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Growing Gorgeous Roses

How to grow roses

The first summer roses in my garden are now coming into bloom and I can hardly wait to breathe their sweet scent. The beauty of flower and fragrance has inspired many gardeners for hundreds of years. While not the easiest of plants to grow, roses reward the gardener for the effort made with luscious blooms that can take your breath away.

Some of our favourite tips for growing great roses are as follows.

When you purchase a new rose bush choose varieties carefully. Some are more fragrant, more disease resistant or have unusual colour combinations. Look for No. 1 Grade roses and pick a healthy plant that shows good vigour.

When you go home to plant your new rose, choose a sunny location (min 6 hours). Roses don't like a lot of competition so be sure the place you choose doesn't have large trees very close that are going to hog all the nutrients, water, and sunlight.

Try not to plant in the hottest time of the day and water your new rose bush in the pot before you plant it. Roses are heavy feeders so be generous with nutrients and soil amendments.

I recommend the following for planting new roses:

½ cup bone meal

½ cup alfalfa meal

½ cup fish meal

2 shovelfuls of peat moss

2 shovelfuls of manure or compost


Put the peat and the manure or compost into the hole and mix it all up. Then add the bone meal, alfalfa meal, fish meal and lightly mix through the top few inches of soil in the hole. Place your new rose in the hole so that it will be planted at the same height it already was in the pot. Now backfill under and around your new rose bush with the peat/manure/organic fertiliser blend. Press the soil down firmly but gently and water deeply.

If you are transplanting in warm weather, it is very advantageous to use Root Booster liquid fertiliser. Root Booster has a root stimulator that helps plant to thrive after transplanting. It is also beneficial in alleviating Transplant Shock which is the most common reason why gardeners are unsuccessful with their new plants.

Each Spring following you can fertilise your existing roses with:

½ cup rock phosphate

½ cup alfalfa meal

½ cup fish meal

2 tbsp Epson Salts

Later in the summer, if you want, you can give your roses an extra boost with a liquid fertiliser, I like liquid kelp or a high phosphorus formula like Plant Prod 15-30-15 or even 10-52-10.