Despite not being the best time of the year for many things, winter is still the best time to plant your roses so they are able to establish well before spring.
Ideally, you should have prepared your planting site several months ago by digging over and adding some compost. If you haven’t, then you still can but be aware of using any fresh animal manure as this will burn the roots of your newly planted roses. If you are planting into a site that has already had a rose growing, remove some of the soil to other parts of the garden and replace with some that haven’t had roses growing in it.
Planting Your Roses
When planting your rose, dig a generous sized hole. It has to be deep enough so the bud union will sit on top of the soil and wide enough so the roots will fit in. Make a mound in the middle and spread the roots out. You can add some blood and bone fertiliser but nothing else as it will burn the roots. Backfill the hole and lightly firm the soil. That’s planting in a nutshell. It is important that the soil is not waterlogged. If it is, hold off until things are a bit dryer.
For standard roses, it’s pretty much the same although you probably need to stake your roses at the time of planting. Also, do not try and shorten your standard by planting it deeper.
Now onto some roses that are hitting the market this winter and worth looking out for if you are in the market for a rose or two. It is worth remembering that it takes 10 years from cross-pollination to getting a rose onto the market with no guarantee of success. It is also a numbers game with one rose introduced out of 10000 seedlings produced on average.
Pope John Paul II – a pure white hybrid with the most amazing fragrance. If you like fragrant roses (and who doesn’t), this is a must have.
The Shire – An unusual coloured rose of smoked copper and lavender. Masses of blooms on a short, busy plant.
Wild Cherry – Clusters of cherry red blooms with a silver reverse, very healthy with glossy foliage. Award winner.
Wisley 2008 – A David Austin variety with soft pink blooms with a fruity fragrance. A vigorous, healthy grower.
Young Lycidas –A David Austin variety with cupped magenta blooms, strongly fragrant on a bushy plant.
By Hayden Foulds
Hayden also serves as Deputy Chairman of the World Federation of Rose Societies Rose Trials Committee amongst other rose endeavours.