Roses are also the subject of many songs and poems we hear throughout our lives. Roses, particularly red ones, are the go-to flower to signify love on Valentine’s Day.
The look and smell of the rose has also commonly been used throughout time to represent elegance and refinement, an idea that is further asserted by the rose being one of the more common flowers used in perfume making. These perfumes can be on the more expensive side as it reportedly requires 60,000 rose flowers to produce just one ounce of rose oil.
Because of this, roses can seem like plants that need exacting maintenance, conducted by the most highly skilled gardeners. This can leave some apprehensive about working with them, in fear of doing something horticulturally incorrect. We hope the advice below proves this is simply not the case.
Rose are taxonomically categorised as being from the Rosacea family which also includes a wide range of other plants, including apples and blackberries. Below are five of the most common type of roses you may wish to add to your garden:
Whilst this can seem like one of the more daunting aspects of rose care, here are some tips to make rose pruning a more appealing task. It may be worth knowing that in a study of rose pruning, where one rose was pruned to exacting horticultural guidelines and another was pruned using a hedge trimmer, both plants produced a similar number of flowers.
Pruning should be done just as the plant is restarting growth from the winter, this will ideally be in February. Deadheading can be done throughout the flowering season, once the flower has died back.
If rose hips are not your cup of tea, then deadhead to promote more flowers in the future. Deadheading is a good way to build confidence when first attempting pruning. Perhaps start on a Cosmos and work your way up?
The three D’s: Dead, Damaged and Diseased growth. Now you have gained confidence, look your rose over for brown and lifeless stems. Once these are removed see if there is any damage to stems that could result in disease later infecting the plant and remove them. With diseased growth, caused by black spot or powdery mildew, it may be best not to mix cuttings with other garden waste and dispose it separately to prevent further contagion to the plant or others.
When pruning keep a chalice shape in mind. Basically, hold your hand up with your fingers splayed as if you were inspecting a crystal ball resting on the top of them. This is the shape you want your rose bush to resemble once pruned. Avoid crossing over stems to prevent rubbing and infection. All potential growth should be directed outwards to prevent further entanglement of stems in the future.
Use sharp secateurs and cut at an angle above the node. Blunt cutting tools could result in damage to the rose and make it susceptible to disease in the future. Cut around 2cm above each node at a 45% angle. The reason for the cutting at an angle, is that it prevents water gathering on the exposed cut, therefore stopping rot setting in.