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Care for your rose bush

Caring For Your Roses
Roses are not fussy plants, but will provide bigger and more flowers if looked after. The key tasks are feeding, dead-heading, weeding and mulching. 

What To Do



Prune mid March early April in cold areas. 

Feed mid March mid April in cold areas.

Mulch mid May early June in cold areas.

Dead-head July to end of flowering Do not dead head if you want rose hips.

Water When  required See notes below for roses to water.


The best method of feeding is to use a fertiliser designed for roses such as 'TopRose', however, any general purpose fertiliser will do the job.

Feed as the leaves begin to form.
If TopRose is being used, sprinkle about 4oz per square metre, lightly working it into the soil surface. A couple of handfuls of Growmore or similar will help if no rose feed is available.

June Feed as in March, but use half the amount. Water after feeding if the weather is dry.

July Do not feed after July - this will only encourage leaf growth at the expense of flowers.

Dead-heading is simply removing dead flowers at regular intervals. This encourages the growth of more flowers later in the season. The flowers can be pinched off with your fingers or a pair of secateurs. 

With floribundas, where several flowers are produced on each stem, cut the stem, just below the truss of flowers.

Roses have long tap roots to anchor them into the soil, but they gain most of their food from their near-surface root system. It's therefore important to keep the weeds under control. Mulching with well-rotted organic material does this job well and also provides a slow feed of nutrients.

The best time to mulch is late Spring - the soil is moist but at the same time is warming up. 

If weeding is required, don't dig around the plants - weed by hand or on the surface with a hoe.