Roses are beautiful plants, seen as staples of the classic English Garden. At Coolings we have hundreds of top-quality roses to choose from, including a large range of David Austin Roses. At Coolings Wych Cross Garden Centre (which has excellent rose heritage history), our rose nursery has been restored, allowing us to grow even more roses on-site.
Containerised roses can be planted at any time of year, but late Summer and early Autumn, allows rose plants to establish before Winter. By Spring their root system will have had time to establish and they will be ready to burst with colour and beautiful blooms.
Here are some tips for caring for your roses:
Roses can be planted at any time of year, however, avoid planting when the ground is frozen, water-logged or overly dry. In the location where you are planting your roses, mix in some good compost to the top 20-30cm of soil. We would recommend farmyard manure, such as Levington Organic Blend Farmyard Manure. In addition to this, a good fertiliser will help to nourish the soil, prior to planting. If you are using a mycorrhizal fungi then avoid applying a fertiliser, as phosphorus (found in general fertilisers) can suppress the fungus.
Dig a hole roughly twice as wide as the roots of the roses and as deep as your spade. Tease the roots out and place the rose in the centre of the hole. Ensure that the graft union (where the cultivar joins the rootstock) is at soil level. If planted below, this is thought to increase the risk of rose dieback. Gently fill the soil back around the rose to secure it in place.
If you are replacing old roses with new ones, dig the soil approximately 45cm across and use new soil, to prevent soil sickness. We would recommend using Rootgrow to help combat replant disease.
Where to Plant
Roses need somewhere with plenty of sunlight (at least four hours per day). If you have a more shaded garden, opt for more shade tolerant roses such as Rosa ‘Constance Spry’, Rosa ‘The Lady of Shallot’ and Rosa ‘Golden Showers.
A sheltered location is preferable as strong winds can weaken the base of the rose in the soil, resulting in the rose growing at an angle. Also allow the rose some room as it won’t like competition from other plants! For best results, plant your rose 3 feet (100cm) away from other plants and 2 feet (60cm) from other roses.
Prune roses back in the first Winter after planting. This should be done in late Winter or early Spring. With all roses, first remove dead, damaged and weak growths and then follow the specific advice for the type of rose:
Hybrid Tea (large-flowered) – prune the remaining strong stems hard back to 10-15cm from ground level
Floribunda (cluster-flowered) – prune remaining strong stems moderately hard to around 15cm from ground level.
Ramblers and Climbers – prune remaining strong stems back to 30-40cm from ground level if not already pruned at the nursery.
Shrub and species roses – leave remaining strong stems unpruned
Apply a dressing of rose fertiliser (or a general fertiliser) each Spring. We would recommend Toprose or David Austin Rose Food to promote healthy foliage and generous flowering. If growth slows down, repeat the fertiliser application in mid-Summer. Plants can be sprayed with Rose Clear to control pest and disease problems should they occur.
Follow feeding immediately with mulching, in a layer of up to 8cm (3in) deep. Keep the mulch clear of the rose stems, leaving a 10cm (4in) gap between the mulch and stems. We recommend using Strulch Organic Straw Mulch as it lasts on the surface for up to two years and does not take nitrogen from the soil.
How much water your roses need, will vary depending on their type. Shrub roses will need 1-3 gallons, Climbers will need 3-6 gallons, Ramblers will need 3-6 gallons, Standards will need 3-6 gallons and Potted Roses will need 1-3 gallons each time you water. Water needs vary depending on rainfall, but in Spring and Summer watch out for prolonged dry spells and water regularly.