Rose care guide: May

This month expect exceptionally large blooms, especially from rose bushes that retained much of their foliage during summer

Pink rose

  • Blooms may be picked without harming the plant.
  • In cooler areas, the first frost may well have arrived. This will hasten the roses into dormancy and even if the last flowers and leaves are frost burnt it won’t do lasting damage to the plants. Don’t cut back as this could encourage the plant to resprout if a few warm days are experienced. See frost as nature’s way of giving you a well-earned rest from your roses until pruning time in July/August.

Watering: Water once a week or once every two weeks as the weather gets cooler. Water roses more often in warmer, frost-free sub-tropical areas where plants don’t become dormant.

READ MORE: A guide to water-wise gardening

Fertilising: No more fertilising is necessary except in the Lowveld and coastal KwaZulu-Natal where roses can still be fertilised to extend the flowering season.

READ MORE: 5 Ways to make your own fertiliser

Pest and Disease Control: Continue spraying.

Other tasks: May is a very good time to plant new roses because they have time to establish themselves before spring.

For more see: Ludwig’s roses