Roses love the cooler night-time temperatures this month and react with larger blooms and a more intense colour. Here’s how to care for them during the month of March
READ MORE: March’s gardening to do list
This is a good month to evaluate the performance of the various rose bushes in your garden and determine why certain roses did not do as well as others. If it’s just one bush between others it might be that the variety is not sufficiently vigorous or was set back by defoliation earlier in the season.
Roses that are consistently susceptible to disease increase the disease ‘load’ in a garden and consideration should be given to replacing them with disease-resistant varieties, such as Eco Chic varieties.
If the problem is watering related, add extra sprinklers or reposition existing sprinklers for better effect.
Other reasons for poor performance could be too much shade or encroaching shrubs. In that case, put a marker on the bush as a reminder to transplant it in May/June.
Reduce watering to once a week when daytime temperatures start to become cooler.
As roses prepare for winter dormancy, they start withdrawing food from their leaves. An extra application of fertiliser will allow the bush to store food and still have enough to continue growing and flowering well into winter.
Pest and disease control
Due to heavy dew and low temperatures, black spot infestations may become even more prevalent and in some regions rust and downy mildew thrive. Alternate the combination of Ludwig’s Insect Spray, Chronos and Ludwig’s Spray Stay with Rose Protector for extra protection.