

Bypass  secs

Should  the   stem  be  too  thick  to  cut  with  these  use  the  same  bypass  Loppers  to  and   a  good  tree  saw for  larger   trunks

I always  carry  these  tools  with  me  cause  I  never  know  when  ill  be  needing  them

Loppers       Pruning  saws

There  are  three  things  that  you  should  be  aware off  when  pruning  rose

  • There  are  three  different  types  of  rose  that  need  the  same  different  ways  of  pruning  these  are  :-
  1. The  floribunda  like  the  name  suggest   “floribunda”  is  latin  for  Flora-Flowers &  bunda –  many   ie  many  flowers.

These  flowers  are  small  but  are  very  vibrant and  only  need  to  pruned    very  lightly    ie  I  usually  prune  these   to  three   buds  from  the  top  just  to  keep  the  shape  as  they  can   become  untidy

Florabunda roses

This  picture  is  an  exception  here  the  rose  has  been  pruned  not  quite  hard  back  but  just  about  the  size  to  get  these   blooms

Remember  the  harder  you  prune  the  less  number  of  flowers  you  will  make.

A  process  of  trial  and  error  is  always  at  play  when  you  prune  these  roses .  If  its  too  short  this  year  try  pruning  it  a  bit  higher  up  next  year  or  visa  versa

  • (2)  Standards

When  pruning  standards    the  first  thing  is  think  of  is  shape   so  like  the  floribunda   a  very  light  pruning  to  keep  it  symmetry if  its  a  bush  type

With  other  standards  you  have  to  think  do  i  want  more  or  little  flowers  on  the  bush. In  case  of  My  clients  its  always  bigger  and  better  blooms  so  a  hard  pruning  like  the   other  varieties  are  needed.

For  normal  roses  I  prune  them  quite  hard  down  to   two  or  three  out facing  buds  from  the  bottom  or  even  down  to  one  out  facing  bud  if  its  old  wood.

The  basic  rule  for  pruning  is  to  keep  to  the  what  i  call  the  3ds

  • Cut  out  any  dead
  • Diseased
  • Dying  branches    first
  • Then  concentrate  on  the branches  that  are
  • Inward  pointing  to  the  center  of  the  bush   to  improve  ventilation
  • Always  cut  with  a  slant  –  as  the  diagram   shows  bellow  this  helps  water  to  run  off  and  not  rot  the  shoots

Don’t  be  afraid  to  prune  them  quite  hard  they  can withstand  any  harsh  treatment

pruning  cuts


Now  that  you have  pruned  your  roses they  will  need  a  good solid  feed  to  keep  them healthy. This  is  done  by  a  good   decomposed  compost  around  the  base  of  the  of  the  roses. (  I  prefer  this  way  as  i  experienced  in  my  trials  of  different  products  that  some  fertilizers  have  a high  content  of   nitrogen  which  produce  sappy  growth.

on  the  other  hand  too  much  organic  matter  can  lock  in  nitrates.  so  a  careful  balance  is  needed.

More  details  can  be  found  in  the  following  blog  on  mulches     If  the  clients  got  any  handy   I  prefer  to  use  green  waste  from  the  recycle  places   since  they  don’t  carry  any  weeds.

But  if  all  that  fails  normal  organic  matter  from  there  compost  heap  mixed  with  a  special  blend  of  J bowers   fish blood  and  bone   fertilizer  or  Vitax Q4



When applying a mulch always leave a gap around the stem so you can water around the base of the plant

Winter  Pruning

The  only  purpose  for  winter  pruning  is  to  reduce   the  wind  rock  on  the  rose and  remove  and  dead,diseased and  dying  branches  . So  ideally  the  rose  should  be  only  cut  down  by  half  to  outward  facing  bud.

And  with  anything  else    all  branches  should  be  burnt  in   a  incinerator  to  avoid  decontamination  of  the  soil. AS  its  this  time  of  year  when  the  weather  damp  that  Black  Spot  spores  begin  to  spread

I hope  you  found  this  of  good  use   and  informative  in  part  3    Ill  will  look  into    Pest  and  Disease  control  of  Roses .

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How to care for your roses

PicMonkey Collage (1)

 Part 1

In  my  line  of  work  I  often  get  asked  get  asked  by  advise  by  my  many  clients  on  the  correct way  to  look  after  a  rose .

