Q How do I plant roses?
A Bare-root roses cost less than potted roses. Plant bare-root roses between November and March. Plants in containers can be planted at any time of year when the soil isn’t frozen. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Dig a large hole that will fit the whole of the roots easily. The graft union (where the stem is joined to the roots) should be at, or slightly below, soil level.
Caption: Bare-root roses can be planted from November to March
Q How should I care for my roses?
A Feed plants in spring with a balanced fertiliser, such as Growmore, or a high
potassium feed such as Vitax Q4 or rose feed. The mulch around the plant with organic matter, such as well-rotted manure. Water plants during long, dry spells.
Deadhead regularly by cutting back to the first leaf below the flower.
Prune towards the end of winter. Shrub roses: shorten any very long stems and all the previous year’s growth by around a third. Groundcover roses: no regular pruning but can be cut back hard if they outgrow their space. Large-flowered (hybrid tea) and cluster-flowered (floribunda): cut stems to 15cm (hybrid tea) or 30cm (floribunda). Prune weaker stems harder than vigorous ones.
Caption: Prune rose bushes in late winter or early spring
Q What are common pests and diseases on roses?
A The fungal leaf diseases blackspot, rust and powdery mildew are common. Fungicides can provide some protection against these. Aphids (which suck the sap) and rose sawfly larvae (which eat the leaves from the sides) are the most common pests. There are organic or systemic pesticides that should help against severe infestations.
Caption: Blackspot is a common problem on roses