Staff busy pruning, planting roses

Photo: Gregor Richardson
Photo: Gregor Richardson
Winter may bring a quiet time for gardeners, but if you have roses growing this may not be the case. Winter is when roses need to be pruned. Also, new roses have arrived in the garden centres and are ready to be planted.

Staff at the Dunedin Botanic Garden are busy in winter. Roses for planting in the rose garden have arrived from the nursery as bare-rooted plants wrapped in damp straw. They need to be planted reasonably quickly or potted up until they can be planted so the roots don't dry out.

New releases will replace old groups and poorly performing roses. We're planting roses in an area that has had roses before, so we need to remove the old soil and replace it with fresh compost in the planting hole.

This hole needs to be big enough to accommodate the roots and deep enough for graft union of the rose to be at the same level as the existing garden bed (see photo). It is important to make a small mound in the centre of the planting hole to sit the rose on.

Pruning of modern roses will start in late July, when the roses are at their most dormant and, hopefully, the heaviest of frosts have passed.

Staff at the Dunedin Botanic Garden will hold a rose-pruning demonstration in conjunction with the Otago Rose Society on Saturday, July 20. This free event will be held in the information centre from 1.30pm-2.30pm.

Garden Life is produced by the Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Linda Hellyer.


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