Rose Care for August

  • Roses that weren’t pruned in July can still be pruned during the first week of August. In very cold areas, pruning only needs to be done at the end of August.
  • Roses that were pruned in July will be sprouting, and corrective pruning can be done. See which eyes have sprouted strongly and cut back to them. Competing stems may also be easier to see and be cut out.
  • Thrips was such a problem last season that the most important task is to drench newly sprouted roses with Koinor (2ml per litre), Confidor or Merit. These long-lasting insecticides protect against all sucking and chewing insects for about six months.
  • Black spot or mildew shouldn’t be a problem, except in coastal KwaZulu-Natal where the growth of the roses is more advanced. Alternate Rose Protector with Ludwig’s Insect Spray, Chronos and Spray Stay
    (our Cocktail 1).
  • As temperatures warm up, increase watering to twice a week. A long, deep watering that soaks down to the roots is best.
  • Roses that were not fertilised after pruning can be fertilised now with Vigorosa or the long-lasting Vigo-Longer, which is a controlled-release fertiliser that lasts the full season.
  • Re-stake standard roses using a strong treated (not with bitumen) wooden pole or a suitable metal stake. Never use a thin wire or similar material as ties because this will chafe the stem or grow into the bark. Rather use strips of shade cloth.

Climbing Roses – A Special Case
Climbing roses require attention in August. To open up space for new growth, older branches can be removed and the remaining stems, from the previous season, tied to a support, as horizontally as possible. Tying stems horizontally activates all the eyes along the stem, which then produce shoots and flower. The result is many more flowers than if the stems are left to grow upright, which results in flowers only at the end of a stem.

Good to Know

  • When tying stems to a support, don’t make the ties too tight because the stems get thicker during the season.
  • Stems can also be tied to other stems, and not just to the supports.
  • Once the main stems are tied in place, the side shoots on each stem can be reduced to about 10-20cm. By leaving a stub with 2-3 eyes, new growth will develop quickly and the best flowers will come from these shoots.
  • Once the main framework of canes is in place, don’t be reluctant to cut away unnecessary stems or side shoots.
  • Remove the leaves where possible.

Get the look
This garden is as pretty as a picture, the gardener having cleverly used roses to complement a mixed planting. Glowing ‘Salmon Sunsation’ and ‘White Sunsation’ roses are planted en masse among pink and white gaura with bold clumps of Margaret Roberts lavender and edged with a clipped hedge of golden Duranta ‘Sheena’s gold’. The urn, filled with pelargoniums, gaura and solanum in the same colour scheme, acts as the central focus. Other bedding roses that could be used to equal effect are ‘Tawny Profusion’, ‘Deloitte and Touche’, ‘Ice Sunsation’, ‘Granny’s Delight’, ‘Dawn Sunsation’ and ’Pink Profusion’.

by Ludwig Taschner

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