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Rose Care Calendar - caring for your roses through the year 

To make sure that you get the best out of your roses, follow our rose care calendar. You may have to adjust the dates depending upon where you live. The basis of the rose care calendar is South UK.

Roses more than any other plants or shrubs, seem to respond well and reward you well if you care for them well. prune and feed at the right time of the year - as laid out in the rose care calendar below.

Neglected roses generally end up as a mess. A disappointing mess at that, so if you have decided to grow roses, give them the care and they will give you years of pleasure.

  • January

    There is not too much than can be done to care for your roses in this month. However, it may still be a good time to buy and plant a few bare-root roses. They are much cheaper than container grown roses, and you can make sure that they have a good root system! Use plenty of good compost in the planting hole - with a handful of bonemeal, which will break down in the soil over several months and provide the rose with a good start in life.

  • February

    Who knows what this month is going to be like by way of climate?  If it is suitable, you can still plant bare root roses.  Towards the end of the month - if it is mild enough - you can start pruning your Floribunda type roses in milder districts.

  • March

    Now we get into the proper gardening season - certainly as far as rose care is concerned. If you have any gaps to fill, then this is really your last chance to plant bare root - or pre-packed roses. (Make sure that they haven't got long new stems shooting out all over the place).

    Pruning of all bush roses and standards can now take place.  Prune the standards in just the same way as you would prune a bush rose. Burn all the debris left over from pruning - Don't bother composting it. There is bound some traces of pests or diseases that have over-wintered on the stems.

    March is the time to start feeding your roses - either with a branded rose fertilizer, or with an Osmocote type of long lasting granules. Make sure that the fertilizer is spread right around the root zone of the bushes - not just near the stem (There are no feeding roots in this area!)

    After this feed, a good mulch of organic matter can be spread around the rose. This is particularly important in dry soils. The root zone must be kept moist. In particular, make sure that Climbers and ramblers growing on walls receive this care. The added moisture at the root zone will certainly help stave off a serious mildew attack later on in the year.

  • April

    Anything that wasn't done in March by way of caring for your roses must be done now!

    You will need to keep an eye out for greenfly starting this month if previous years are anything to go by! Spray all roses with a systemic action rose insecticide such as Permethrin. We are assuming that you have already applied a Rose fertilizer. If not then do it now!

    Keep weeds at bay. You can use a paraquat weedkiller (Weedol) providing you do not get the spray on the new growths. This type of weedkiller can be sprayed right up to the rose main stem without damaging the rose bush.

  • May

    Your roses should be growing quite well now. You may need to do a bit of tying in for your ramblers and climbers before they get too much out of control. Greenfly and other aphids are most certain to put in an appearance in this month, so keep on top of them with an insecticide. You can also start using a combined spray such as Multi-rose. This is a combines insecticide and fungicide that will help to control mildew, blackspot, aphids and other bugs and also rust. All in one spray.

  • June

    This is the month when all your caring for your roses really pays dividends as they start to bloom. Most bush roses, climbers and ramblers will be at least showing plenty of flower buds if not fully flowering now. Continue to look beyond the flower - at the foliage and stems - to make sure that pests and diseases are not lurking or starting to take hold. Keep the roses well watered - especially the ones growing near walls!

    If feeding is necessary, then a liquid tomato feed will be the best for the rose bush now needs that type of formulation for healthy flowers etc.

    Some Ramblers and climbers will be flowering in this month - Prune as required after flowering has finished. This also goes for weeping standards.

  • July

    Flowering should now be at maximum. Ensure that you keep your roses flowering for as long as possible by dead-heading all faded blooms clusters. Do not just snip off the faded rose flower bud, but cut back the stem to 2 or 3 leaved below the faded flower truss. This will then ensure that new shoots emerge and a succession of flowers is forthcoming through the rest of summer.

    Blackspot usually puts in an appearance in this month, so be ready to deal with it by way of removing all affected leaves at first sign. Burn them. Spray the bush with a fungicide - not in full sunshine!

    Mildew may also start in this month. Treat as per this

  • August

    This is generally a time for simply enjoying your roses - especially if you have deadheaded earlier flowers!

    No need to do any feeding now, but do keep a watch out for mildew and treat as described. Carry on the work against blackspot if needed and if you did not get round to using systemic insecticides earlier, then watch out still for greenfly and other pests.

    Caring for your roses also means keeping your roses well watered!

  • September

    If you have been caring for your roses as in all the above, you should still have the benefit of masses of flowers on your rose bushes. Keep dead-heading to ensure even later flushes of flower. Rose care still needs to be carried out.

    All summer flowering ramblers and climbers - together with weeping standard roses should have been pruned by now. If not, then do so!

    It may still be necessary to spray against blackspot and mildew - weekly for best results!

    No feeding of roses now.

  • October

    Just keep things tidy - rake up fallen leaves as they appear - BURN THEM! If you have carried out a good care programme for your roses then there will still be a few blooms around - unless frosts have started. Simply enjoy them. Now you can just snip off the faded flowers rather than cutting back the stems as described in July, for it will be too late for new flushes of growth to grow.

  • November

    If the weather is poor, then it will be a good idea to cut your rose bush stems back by around one third in order to prevent wind rock damage to the root system.

    In very cold districts, it would be a good idea to either mulch around the root zone with a few inches of straw, or earth up the area with a few inches of soil (To be removed in the spring).

    Make sure that standard roses are well supported for the winter winds. If necessary, tie the heads in to the stake to prevent wind damage.

  • December

    Enjoy your Christmas shopping! Forget about your roses (It doesn't mean that you have stopped caring) - or any other aspect of outdoor gardening for that matter. You will probably do more harm than good by messing about in the garden during this month.

By David Hughes - info@gardenseeker.com