Roses are very simply a wonderful addition to any garden. There is a type and style of rose to suit every garden and every gardener. Whether it’s colourful blooms or fragrant flowers, low shrubs or tall climbers, indoor or outdoor, there is a type of rose for you! Garden expert Paraic Horkan is here to share his top tips and advice for growing roses.
What rose should I choose?
If you want roses that will create a barrier or that you can train up a screen, then you will be looking for a climbing or rambling rose. One of Paraic’s favourite climbers is the Arthur Bell Rose. This rapid growing climber grows to about 5m and is a repeat bloomer. It has wonderful red and orange buds which open to reveal stunning golden flowers that have the most wonderful fragrance!
And then of course there are the shrub and bush type roses. One of Paraic’s favourite shrub roses is Flower Carpet Rose. These are available in pinks, golds and whites. They grow to a height up to 1m and will have a spread of 1 – 1.5m. It produces beautifully bright flowers that have a slight fragrance.
A bush rose which Paraic is particularly fond of is Rosa Irish Eyes. This grows to a similar height as Flower Carpet Roses but only has a spread of up to a half meter making it much smaller in width. It produces large orange and yellow flowers that carry a wonderful fragrance.
If space is a premium or you want to grow indoors then a miniature rose is probably right for you. A great variety is the Anna Ford Rose. This is perfect for container growing and grows to a height of around 45cm. It has absolutely stunning orange-red flowers which fade to orange with maturity.
At Horkans, we carry a wide range of roses in all of our stores and our team members will be able to offer personal advice and help you to choose the right rose. No matter what type of rose it is you want, there is a rose for you!
When can I plant Roses?
Roses that are bought in a pot can be planted at any time of the year. Bare root roses do best when planted when they are dormant, sometime between November and February.
Where should I plant Roses?
Roses will do best when planted into good soil, in a sunny location, ideally where they will not be too exposed to the wind. Miniature roses are perfectly happy to be planted in a container, but be sure to choose one that will be large enough for the roots to grow in. Ideally place the containers somewhere that they will get at least half a day’s sun.
- To prepare roses for planting soak the root ball in a bucket of water for at least 15 minutes before planting
- Roses need root space, so dig a deep hole approximately twice as wide as the current root system
- Add a good quality compost to the soil
- Position the plant so that the leaf is at soil level
- Replace the soil, firming it down gently and then water
- A good general purpose fertiliser such as John Innes Multi Purpose Compost should be applied to the surrounding soil as a top dressing.
Is there any aftercare that I need to do?
You will need to water regularly in year one and two but once roses are established they won’t need much watering. In late spring, mulch around the plant with well rotted manure mulch, taking care to avoid direct contact of the mulch with the stems. This will help to conserve moisture and provide nutrients as well as helping to keep weeds down. As your rose plant begins to bloom it will become quite greedy so giving a fortnightly feed of rose feed will help keep your roses blooming.
Are there any secrets to success?
Once your roses are planted correctly and receiving lots of food and nutrients, it should produce lots of beautiful scented flowers. The one key piece of advice that I always give is to deadhead regularly throughout the entire summer as this will encourage lots of new growth and keep your plant producing new flowers all summer!
Are there any pests or diseases that I need to worry about?
Roses should be in full bloom in June. But with increased temperatures and the frequent showers common to Irish summers, this is also a time for an increase of pests and diseases in the rose bed. Roses can suffer from black spot, rust or powdery mildew; all fungal diseases which thrive in damp warm weather. The new flower buds are also very attractive to greenfly, whitefly and blackfly.
All of the above problems can be addressed by spraying with a combined fungicide/pesticide, such as Rose Rescue or Rose Clear Ultra. Do remember to remove any leaves showing signs of disease and collect any leaf drop from the soil underneath the plant to impede the spread of infection. An application of Westland Rose Feed with Enriched Horse Manure will ensure both good flowering as well as a healthy immune system for fighting pests and diseases.
How do I prune roses?
- Always use a sharp and clean pruners
- Remove all branches which are dead, diseased or damaged
- Remove any older stems to avoid overcrowding at the centre
- Cut back new growth by a quarter
- Prune side shoots to within three buds of the main stem
- Feed with fertiliser immediately afterwards and again in 6 weeks
Pruning your roses is a vital part of rose maintenance and plays an essential part in keeping your roses healthy, reducing the risk of diseases. It also encourages the production of new blossoms. Early spring, between February and March before new growth has begun, is generally the best time to prune your roses but always check your particular variety.
— Paraic Horkan (@paraichorkan) April 14, 2016
The key ingredient to pruning is to feed your plant fertiliser straight afterwards. It is important to re-apply the fertiliser within 5-6 weeks for thriving plants. In just 2 weeks, you will see a difference in your plants and after this you will see a nice display of flowers and foliage in the summer.
Tips for Pruning Success:
- If your plant is in flower don’t prune it until the flowers are gone.
- If your plant is not in flower, but starting to bud, you should trim right back to where you see new growth.
- Don’t forget to feed your freshly pruned plant to create big luscious plants and flowers.
Roses can also be pruned in November once flowering has finished for the season. This is not your main pruning so you do not have to be as exact as you will be in Spring. The main purpose of this pruning is to reduce the impact of wind on the plant over the winter.