Keep your roses blooming at their peak into autumn

Keep your roses blooming at their peak into autumn

Keep your roses blooming at their peak into autumn with a little extra attention now to keep them flowering and looking at their best through summer and beyond.

Rose bloom

Dead-heading is the single most important thing you can do to keep those flowers coming: removing spent flowers encourages more buds to form. Snip the flowered stem right back to the next healthy bud below.

If it’s been dry, give each plant a thorough soaking once a week to keep the roots damp. This also helps fend off mildew, a debilitating disease caused by lack of water that can cut your display short in autumn.

Lightly fork in granular rose food around the base, and water in well to give the whole plant a boost. Top with a layer of organic mulch to about 5cm deep to lock in moisture and keep out weeds.

Keep an eye out for black spot, and remove affected leaves promptly: spraying with a specialist fungicide such as Roseclear, available from the plant centre here in Reading, should nip the problem in the bud before it can take a hold. And carry out regular inspections to spot aphids and other pests: squish small outbreaks or spray with insecticidal soap to stop them in their tracks.