Gardening Tips > August > Keeping your Roses Healthy

Keeping your Roses Healthy

Roses are a particularly hungry shrub and require frequent watering and feeding as young plants. Once established, a rose can usually survive on the moisture that is naturally present in the soil. However, in particularly dry spells, even the most established roses will appreciate a thorough watering.

Specific rose fertilizers are available to use but an all-purpose liquid feed can also give roses a quick boost if you want to feed them alongside other plants.

Roses are renowned for being prone to pest and diseases. A healthy plant, which has been well fed and watered, is far less likely to suffer from pest and diseases.

Certain rose varieties are more prone to attack than others and you will need to deal with it as soon as symptoms present themselves. Greenfly aphids distort and damage foliage, commonly on the new shoots and young flower buds. Initial infestations can be targeted with a jet of water to dislodge them off the plant. Chemical sprays can be used but preferably only as a last resort as you may end up killing beneficial insects along with the aphids.

One of the most widespread and serious problems with roses is Black Spot, where black spots edged in yellow will appear on the foliage from early summer. They spread rapidly causing the foliage to turn yellow and fall off. As soon as the symptoms, appear remove all infected leaves and dispose of them to control its spread. Fungicides can be applied as a preventative and at the first signs of the disease and will most likely require repeat applications. Unfortunately in dry weather we are more likely to see Black Spot on our roses.

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