Rose Growing Techniques

One of the attractions of roses is that they are normally healthy, trouble-free plants. Though most roses never suffer from anything worse than an odd light attack of greenfly or black spot, there is a range of potential problems to guard against. The best way to keep pests and diseases at bay is to make sure your roses are healthy and receive a properly balanced food regime. A strong plant resists attack and suffers little setback from minor problems, so take care when planting your roses and set up a regular care routine.

Some roses are more prone to disease than others so if, say, mildew is a real problem on a particular rose your best bet may be to replace it with a mildew-resistant variety.

The key to growing healthy roses is to spot problems early and deal with them before they take hold. Inspect your roses regularly, note any damage to leaves, shoots or buds and identify and deal with the problem.

Take prompt action to prevent a problem from spreading – if it’s caught early, all you usually need to do is remove the affected leaf or shoot and destroy it. If the problem has spread or is serious you may have to spray or, if honey fungus has attacked the plant, you must destroy the whole plant immediately.

To prevent any diseases carrying over from one year to another, prune away all traces in the autumn and carefully rake up and get rid of any dead leaves or primings from around the plant – never put dis- eased material on the compost heap. Proprietary chemical treatments for rose pests and diseases are often combined, so that you can treat more than one problem at a time. If some problems persist, switch to a proprietary brand with different chemicals so that resistance doesn’t build up. Always use chemicals as instructed bv the manufacturers.

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