Caring for your roses

The nursery here at Mayfield Garden is currently awash with the colours and the scents of beautiful rose blossoms. David Austin’s, Hybrid Teas, climbers, Floribundas, and ground cover roses are putting on an amazing display right now, and it’s important to spend a little time and energy to ensure they continue to look their best during this spring.

Here are a few tips you can employ in the home garden to keep your roses looking schmick!

• Dead-head spent blooms. Almost as soon as blossoms appear on your rose plants, they will start to wilt and die. For aesthetic reasons, it’s important to get out into the garden every few days and cut off the spent flowers. It’s also important from a plant health perspective as well, as fallen petals and blooms are a favourite place for diseases and fungi to develop. This is particularly true in the wet, warm weather we are currently experiencing.

• When pruning or dead-heading your precious roses, always ensure your secateurs or loppers are as sharp and as clean as possible. Small diamond sharpening stones can be expensive but will put a beautiful edge on your cutting tools for many years to come. Carry a small spray container and spray your tools with a sterilizing, diluted bleach solution between each plant.

• There is no need to carry out a hard prune just yet. Make your cut just above the next set of leaves.

• While dead-heading spent blossoms, have a quick check of the rest of the plant. Trim away any dead wood or any diseased looking stems or leaves.

• With the warm wet weather we have been experiencing, fungal diseases are a real possibility. Make sure you collect and dispose of (preferably burn) any diseased cuttings and leaves, and fallen or dead-headed blooms. Never compost diseased material.

• Plants affected by fungal disease should be treated with a spray of an organic lime sulphur, and a paste made of a fungicide such as Kocide Blue should be painted onto any substantial wounds made while trimming stems.

• When the rain stops and the sun comes out, you can be sure any close inspection of new leaves and unopened flowers will reveal aphids. Small infestations can be controlled by removing them with a gloved hand, while larger infestations might require more drastic action, such as an application of white oil.

If you need any advice on your roses, or would like to choose from our extensive selection, come up to Mayfield Nursery and talk to Matt, Banjo or Maria, or you can call us on 6336 3131.

We’ve got years of horticultural experience and would love to help you out. Mayfield Garden Nursery is open from 9 to 4:30, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year (closed only Christmas day and Boxing Day).