Rose care guide: August

Roses start to sprout this month so corrective pruning can be carried out. This is also a good time to plant new roses

As the roses start to sprout, watering should be increased to support the new growth and corrective pruning can be carried out to improve the quality of new stems, leaves and flowers. This simply involves cutting back to the eyes that have sprouted most strongly and removing competing branches or twigs that were overlooked when pruning in July.

Pink rose bush -- rose care guide August


Watering: Start with a deep soaking and follow this up by watering once a week. As temperatures rise towards the end of the month, watering should be increased to twice a week.

RELATED: Gardening in drought conditions: watering and choosing plants

Fertilising: Roses that were not fertilised in July can be fertilised this month. If fertiliser was given in July, wait until the end of August before applying a second dose.

Pest and disease control: If greenfly start sucking on the tips of the juicy new shoots, spray with Garden Ripcord or Ludwig’s Insect Spray.

Once the roses have sprouted, a good long-term preventative pest strategy is to drench the roses with Koinor, Confident or Merit. In coastal KwaZulu-Natal where the growth of roses is more advanced, alternate Rose Protector with a cocktail of Ludwig’s Insect Spray, Chronos and Ludwig’s Spray Stay.

For downy mildew problems, add Magical Pest to the spray solutions in order to harden off the cells of the leaves.

Other tasks: It is a good time to plant new roses. An insulating mulch should be placed on the bed by the end of the month.