Rose Care FAQ

  • A: Roses should not be allowed to dry out. A full, regular watering is better than just small amounts daily. For potted roses the need for water is partly dependent on the potting mix. For that reason we suggest contacting the garden centre where you bought the rose for a local recommendation. For roses in general, from September through to November, water your rose once a week, from December to January water every day, except on days of heavy rain, from February to April water twice a week, unless weather is unreasonably warm or dry and in May to August water once a week.

  • A: Please see our rose care article on 'How to Feed Roses' to find out more about feeding your roses.

  • A: For advice on pruning English Shrub Roses, please visit our page How to Prune an English Shrub Rose. For advice on pruning English Climbing Roses, please visit our page How to Prune an English Climbing Rose.

  • A: If you are experiencing pests on your roses we recommend spraying with SB Plant Invigorator which is naturally effective against most pests. If this is not available contact your local garden centre for an organic solution If you are spraying to control pests you can pick them off by hand in the earliest stages and if spraying, please read the instructions.

  • A: WHAT IS IT? This is most probably powdery mildew, a fungal disease of the foliage where a superficial fungal growth covers the surface of the plant. CAUSES Powdery mildew is caused by a certain combination of weather conditions. New young leaf growth is often more susceptible, until they have formed a hard surface that you find on a mature leaf. Powdery mildew can also be caused by lack of moisture at the roots. For more information on how to water your roses, please visit our rose care article on Watering Roses. PROGNOSIS This is not a disease that will kill your plant. However, it does risk deforming foliage and making your rose less attractive and possibly less vigorous. CONTROL Use an organic product like Eco Fungicide plus add Eco Oil to assist. Do not spray any oil based sprays on very hot days, they might burn. Active Constituent
    Concentrate: 940g/kg Potassium Bicarbonate
    Ready To Use: 3.8g/L Potassium Bicarbonate Mulching - will help to conserve the moisture in the ground. Apply this in October to retain what moisture is in the ground. See our rose care article on 'How to Mulch Roses' here.

  • A: Most likely, your rose has been infected by a fungal disease known as black spot. We advise treating black spot as soon as detected. Use an organic product like Eco Fungicide plus add Eco Oil to assist. Do not spray any oil based sprays on very hot days, they might burn. Look for Active Constituent
    Concentrate: 940g/kg Potassium Bicarbonate
    Ready To Use: 3.8g/L Potassium Bicarbonate

  • A: The cause is most likely to be either a lack of water or a lack of feed and possibly a combination of both. See our rose care guide on 'How to Feed A Rose'

  • A: The most likely cause is that it is a once flowering variety which will only start flowering in its second year in your garden, on older growth. Most of the true Old Roses (Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses), the ramblers and the species, and a few other assorted varieties, come under this heading. For the same reason that they won’t flower in your garden in the first year, they will also refuse to flower if you prune them too hard, so do cut them back relatively lightly.

  • A: All roses take a few seasons to reach their mature shape and size. Large-flowered varieties, in particular, tend to get better over their first two or three years as the stems become thicker and provide greater support for their heavy blooms. Correct pruning is important where this problem occurs - see our articles on Pruning Roses for more information. Feeding is also important - see our rose care article on feeding roses. Follow the instructions carefully and do not overfeed, as this can produce more vigorous soft growth which can make the problem worse. Some English Roses have naturally nodding heads, the effect of which can be utterly delightful.

  • A: It is important to smell the flowers when fully open at different times of the day as the strength can vary greatly due to a number of factors such as temperature, sunlight, age of flower etc. We find that most of our varieties have increased fragrance in warmer weather. Conversely, when the weather is cold fragrance is much reduced. All the descriptions of the fragrances given on the website, are provided by an independent perfume expert who has been in the perfume trade all of his life and is well respected throughout the country. He does state that some fragrances such as the myrrh and tea are not picked up by some people.

  • A: You will find in general, the less petals the shorter the flowering time. This is usually compensated for by a higher number of blooms. The main cause will be poor vigour, particularly when a rose is young. The solution is to make sure you feed and water well. See our How to Feed A Rose article.

  • A: Please note that colours may variety depending on climates. The bloom colour commonly varies throughout its flowering period. Most blooms will fade with age. Rose colours will vary with varying weather and growing conditions. High heat and strong sunlight will tend to fade colours. When a rose is not getting sufficient sunlight, less than 4 hours a day, this may also affect colour. We normally find colours are stronger during the first flowering season of the year. This is when temperatures tend to be slightly lower and blooms have a longer time to form.

  • A: LACK OF WATER Watering is possibly the most important aspect of looking after your rose, particularly in the first two years. FEED Where soil is poor, which usually means it is very sandy, it is very likely that your soil will lack fertility. You will also need to feed more often as nutrients will drain through your soil very quickly. Adding well-rotted horse or cow manure will improve the soil structure, at the same time as adding fertility. DISEASE Take a look at your freshly fallen leaves and see if they have any signs of black spot, rust or powdery mildew. If there are no signs then the most likely cause is a lack of water.

  • A: No. While most of the hybrid teas and floribundas have just 5 leaves, many of the roses belonging to the other groups have 7, 9 or even more leaflets. There are no hard and fast rules to distinguish a sucker but generally the leaves have 7 leaflets and are a rather pale green, as are the stems which are often smooth with few needle-like thorns. If they flower they will have 5 petals and will be a very pale blush white or red. Suckers come only from the rootstock on which the garden rose is budded and so will only come from below the bud union. The young growth from some roses can be very vigorous and look out of character and rather sucker-like, so do check carefully before cutting these otherwise you may well ruin the plant.