Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Roses are sturdier than you might think

Keeping your flowers in great condition while mother nature is throwing storms, droughts and icy spells your way can be tricky.

Some plants – usually the most beautiful – are extremely tricky to care for and short of wrapping them in a fleece, or taking them indoors, they struggle to survive the harsh conditions prevalent in most parts of the world.

Fortunately for every plant that struggles in even the most mild of climates, there is a another which will thrive. And the thriving plants aren't just the weeds – they can be stunning.

Take the rose, for example. Here is a plant that never fails to impress. It represents true love, would look dazzling in almost anyone's back yard and – fortunately for gardeners – it is really easy to grow and care for.

Speaking to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal about the plant that moved Shakespeare to poetry, Lilla Jones, a certified Master Gardener, reminded green-fingered enthusiasts that the plant can stand up to most weather conditions.

"The first thing to know is that roses are very hardy plants," she explained.
"It's pretty hard to kill them, but still so many people are under the impression that they're hard to keep. In the last 20 to 30 or so years, there's been an emphasis on finding roses that require less care," Jones added.

The key to the rose's success is that they do well in a huge variety of soil types.

During the winter months, there is relatively little that can be done for rose bushes. They will survive the cold and it can be a great time to plant, but they won't offer too much at this time of year. Fortunately you want have to do much to prepare them for the spring and summer.

When the weather starts to take a turn for the better, it is time to think about pruning. You don't need to be too aggressive, but pruning will help improve flower production. There is no need to compost plant clippings, you can simply burn all the off-cuts. This time of year is perfect for checking for pests and making sure your plants are in great condition.

When it starts getting warmer you should also be thinking about feeding your roses with some high-quality mulch.

Once flowering, roses just need sporadic attention – make sure you remove deadheads and prune back any wild areas. Watch out for infestations – particularly greenfly – and be sure to keep the well watered.

As winter kicks back in, just keep things neat and tidy and prepare to start the process again.