Caring for your Roses
When Your Plants Arrive- Undo the parcel carefully and soak the roots in water overnight. Plant the following day, do not let the roots dry out. If the plants arrive in advance of your desired planting time they should be heeled-in.
Heeling-in – to keep bare rooted roses longer than 3 days they should be “heeled-in”. Select an open space in the garden, dig one large hole and plant all your bundled roses in it and firm down soil. Water in well. They will keep for several weeks if kept watered.
NOTE: IT IS MOST IMPORTANT NOT TO LET THE ROOTS DRY OUT AT ANY STAGE OF PLANTING.
Choosing The Right Position- All roses require an open, sunny and well drained position. At least 5 hours sun per day is required, preferably more. Although shaded areas will allow roses to do well, the quantity of flowers will diminish with the percentage of shade. Shaded parts of the garden are more liable to attacks from fungus diseases as the plants remain wet for too long after rains or dewy nights. Protection from wind is essential for good blooms but remember to allow for movement of air. Avoid planting too close to established shrubs and trees.
Soil Preparation –Ideal soils are not available to everyone, but roses are very adaptable with some help from the gardener. Best soils are medium to heavy loam to about 35cm minimum depth, over a good clay subsoil. However roses can be grown successfully in many soil types. The important thing to remember is that light sandy soils retain less moisture and nutrients. Light sandy soils require copious quantities of compost and animal manures, as well as more frequent watering. Mulching is advisable with all soil types as it eliminates many problems, such as less watering and weeding and also retains better average soil temperature. Some mulches to use: Pea straw, lucerne, tan or pine bark, leaf mould, peat moss, and horse or cow manure.
DO NOT – use fowl manure or other quick soluble fertilisers at planting time.
DO NOT – replant into old soil where roses have been removed. Renew with fresh soil.
DO NOT – use weedicides or pre-emergence weedicides.
(Glysophate-type weed killers can be used to clean an area prior to planting).
How to Plant –The ideal time for planting bare root roses in Australia is June and July. Later planting is possible, depending upon climate, but generous watering will be necessary until the plants have taken root. The proposed rose bed should have been dug over many times prior to planting and brought to a good tilth, ready for the plants. A thorough cultivation at the time of planting is a bare minimum. Dig a hole large enough to take the roots, which should be placed down and outwards over a small mound at the bottom of the hole. A hole approximately 30cm wide by 25cm deep should be sufficient. Cover with soil and firm down moderately. Water in well. The bud graft or bud union should remain approximately 5cm above soil level. Do not use fertilisers at planting time, as this may burn the roots. However, the addition of well rotted animal manure and a small amount of blood and bone well dug in is beneficial.