Spring Rose Boost Tips

Episode: 2
Title: Spring Rose Boost Tips
Broadcast: 30 August
Presenter: Kim

After spending time pruning back your roses in winter, there is a little more work to be done in early spring to make sure the huge number of those tiny buds dotted on your roses develop into masses of big, brilliant blooms.

  • The first job to do is fertilizing. Roses love a feed and regular fertilizing will ensure not only get better and more regular flowers, but also bigger and healthier bushes. All this new growth needs to continue growing - a dedicated rose fertilizer, packed nutrients and trace elements is all they need.
  • Spread around the plant, not just near the base but around the edge where there are plenty of feeder roots. Rose roots are relatively shallow, so once any moisture moves nutrients into the soil, those roots are ready to take it up. You can use a slow release fertilizer which will pulse out for 5 to 6 months or you can use a more traditional fertilizer.
  • If you are using a regular rose fertilizer, then here is Kim’s tip for better and longer flowering plants. Apply at the recommended rate now, then on first day of every month, up to April, apply at half the recommended rate. You’ll be amazed at the results.
  • Next job, insects. New growth and aphids go hand in hand. These sap sucking insects can stunt plant growth and cause malformed flowers, so it’s important to REDUCE their population, especially now. Now, we did say REDUCE their population not ERADICTE. It may seem a little strange not to want every aphid gone and there’s a very good reason for this. Where there are aphids there are also predators – lady birds, lacewings, hover flies, those silent garden helpers that love eating aphids, even when you’ve gone to bed. By keeping a few aphids in the garden you’ll be guaranteed these predators will still be around.
  • For small numbers of aphids, jetting off with water will be fine, just enough to disturb them and keep them off the plants. When there are bigger numbers, then horticultural oils are well worth using. Not White Oil, which is great to use on fully dormant plants but very refined petroleum or canola oils. These mix well in water and can safely be used on leafy plants, like roses, and on days with the temperature under 27 degrees.
  • Horticultural Oils are contact sprays that work by smothering sap sucking insects, like aphids. Because they only kill what they touch, it’s important to give the plant a good dose of spray, making sure you jet under the leaves as well as on top.
  • Standard rose can easily become choked and ring barked by tight ties. Check and where needed, replaced those ties, so they are loose enough to allow the stem to grow wider and keep the stem firm against the stake. Not too long until these will in full bloom and what a sight it will be. A little time spent now on your roses will reap a ‘blooming’ reward in just a few weeks time. Well worth it!