Now’s the time to revisit your roses

Winter months are the ideal time of the year for reorganising the rose garden, transplanting roses that for some reason are in the wrong place, and for planting new roses.

It’s also the best time for pruning modern roses.

If planning to shift a rose and the soil is dry, water well beforehand. With the root system being disturbed in such a way, the top growth will also need to be pruned back prior to shifting.

Prepare the new planting hole beforehand — it should be of a generous size to accommodate the root ball. Using a sharp spade, cut around the rose so the root ball can be easily lifted out with the spade. Damaged or protruding roots should be trimmed back.

Gently place the rose in the new planting hole, add fresh compost, firm in and water.

Most roses in garden centres at this time of year are bare-rooted or containerised. When planting new roses, dig the planting hole wide enough for the roots to be spread out comfortably. Trim off any damaged roots and branches, then make a small mound in the centre of the hole with fresh compost. Spread the roots umbrella-like over the mound, refill with compost, firm in and water.

Make sure the graft union of the rose sits at the same level as the surrounding garden bed.

Dry days are best to prune roses; the aim of pruning is to encourage the roses to produce healthy and vigorous new growth on a well-branched framework.

Garden Life is produced by the Dunedin Botanic Garden.

For further information contact Linda Hellyer.

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