Especially  if  their  roses  are  under  the  weather  are  suddenly  dying  on them, Hence  I  decided  to  write  this  blog on  how  to  look  after  your  roses  from  planting  to  pruning.


There  are  several  things  you  should  look  out  for  when  purchasing  a  rose  bush ( the  ideal  time  to  plant  a  rose  is  from  Oct  to  Dec  –  This  because  the  plants  in  its  dormant  stage and  all  the  energy  is  back  into  the  roots  )

  • Is  it  disease  resistant  (  well  for  two  or  more  years  any  way  )  No  roses  are  immune  to  Black  Spot  –  which  is  a  fungal  spore  by  the  way
  • Where  is  it  to  be  planted  – ie  All  roses  crave  sunlight
  • How  is  it  package  –  Many  high  street  chains  package  them  badly  and  ending  up  in    hurting  the  roses  esp  when  they  are  bound  together  with  tape
  • Is  the  Plant  damage   ie  damage  stems  can  often  kill  the  roses   by  allowing  stem  canker  to  thrive

Before  you  do  any thing  to  the  rose   plant  the  loose  roots  or  root  ball  in  a  bucket  water.

  • This  helps  the  roots  to  absorb   water  quickly

Also  helps  to  loosen  the  solid  root  ball   to  allowing  the  tiny  lateral  roots  to  spread  out

Also  this  trick  works  well  with  root  bound  plants

Whilst  you  are  doing  that  it  time  to  prep  the  ground

What  I  do  is

  • I  then  fill  in  the  hole  with  rain  water  or  tap  water  to  the  top  and  wait for  it  to  soak  in
  • Get  my  mixture  of  well  rotted  manure  and  Bone  meal    ready  in  wheel  barrow
  • I  then  start  to  dig  the  a  hole  a  spit  wide  and  a  spit  deep
  • Then  with  a  scraper  I  just  loosen  the  edges  in  the  hole  which  would  have  been  made  compacted  by  the  digging
  • Incorporate  my  mix  into  the  base   and  fork  it  then  ensures  that  all  the  soil  microbes  in  the  soil  rot  the  manure  down  and release it  to  he  plant  evenly
  • If  a  stake  is  needed  I  hammer  that  in  first   to  avoid  damaging  the  roots

With  the  Prep  out  the  way  I  then  plant  the  Rose  bush  in  the  hole  making  sure  that  the  soil  level  on  the   rose  is  level  with  the  soil  this  is  because

  • If   its  above  the  soil  line  it  will  produce  suckers
  • planting  a  roseThen  when  I  have  the  level  just  right  I  start  to  back  fill  the   hole  and  shaking  the  bush  to  distribute  the  soil  among  the  root
  • And  then  with  my  heel  or  spade  i  then  compact  it the top soil  down
  • And  finally  give  the  rose  a  good  soaking

The  Next  Stage


In  my  travels  I  have  witness  many  bad  ways  of  staking  a  tree    from  string  to  copper  wire  although  these  are  very  cheap  they  also  can  be  harmful  to  Roses  as  the  stems  expand  and  surround  the  tie  as it  n  slowly  begins  to  cut  through  the  stem .

The  proper  way  is  to  use  a  proper  tree  tie  and  spacer and  not  to  tie  the   stake  to  the  bush  but   the  bush  to  stake

As  Shown  here

Rose  with  stakes

Finally    I  then  add   layer  of  bark  chips  to  give   the  plant  with  that  extra  adding   protection against  blackspot  which  could  splash  up  from  the  surface and  also  give  the  plant  with  the  added  micro  fauna  to  promote  healthy  growth

Bark  Chips

I  Do  hope  you  enjoyed  this  Blog    and  Subsribe  for  updates  or  My  News  letter   Part  two  and  three  are    coming  shortly

Powdery Mildew

Identification and  damage


Powdery Mildew on a Rosa species .

As you  can see Mildew  comes  in  a white powdery  mycelia and spore growth that forms on leaf surfaces and shoots and sometimes on flowers and fruits.These  are  the  fruiting of  the  fungus.

It  can  severely  effect  woody  plants  as  young  sapping which  would  dwarfed.


