Rose Cultural NotesPeter Vandenberg

Unpack immediately and soak roots in water before planting.

Where to plant your roses – Most roses require an open sunny and well drained position to do their best. Although shaded areas will allow roses to grow well, the quality of the flowers will be reduced by the amount of shade. The absolute minimum sun required is 5 hours per day. Shaded parts of the garden are more liable to attacks from fungus diseases as the plants remain wet for too long a period. Roses are at home in even the most exposed situation, they just love the sun. However, hedges and wind breaks are extremely beneficial and  will protect the plants and blooms in extreme weather conditions. It is important to allow a good air flow around and between your plants. Movement of air will help to combat mildew, but more importantly in our Australian climate to break up the heat concentrated at ground level.

Soil – Roses are very adaptable to many soil types with some help from the gardener. The best soils are medium to heavy loam with a good clay sub soil. Lighter sandy soils have less ability to retain moisture and nutrients and require plenty of compost and animal manure on a regular basis and of course a little more attention to watering in the hot weather. On the other hand heavy clay soils need building up with humus and animal manure to assist with the drainage and the acceptability of water in our baking summers. Heavy clay soils in winter may waterlog, in this instance it is a good idea to raise the beds to allow for drainage at the root level. Mulching is advisable with all soil types as it eliminates so many problems, such as less watering and weeding and helps retain a better average soil temperature. Suggested Mulches— Pea Straw, Lucerne Hay (second cut not so many weeds) Meadow Hay (plenty of weeds), Leaf Mould, Peat Moss, Sea Weed ( Well washed), Horse, Cow and Sheep Manure. Light stones and Screenings (the later do not provide a source of food).

Planting – The ideal time for planting bare root roses in Australia is June through to August. However a few weeks either side of these months is quite acceptable with no ill effects to the plants. Container grown plants can be planted with safety at any time of the year. The rose bed should have been dug over many times prior to planting and should be friable. The addition of compost and peat moss can be beneficial. Do not use any  pelletised manure or fresh manure (ie Fowl manure) in the hole at the time of planting as this may burn the new root growth. Well rotted manure and slow release coated fertiliser may be used at the time of planting other forms of manure and fertiliser are better applied 6 weeks later to the surface area.

My Roses have arrived – When your plants arrive carefully unpack and check off against your enclosed invoice. Immediately soak the roses in a bucket of water for a few hours or overnight making sure all roots are totally submerged. Do not let your plants dry out. If you are unable to plant in final position  for a few days dig a trench and heal the roses in making sure soil is packed firmly around the root zone with no air pocket. When ready to plant out, dig a hole large enough to take the roots which should all face downwards and outwards over a small mound of soil in the centre of the hole. A hole at least 30cm deep and 50cm wide. Firm the soil around the roots being careful not to leave air pockets between the roots. Fill the remainder of the hole to garden bed level firmly but not compacted. (remember we want the water to be able to soak in). In most circumstances the graft or bud union of all bush roses should remain approximately 2.5cm (1”) above the soil level. Water in well. Do not replant into old soil where roses have been dug out. Renew with fresh soil and compost.

Spacing Roses

  • Hybrid Tea bush—Approximately 1-1.2m apart
  • Floribunda Bush—Approximately 0.6-1m apart
  • Climbing/Rambling— Approximately 2.5-5m apart

Old Fashioned Roses—Carefully read their growth habit and width listed in our catalogue and allow appropriate space. Remember many Old Fashioned roses do not require pruning as modern roses do. However do prune out any spindle wood and dead wood and shape as desired. Any major pruning of spring flowering only Old fashioned roses should be carried out immediately after flowering.