This week we are celebrating one of the nations favourite flower, the Rose, and with our Rose Festival in full swing, we’ve asked our expert plant information team some of the most common questions we are asked about Roses…
When is the best time to plant Roses?
Andy: “Ideally, late winter and early spring whilst the ground is moist, this aids establishment through its first summer. Also remember that the peak period for new stock finishes at the end of June – perhaps choose your plant when in flower May-June.”
What are the best growing conditions for Roses?
Martin: “Roses like a moisture-retentive, well-drained and fertile soil in a sunny position. They respond well to feeding and mulching. Do remember to give them enough water in dry weather as they will put on a lot of growth each year when happy and healthy. Rootgrow Fungal supplement helps newly-planted Roses to establish well.”
When should we expect roses to bloom?
Jane M: “Roses generally flower from June onwards or earlier if we have a warm Spring.”
At what time of year do you have the best selection of Roses?
Jane M: “For the best selection of Roses we would suggest visiting in Autumn when new stock arrives.”
Which Roses have the strongest scent?
Jane M: “Hybrid Teas, Old Shrub Roses and New English Roses (David Austin).”
What would be your top tip for achieving the best from our Roses?
Jane M: “Feed, water and sunshine!”
Can you recommend a Rose to give as a gift?
Carolyn: Roses make beautiful gifts and many are aptly named for anniversaries and celebrations. Many roses bear first names and make a perfect gift for welcoming new babies or remembering someone dear to you. Some of our favourites are;
The anniversary roses, either Golden, Silver or Ruby
In fact, we could probably find a rose that could suit any occasion.
Are Roses particularly susceptible to any diseases? If so, what can we do to prevent them?
Carolyn: “Roses can be susceptible to particular diseases i.e blackspot, powdery mildew and rust. Unfortunately these diseases are airborne and can arrive on your plant at any time. One of the best ways to help the rose is to ensure it is really robust and healthy to start with. Keep your plants well-watered in dry periods, use mulch around the roots to keep that moisture in, feed them with the appropriate fertiliser. Feeding would normally be twice a year, ‘Toprose’ (as the name implies!) is the ideal, perfectly balanced food for your roses. The first feed should be applied in the spring when active growth begins. The second should be applied in the summer after the first flush of flowers.
When the new growth starts and the tops are soft and full of moisture is the time to look out for greenfly and blackfly. These can be treated with a chemical spray or, if preferred and caught early enough, the insects can be wiped off manually.”
Which Roses grow best in containers?
Jane K: Patio Roses are best suited for container planting. For instant impact, standard roses in pots make great statement pieces.
Are Roses edible?
Jane K: All rose petals are edible.
Crystallised Rose Petals are often used for cake decoration and for this use fresh, culinary/edible rose petals are preferable.
Dried Rose petals store well and can be ground into sugar and sweet or savoury spice mixes. They make for a tasty herbal tea too!
Remember if you are adding rose petals from your garden to your food, always ensure they are not sprayed with chemicals!
When and how should I prune my Roses?
Carolyn: “Ideally, roses should be hard prunes in late February/early March. Bear in mind when pruning to always take the stem back to a healthy outward facing bud. Make your cut diagonal in order to let rain fall away from and not collect on the bud. If no bud is visible, cut to the appropriate height. Remember hygiene and always use a clean, sharp pair of secateurs. When doing this prune, it is advisable to also remove all the dead wood and any branches that may be crossing over each other.
Dead heading during the flowering season will ensure prolonged flowering and will, of course, make your shrub more aesthetically pleasing!”
Which Roses should I choose to attract Bees?
Martin: “The best Roses to attract bees are single flowers with an open centre, this allows the Bees easy access to the flower’s nectar and pollen.”
And finally, what is your favourite Rose and why?
Martin: ‘Charlotte’ – soft yellow flowers, compact and bushy. Very hardy with a medium-strong fragrance.
Jane K: ‘Chandos Beauty’ – lovely pale pink colour, fragrant and disease resistant!
Jane M: ‘New Dawn’ – vigorous climber and floriferous and good in semi-shade.
Andy: ‘Westerland’ – vibrant colour and a good do-er!
Ginette: ‘Lady of Shalott – fragrant large blooms and stands out.
Roger: ‘Gertrude Jekyll – excellent as a shrub or climber.
Carolyn: ‘Nostalgia’- a beautiful rose with a strawberries and cream colouration, highly scented and ideal for cutting. The added bonus being it has good resistance to pest and disease! An upright shrub that looks splendid in a pot.
Thank you to our plant team for their superb advice and remember, they are always on hand should you need further advice.