Downey Mildew  thrive  in  temperatures ranging  from  50 to  60  degrees  wuth  humidity  of  90%

It  can  be  recognized  by  only  being  specific  to  the  leaves  &  not  like  its  other  relation Powdery  Mildew  which  effect  the  stalks  as  well.

And  require  the  opposite it  needs  free  water  and  temperatures  ranging  from

60 -80  degrees  to  germinate.


Prevention  is  the  only  way  with  this  I’m  afraid  :-

  • Make  sure  that  the  air  is  well  circulated  either  out  doors  or  inside
  • water  the  plant  in  the  morning  and  in  the  evening  if  necessary.
  • apply  fungicide  at  the  first  sign  of  attack   and  remove  and  dispose of  infected  leaves
  • As  it  wind  blown  and  dependent  on  climate  make  sure  that  the  plant  is planted  in  the  right  environment &  that  there  isn’t  any  other  plant  that  is  infected  with  it  near  by .
  • Plant a  species  that  is  immune  to  it  if  possible for  example  Rosa  rogusa  or  aImage


    Rosa Rugosa alba

Cultural Practises

As  Mildew  seem  to  thrive  in  shady   moderate  temperatures ( esp Powdery Mildew)  place  plants  in a sunny  area  with  good  circulation

Avoid  over  feeding  the  plants  with  fertilizer  as  this  will  make  sappy  growth .giving  the  plant  an  over  head  watering  will  wash  of  the  spores  and   kill  them  in  the  soil

Fungicides  applications  

In  severe  cases  when  roses  and  other  woody  plants  are  infected  spraying  with  fungicide  will  be  the  only  alternative.

These  are  classified  as  :-

  • Preventive
  • Eradicator


These  fungicides  are  applied  to  new  growth  before  mildew  has  a  chance  to  get  a  foot  hold.

These  include :-

  • Horticultural  oils  like  neem,jojoba (read  My  article  on  neem  oil  )
  • Powders  like  sulphur , potasium  bicarbonate
  • and  Biological    with  serenade

For Mild to  heavy  infestation  spray  with  the  plants  natural  product  ie  Neem  oil. Becareful  never  to  apply  a  oil   spray  within  2  weeks  of  sulphur  spray  or  it  will  burn  the  leaves.

Also  never  apply  oil  sprays  when  the  temperature  has  reached  90  degrees 



An Organic Sulphur Spray

Copper fungicide

An H&S approved copper fungicide

Sulphur  sprays  have  been  used  for  centuries  and  rather  ironic   that  in  the  days  of  the  smug  plant  diseases   never  appeared  cause  the  sulphur  was  believed  to  keep  it  at  bay

The  best  sulphur  to  buy  are  the  wettable  kind  cause  the  dust  can  be  toxic  to  humans

Copper  Formulations

Although  copper  has  been  used  for ages  as  an  effective  fungicide  when  it  mixed  with  a  another  formulation  like lime it acts a bactericidal thus  killing  off leaf  spot  and  fireblight


Vitax Bordeaux Mixture
(Disolve in Water and use a spray)
Contains Tetra-copper Tricalcium Sulphate

Vitax Bordeaux Mixture should be mixed with water and then applied, without drenching, as a fine spray to both sides of affected foliage.  The actual dilution rates vary from plant to plant and full instructions are provided on the product label.



Contrary  to the  myth  Sodium  Bicarbonate    found  in  Baking  Soda  actually  restricts   fungus  growth  due  to  its  alkalinity &  there  fore  only  useful  as  a  preventive measure.

Also available to licensed applicators only is a fungicide containing potassium bicarbonate (e.g., Kaligreen).

Sprays of potassium bicarbonate can injure the plant, so use these products with caution.overuse should be avoided because of possible negative effects (sodium accumulation and alkaline pH) on the soil

Biological Fungicides

5878321_2 Biological fungicides (e.g., Serenade or UK  Myclobutanil ) are commercially available beneficial microorganisms formulated into a product that, when sprayed on the plant, destroys fungal pathogens. The active ingredient in Serenade is a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, that helps prevent the powdery mildew from infecting the plant.

Myclobutanil is a triazole chemical used as a fungicide. It is a steroid demethylation inhibitor, specifically inhibiting ergosterol biosynthesis. Ergosterol is a critical component of fungal cell membranes.

These products have some effect in killing the powdery mildew organism but are not as effective as the oils or sulphur in controlling it.