They can be tricky to grow, but the romance of the rose and its perfume keeps growers coming back for more. And now is the perfect time of year to pop one in your garden.
Bruce Whitfield from Theo's Garden Center in Kallangur says growing roses can be difficult in our subtropical environment, with the humid conditions ideal for fungal diseases, but the trouble is worth it.
In the 30 years they've owned the company, he and wife Judi have learned a lot about the plants, and have half a dozen bushes at home
So where do people go wrong?
“Mainly the same reason they go wrong with all plants — because they are a living thing they need food, water and love,” Bruce says.
Roses need to be fertilised regularly and yearn for deep watering at the base, not the leaves. Watering the leaves in the afternoon is a no, no. Doing this will make it easier for fungus to take hold.
“Every time it rains, you should be out there with fungicide on the leaves. You’ve got to be vigilant,” Bruce says.
Around this time of year, he says growers can buy bare root roses but he prefers to sell potted plants so buyers can see what they are purchasing.
Before planting, soil must be filled with compost and fertiliser, and the garden bed must be well drained and provide 6-8 hours of full sun a day. And don't worry about the heat of the summer, just keep the water up.
There are hundreds of roses but Bruce recommends the hardy top 30, which include Mister Lincoln, iceberg, gold bunny, Queen Elizabeth, Kentucky Derby and Just Joey.
Theo’s Garden Centre, Kallangur
Address: 187 Old Gympie Rd, Kallangur
Phone: 3204 5490
HOW TO GROW ROSES
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