Get more from your rose bushes.
- Leave the soil neat and tidy: Old-fashioned rose gardens were often rather drab: they were regularly hoed and weeded and the ground was left completely bare in a determined effort to avoid the invasion of aphids and other pests. Nowadays rose beds often contain other plants for added interest. But that does not mean you can slack on keeping the beds tidy. Garden pests can and will attack discarded plant material as well as a variety of weeds, so be sure to remove any waste and weeds, especially after pruning.
- Top tips for training roses: Keep on top of training your climbers and ramblers. Tie them in and tidy them regularly as they grow, which will boost flowering and make maintenance easier. If you don't, the branches will become tangled and you may lose track of stems that should be pruned or removed.
- Trellises and pergolas: Check regularly to ensure that new shoots have not grown through to the underside of the structure. Ensuring that a plant is growing on one side of the structure only will make it easier to take the plants down if you need to do any repairs. It will also make maintenance work and annual pruning and removing dead wood simpler.
- Horizontal wires: Use these to train roses up walls. Separate the upward-growing stems when you tie them in and gently curve them, which will generate a greater number of flowers on each stem.
- Vertical training wires: For tall climbers and ramblers on high walls, vertical wires offer support. On a house front, if you want to train roses up to the first floor, position wires between ground-floor windows and fix the central stems to them. Then you can spread the central stems and train the canes horizontally below the first-floor windows.
- Prolific flowers: Climbing roses will flower more profusely if you bend their supple stems as they grow by attaching a weight to them. For the best results, train the stems horizontally as much as possible. If you are growing a rose over a column, arch or pergola, choose small- flowered species as they will adapt more easily to the required shape.
- No more chemicals: Reduce your reliance on chemicals by pruning out rose stems and tissue affected with mildew instead of spraying them. Remove any leaves affected with the blackspot fungus and burn them to destroy the spurs. Stems severely affected with aphids and leaf-rolling sawfly should also be removed and destroyed.
This technique is suitable for hybrid roses that tend to grow long shoots with flowers only at the ends. By restricting growth,pegging encourages stems to produce more flowers.
1. In late Autumn, clear the soil at the base of the rose and remove any dead leaves from the rose bush.
4. Hold them in place with hooks, or pegs made from flexible hazel or bamboo, positioned at least sixty centimetres from the base.
2. Cut off at ground level any stems that have flowered during the current season and
any that may hinder arching.
5. Leave the bent stems pegged in this position until the following autumn.
3. One by one, gently bend long, non flowering stems until their tips are touching the ground. Space them evenly around the clump.
6. As the current year's new shoots emerge from the bent branches, the plant will start to look like a pincushion.