Its Valentines month and each of us starts to ponder the love that we feel for our partners. It is for good reason that Roses are chosen to represent these relationships.
Love has the same requirements as the Rose. Both need observation, nourishment and constant management. They require pruning or they become chaotic and overburdened with unnecessary dead wood. They require protection from the pests of life and both need a time of dormancy to gather strength during the challenges of the winter seasons.
As with Love an unhealthy and neglected Rose bush fails to develop and bear blossoms. But just like Love, it can be resurrected.
Start with pruning and reduce unnecessary branching to concentrate the plants energy. Choose the healthy upright stems and remove the smaller secondary stems. Don’t allow criss-crossing of branches, it creates chaos.
Aphids and beetles are at full force at this time of year. They are sucking the life out of the new buds. Manage this by spraying the rose bushes on a weekly basis with the appropriate Rose sprays available from nurseries. These products also stop fungal infections like the dreaded Black Spot.
Organic alternatives do exist, but are only active for about twelve hours before bio-degrading. So if you wish to go this route then increase the spraying program to twice or three times a week in the evening. To get the best results, spray regularly.
Beatles can be removed by hand for those who have the time and the inclination to kill them once removed. For those who don’t, use a systemic insecticide which is applied to the base of the roses. Once absorbed by the plant it poisons all sucking insects, including beetles.
Do not exceed the prescribed doses recommended by the manufactures of these products as this will create deformity, retardation of growth and in worst cases destroy the Rose.
Just as perennial Love needs constant nourishment so too does the Rose. During the high summer make sure your roses are watered directly and long enough to get the water down to the deeper roots. Feeding regularly during the flowering season is essential. I recommend “Sudden-Impact for Roses” from September to May.
I wish all those who love a prosperous and abundant year, full of Roses.