Rose Planting

Bare Root Roses: Plant bare root roses as soon as possible after purchase. It is advisable to soak the rose in water for up to an hour to make sure it is fully moist. If you are not ready to plant the rose in its final position it is advisable to plant the rose in a temporary position in the ground or in a pot with potting mix

Planting position and preparation: Roses require 5 -6 hours of full sun per day for best growth and flowering.  Roses can tolerate a range of different soils however it must be well drained. In poorly draining soils mound your beds 20cm above the surrounding ground level. Poorer soils can be improved by mulching with animal manure 3 months before planting.  Prepared mulches or potting mix can be applied on the soil surface at planting time.  In heavy clay soils applying gypsum (also sold as clay breaker) will improve soil structure and drainage.  Dig a hole approx 500 x 500 x 300mm deep. Plant your rose 5cm below the graft so you can observe if rootstock suckers below the graft.  Water in well, if winter rains do not occur then water every two weeks. Do not place fertiliser or animal manure in the hole at planting. Feed during early spring with a well balanced slow release fertiliser; we recommend Nitrophoska, or Hydrocomplex, using 25 grams per rose.  Feed again in January and April.  Many soils will also benefit from adding a good handful of Dolomite in early Spring and late Summer. To feed organically, use aged poultry manure, (such as Dynamic Lifter) and add to that handful for handful of grey wood ash or substitute a dessertspoon  of Sulphate of Potash.  Most organic fertilisers have more nitrogen than potash, and this imbalance produces fewer flowers and softer growth than a feed which has a higher concentration of potash.

Potted roses: can be planted 12 months of the year as long as they have an established root system. Water your rose in the pot first, and then dig a hole twice the size of the pot. Remove rose from the pot and place in the hole with the top part of the root system approx 2.5cm below ground level. Fill back up with soil, then water in well.

Winter Pruning: Cut back your rose to approximately 30 to 40 centimetres high, you can use either a hedge-trimmer or secateurs for this. Cut out any dead wood or twiggy growth as well... Please note, this method is used extensively in large rose gardens around the world. Old fashioned roses that only flower once a year are best if pruned after they flower as they mainly flower on old wood, and not on new growth. On old woody plants you can cut them back to leave only 2 or 3 branches coming away from the base by using a saw and leaving these branches 30 centimetres long, this will rejuvenate the plant by encouraging new growth.

Late Spring Summer early autumn Pruning: Cut dead flowers off your bushes as though you are going to put tm in a vase. This will encourage a denser pant and more flowers, as you do not want the plants to become so tall as to only have your flower above your head height. Simple isnít it.! Modern repeat flowering roses will re-flower within 7-8 weeks.

Standard Rose Pruning: Cut them back hard all year, or they may grow the heads to large (tall), and this will make the susceptible to wind damage
These plants are much tougher than most people think. In some parts of Europe they are grown as hedges. In warm climates, if they are protected from the extreme heat they will also grow well. Careful selection of varieties to suit your application is required though

Fuchsias can be grown successfully in baskets, pots or in the ground, but as stated earlier you must select the right types for what you are growing them in. Fuchsias are native to South and Central America, the Caribbean and as far south as New Zealand. Fuchsias vary in size from being a low ground covering plant such as Fuchsia procumbens which has a small yellow flower and is native to New Zealand through to a small tree such as the species Fuchsia arborescens.

Plant fuchsias in a warm position protected from heavy frosts, if you live in a frosty area you can cover your plants that you have in the ground in winter with a light covering of straw and this will stop the frost from damaging the plants. Some fuchsias can grow in full sun but most prefer a semi shaded to shaded position protected from the hot western sun.  In a mixed garden bed, plant them to the east of other shady shrubs or on the eastern end of the house or eastern side of a solid fence. They can be grown on the southern side of a house but they must be able to receive light from blue sky. In too much shade, plants become leggy and do not flower well.  They can be grown underneath shade cloth or beneath deciduous trees to protect them from full sun.  When winter is over you can then prune the fuchsias, but do not prune them at the start of winter if you live in a frosty area.  Fuchsias can be lightly pruned throughout the growing season to maintain a tidy shape
Fuchsias may be grown in pots, but if you grow them in terracotta pots it is advisable to either seal the pots with a sealant or line the pot with a plastic bag. This method will stop the pot from drawing the moisture out of the potting mix and not only will your plants thrive but you will use less water and help the environment. Plastic pots and glazed pots use less water than terracotta.

Growing in baskets is another way of having fuchsias for your enjoyment. In wire baskets, either line the basket with a plastic liner, a shopping bag will do the job but cut a few small holes for drainage if using conventional potting mix. Another alternative is to use a good quality coir (coconut fibre) potting mix in wire baskets, if this is used then there is no need to line the basket with plastic as the coir mix holds more moisture than pine bark based mixes. In plastic baskets if coir based mixes are used it is advised not to leave the saucers on the baskets and to water less often than if using pine based mixes. It is advisable not to grow plants directly under laser- light as this can cause burning in hot weather.

Pruning plants growing both in baskets and in the ground is done at the end of frost periods.  For basket fuchsias take the plant out of the basket and prune the root mass back by about 20% to 25%, then cut the top of the plant back to the edge of the basket and to about 10cm high. Then as the plant is growing you can tip prune to encourage bushy growth, and in temperate climates prune the top back by 30% after Christmas. Plants in the ground are pruned back to 30 to 45cms and can be root pruned by digging down a shovel length all around the plant.

Fertilising of plants is advised by feeding container grown plants twice a year with a controlled release fertiliser, this being done at the end of winter pruning and in late January. Fuchsias are heavy feeders as they produce so many flowers, and when using a controlled release fertiliser it is advised to use 5 grams (a teaspoonful) for every litre of potting mix the container holds. Liquid fertilisers high in potash are a good supplementary feed for the plant and are equivalent to having a cup of coffee and morning tea, nice to have but not a main meal. In the ground fuchsias may be fed with a good quality general fertiliser but make sure as with roses that it has more potash than nitrogen.

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