How to take care of your Rosa

Rosa 'Handel'
Rosa 'Thomas Becket'
Rosa 'Birthday Girl'

What to look for across the season

Spring

Ah, spring. The days lengthen and the weather starts warming up.

Keep an eye out for new growth on your Rosa - it's a sign of better things to come.

Summer

Summer is when the magic happens and the Rosa come into bloom.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy your outdoor space.

Watering is about the only thing you really need to worry about, particularly for plants in pots.

And deadheading, which sounds slightly sinister, but is simply snipping off the flowers as they fade to make way for more magnificent blooms.

Autumn

Your Rosa can flower right into autumn, depending on the weather (as usual) and which varieties you have planted.

But eventually the leaves will fall off, which is perfectly normal for roses and they'll go to sleep for winter.

Tidy up the fallen leaves and remove dead or diseased foliage to spruce your roses up and keep them healthy.

Winter

Your Rosa will be in full-on hibernation mode now.

Thankfully they’re hardy plants and won’t need any frost protection.

So you can cosy up indoors and agonise over which blushing beauties to put centre stage in your garden next year.

What The Plant Needs

Watering

A Rosa planted out in borders doesn't need any special attention when it comes to watering once it is established.

But if you've got a new one, make sure you keep it well-watered during the first spring and summer.

Roses in pots need a bit more TLC. Keep a careful eye on watering, especially over spring and summer.

If it's really hot you'll need to water once a day, being careful not to splash the flowers or foliage.

Feeding

Your Rosa will reward you with a blooming marvellous display if you feed them well.

Give a first feed in March/April before flowering, then another one in mid-summer after the first flush of flowers.

A general purpose feed is fine, or look for a specialist rose fertiliser.

A Rosa in a pot need more feeding, so start in March/April before flowering, then feed every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser and switch to a tomato fertiliser once flowering starts.

Pruning

A Rosa needs pruning. But don't stress, it's not difficult.

Best time to prune is January or February, but if it slips to March, don't worry.

If you've got a climbing rose (one that grows against a fence or arch or over a pergola), then remove any stems that are dead, damaged or diseased.

To encourage masses of flowers later in the year, cut around a third of the branches down to two-thirds of the plant’s full height and another third to a third of its height.

For bush roses (ones that grow nice and neat as a bush) reduce them down to 10 - 15cm from the base of the plant.

It may seem drastic, but hold firm. This ‘Oh god, what have I done?’ moment will reward you with neat, tangle-free growth as spring gets underway.

Carpet (aka ground cover) roses don’t need much pruning, but in January or February remove dead or damaged growth, so they look their fanciest when the weather warms up.

Protection

A Rosa is a hardy plant, so don't require winter protection.

If you've got shrub roses in a windy, exposed spot, give them a quick trim in late October, cutting back about one third and you’ll protect them from damage by winter storms.

ForbesThe Times logoi newsSky NewsTelegraph logo