When it comes to roses there is a lot to cover! Different styles, sizes, scented / unscented, thornes / thornless, colours, pruning, care etc, so today I am just covering the basics to start you with your exciting new rose journey!

Planting your rose: Now is a great time to plant your roses. Plant in an open, sunny spot with rich, free draining soil. Add compost and a rose fertiliser to your new hole (your local garden centre will be able to offer you the best advice when sourcing this.) Make sure the hole is large enough to ensure that the roots are not damaged or squashed and make sure that the depth is right (the crown or bud union needs to be just above the soil not buried or this will affect new shoots from growing.) Fill the hole with soil, gently tread down firmly around the rose and water in well.

Pruning: Winter is the best time to prune; because roses are dormant over this period of time. Remove dead / weak wood, this will encourage new growth in the coming season. Most people prune 1/3 to 1/2 of the length of the rose stems. Cut on an angle just above a bud. Always use clean and sharp secateurs. Aim for 4 – 5 leaders (the large, main stems).

Deadheading: This means to remove finished (spent) flower heads, if this is done often throughout the flowering season it means the roses will continue to produce more beautiful flowers.

Feeding: Regular feeding will ensure happy and healthy roses! It is advised to feed in early spring and in the middle of summer. Liquid fertiliser is recommended and some people also feed with lime and epsom salts. Keeping up with mulch ensures that the weeds are kept to a minimum, moisture is retained and the roots remain cool in summer.

Pests & Diseases: Often roses can be affected by a variety of problems; including aphids, black spot, scale, powdery mildew and rust. These are all treatable, but the best advice is to ensure that the roses are in the best condition possible to help prevent problems to begin with. Having healthy mulched soil, a well fed rose, watered and pruned helps to keep your rose in top condition.

Nowadays there is an incredible amount of stunning roses available to purchase and lots of newer varieties are bred to be disease resistant – compared to some older types. Visiting local public gardens when roses are out, or having a look around your local neighbourhood is a great way to view different types and offer you inspiration as to what you would like to grow in your own garden. Roses make incredible cut flowers indoors, for use in bouquets and even dried.

Enjoy your new addiction!