Rose care guide: October

Want a show of beautiful roses from your garden? This easy guide will provide all the tips you need to keep them lush and healthy

RELATED TO ROSE CARE: October gardening ‘to do’ list

This month you can enjoy your roses in all their glory. If you’d like blooms for the house, don’t cut more than half of the flowering stems on a bush.


Watering: For roses to flourish and flower with long stems, it’s best to water them twice weekly giving them 15mm of water each time. Alternatively give them smaller amounts of water daily through your irrigation system.

Fertilising: Roses that were fertilised in mid-September can be fertilised again in mid-October or early in October if September was skipped. This encourages root activity and new leaves and flowering stems to sprout. Only use the recommended amount of granular rose fertiliser (Ludwig’s Vigorosa or Wonder Rose) and scatter it around the bush, brushing off any that has fallen on the leaves. Scatter Bounce Back pellets around the bush and dig in lightly for best results.

READ MORE: 5 Ways to make your own fertiliser

Pest and Disease Control: To prevent aphids, bollworm, thrips, light infestations of red spider mite, powdery mildew and black spot, spray fortnightly with an organic insect spray, such as Ludwig’s Insect Spray combined with the fungicide Chronos. Rain is usually still experienced in the coastal regions and the first thunder storms are expected inland. Rain means wet foliage overnight, which can lead to a black spot infection unless preventative spraying is carried out. Other combination pesticides are Rose Protector, Rosecare 3 and Fungi Free.

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READ MORE: Eco-friendly pest control for you garden

Other Tasks: For good quality blooms, disbud hybrid teas by removing side buds out of the leaf axles beneath the terminal bud. For a very uniform cluster of floribundas, pinch out the thicker more developed central bud.

Remove spent blooms; not only will your rose bed look tidier, this also encourages the production of new stems. Cutting off the old bloom with the upper two leaves results in many new short stemmed blooms. Cutting back to about halfway produces fewer but longer stems. Pinch back basal shoots when they reach knee height to prevent them growing too tall and snapping off in the wind.