Carol’s Tips for Growing Roses
There are so many flowers I love but the rose has to be near the top of the list.
My memories of my mother is returning home from school to find her mixing up grated sunlight soap, Jeyes Fluid and liquid chicken manure to spray her roses with. I have never used any chemicals to combat pests and fungus other than organic ones and do so every 2 weeks from September on through the season. My roses in pots do really well here in Knysna but I do have others planted in the beds. When planting a new rose I plant them in a big hole lined with a cardboard box or a thick layer of newspaper (it helps to stop the leaching through of food in the sandy soil here on Leisure Isle) then a big handful of bonemeal, Neutrog bounceback and compost. In fact everything I plant I use bonemeal and bounceback. I have had great success with Woolworth roses received as gifts and planted in pots. During the season I feed monthly with either Bounceback, Humungus and every 2 weeks spray a liquid fertilizer normally Seagrow. After pruning I lightly dig in around the roots Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom salts), bonemeal and bounceback and compost which is coarse to act as a mulch. Worm tea or compost tea when available is good and rabbit pellets as a change. I also use kraal manure twice a year on the whole garden.
I love perfumed roses and believe that all roses will perform well if they are watered thoroughly especially in pots, and fed regularly and of course told that they are beautiful. A few of my recommened roses in this area are King David, South Africa, Duet, Double Delight, Germiston Gold, Garden Queen, Alan Tew, Ester Geldenhuis , Bride’s Dream and of course the climber Blossom Magic. There are lots more but my all time favourite is Pappa Meilland a velvet red which is so beautifully perfumed and reminds me of my mother who always used a rose perfume. If you haven’t yet read the story ‘For the Love of a Rose’ do so as it tells about the Meilland family who developed and propagated roses a century ago.