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Rose care through the year

As with most gardening tasks, the timing depends upon the weather in a particular year and your location, even within the United Kingdom the climate and weather conditions vary greatly both North to South and East to West. The calendar laid out below is a general guide for an 'average year' in an 'average British garden' - so obviously it does not apply anywhere (!!!) but it does lay out the jobs you need to think about as the year progresses, you will need to use your own judgement of the local climate and weather to decide when actually to undertake any care of your roses.


January

  • Provide support for bush roses in exposed positions which winter winds might damage, keep an eye on such roses and firm the soil around them if necessary.
  • Continue to prepare the soil for planting bare root roses when the weather is suitable.
  • If the weather is suitable, and the soil prepared, plant bare root roses. Dig a deep hole to suit the plant and put some sharp grit and Rose or Shrub Compost in the bottom before putting in the rose and filling the hole with soil.

February

  • If the weather is suitable, and the soil prepared, plant bare root roses.

March

  • Finish planting bare root shrubs.
  • Prune established hybrid teas, floribundas, miniatures, repeat flowering climbers and shrubs. If in the south of the British Isles, and the weather is not too cold, start at the beginning of the month; elsewhere in the British Isles, start towards the end of the month.
  • After pruning, ensure all leaves and cut stems are removed from around the plant.
  • Ensure that all deceased and frost damaged wood is cut out and burnt.

April

  • Continue and complete pruning.
  • Buy and plant container grown roses.
  • Water newly planted bare-root and container grown roses during any dry period.
  • Clear any ground level growth from around the stem of existing roses and feed using a rose fertiliser.
  • Secure new growth on climbers and ramblers to canes or any desired framework.

May

  • Keep a watch for greenfly, black spot or mildew, at the first sight, spray as appropriate.
  • Remove any rolled up leaves which contain caterpillars or grubs, burn these or otherwise dispose of - do not compost.

June

  • Keep a watch for greenfly, black spot or mildew, at the first sight, spray as appropriate.
  • Remove small side buds from flower shoots - this will improve the remaining flowers.
  • Remove any suckers.

July

  • Continue to keep a watch for greenfly, black spot or mildew, at the first sight, spray as appropriate.
  • Remove dead heads as individual flowers finish.
  • Cut blooms, if required, for in doors display.
  • Secure new growth of climbers and ramblers.
  • Keep the ground clear around the shrubs and give them a mid summer rose fertiliser feed.
  • Start looking at the rose catalogues to choose any bare rooted ones for next year.

August

  • Continue to keep a watch for greenfly, black spot or mildew, at the first sight, spray as appropriate.
  • Continue to dead head and each flower finishes.
  • Cease applying rose fertiliser until next year.
  • Place any orders for bare root roses to plant next year.

September

  • Continue to keep a watch for greenfly, black spot or mildew, at the first sight, spray as appropriate.
  • Prune climbers and ramblers which have finished flowering.
  • Take cuttings from floribundas, hybrid teas, climbers and ramblers.

October

  • Continue to keep a watch for greenfly, black spot or mildew, at the first sight, spray as appropriate.
  • Prepare new rose beds for new rose plants.

November

  • Plant new roses if the weather is suitable, otherwise heel in new plants until the weather improves.
  • Plant new climbers/ramblers about 38cm (15 inches) or more away from the wall or fence which they will be trained against.
  • Check existing stakes and ties for standard roses.

December

  • Continue to plant new roses when there are no frosts, heel in any roses if the conditions are not suitable.
  • Provide support for bush roses in exposed positions which winter winds might damage, keep an eye on such roses and firm the soil around them if necessary.

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