Growing Roses

Latest Update 16th November 2015.

Hybrid Tea Rose
  • Roses lose their foliage in winter.
  • They are tolerant of hot weather, but the soil must be kept moist.
  • They can be propagated from cuttings taken from the current years growth in spring.
  • Name:                                                    Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Family:                                                   Rosaceae.
  • Garden bed type:                                     40cm Earthenware Pot. 
  • Recommended soil pH:                             5.5 - 7.0.  
  • Plant Spacings (centres):                          800mm. 
  • Climate:                                                  Warm Temperate.
  • Geography:                                              Southern Hemisphere. 
Growing Conditions:
  • Full sun.   
  • Minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.  
Soil Preparation.  
  • In September, remove old mulch, fallen leaves and other decaying organic material.  Dispose of them in the compost heap.  
  • Apply a 60mm thick top dressing of home made compost , and add a 20mm thick layer of aged sheep manure.  Cover with fresh straw mulch.
  • Leave for 4 weeks so worm and microbe activity can build up in the soil.  Remove the mulch before planting the new rose.
Propagating Roses.
  • Propagate Roses by taking cuttings from robust current years growth in spring.
  • Using sharp disinfected secateurs, take a 100mm cutting from just below a node on a stem with a flower starting to die back.  Cut off the flower head.
  • Remove the leaves from the stem leaving only 2 or 3 at the top to continue to photosynthesise.
  • Plant the cutting in a medium size pot containing organic seed raising and cutting mix.  Soak the pot in 10mm deep dilute seaweed extract for an hour. 
  • Transfer the pot to an Eco propagation bed and bury it 15mm deep in the sand.
  • Replant the Rose in a prepared bed after the cutting has developed roots (6-8 weeks).
Growing Instructions 
  • Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every month when the edible plants are sprayed except when the rose is dormant in winter.
  • Remove dead wood or crossing branches in winter.  Cut the rest of the branches back by a 3rd to just above the nearest outward facing bud.
Organic Pest Control. 
    • Aerated compost tea is very effective against whitefly.
    • Alternatively, control any infestations by spraying your crop thoroughly with organic neem oil as early in the whitefly's life cycle as possible.
    • Spray again in a few days to ensure second generation whitefly do not survive.
    • Avoid contact with beneficial insects in flight by spraying the plant early in the morning.
  • Aphids (greenfly).
    • I usually just rub them out when I find them, with my fingers, but if there are lots of them, I remove them with a jet of tap water.  They seem unable to regain their place on the buds and shoots of my Roses and (I guess) starve to death where they land.
  • Powdery mildew. 
    • A monthly foliar spray of aerated compost tea protects my Roses from Powdery Mildew.
    • Alternatively a solution of 1 part cows milk to 9 parts water makes a reasonably effective organic pesticide against powdery mildew.  However, it needs to be applied early before this fungi gets well established, and frequently to keep it in check.
  • Black Spot.
    • A monthly foliar spray of aerated compost tea protects my Roses from Black Spot.
    • Alternatively you can spray with an organic fungicide (Eco-fungicide in Australia)..
    • Water the soil around the rose and avoid getting water on its foliage.  Keep the plant open so that air can circulate and reduce humidity.  Black Spot flourishes in moist conditions.
  • General.
    • Regular foliar sprays of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of Roses by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.  These microbes defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
    • Similarly, proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made compost boosts the community of beneficial microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.