Being heavy feeders, roses generally require less care than gardeners often expect. However just like many other plants, roses require regular watering, pruning and fertilisation in order to flourish.
Often causing headaches for gardeners, roses are also prone to a number of diseases and pests. To effectively care for your roses, it’s important to be aware of the types of diseases and pests that commonly affect roses and understand the best ways to care for the plant.
Roses grow vigorously when they have access to nutrient-dense soil and regular watering. The fast-growing nature of roses means that they require regular pruning to flourish and minimise the risk of pest infestations and diseases.
The correct timing of your pruning is important and will depend on the climatic zone that you live in. As a general rule gardeners should prune their roses twice a year, in summer and winter.
When to Prune
Pruning in Summer
Pruning your roses in summer is necessary to remove any deadheading roses on your bush. Pruning away the faded or dead flowers from your plant helps to maintain its appearance and puts it in the best possible position to begin flourishing again.
Pruning in Winter
Gardeners that want the best for their rose bushes should also prune their bushes in winter. Winter pruning is done whilst the plant is dormant, and is vital to promote new growth in spring. In most Australian climates, it’s best for gardeners to prune their roses in June or July.
Unfortunately for gardeners, roses are prone to many diseases in Australia. The warm, moist days and cold nights make Australia the perfect breeding ground for fungal diseases, which is detrimental to your roses’ development.
Most rose diseases cause the leaves and flowers of your roses to become discoloured or unsightly, and damage the overall health of your plant. Early intervention and prevention is key to avoid your roses becoming riddled with diseases.
As the most common type of rose leaf disease in Australia, black spots promote the development of unsightly black spots on the leaves and stems of roses. Caused by Diplocarpon rosae, black spots will result in weakened roses and premature defoliation.
Powdery mildew, caused by Sphaerotheca pannosa var. Rosae, is a quick spreading fungal disease that impacts the leaves and flower buds of roses. The disease can spread throughout an entire garden as it is easily transmitted through water splashes and wind.
Rose rust is a dangerous rose leaf disease that at best produces rust-coloured patches on the leaves and stems of the plant, and at worst destroys the plant’s health. Caused by Phragmidium tuberculatum, rose rust spreads through the wind and survives throughout winter until it becomes live in the warmer months.
Thrips suck the cells from roses, causing the flower’s growth to be stunted and damaged. When a rose bush is infested by thrips, the roses will become streaky and develop unattractive white patches.
Aphids eat the sap from roses and spread viral diseases between plants. An aphids colony will grow quickly after the initial infestation, causing significant damage to your rose plant if the colony is not removed.
White scale is caused by an infestation of insects from the Coccoidea family. White scale is very hard to remove and causes a roses’ stem to become white and crusted, making a once beautiful rose unsightly.
It is vital to fertilise your roses to sustain their beauty and keep them healthy year-round. As a general rule, roses in Australia should be fertilised three times a year: during the first flush of spring, at the beginning of summer and then autumn. Regularly fertilising your roses encourages fresh growth at the right times of year.
Rose Care Experts
At Garden Express, we are equipped with everything gardeners need to help care for their roses. Check out some of our other rose care articles to find out how best to care for your garden today.