Roses are among the most popular of garden plants in this country and they will grow in almost any soil.
Believe it or not, they can be a perfect Christmas gift if you are looking for something that will give lasting pleasure long after the festive season is a distant memory and they are fairly easy plants to grow and care for.
There is a huge range of varieties, in many colours, scented and unscented, so you are sure to find the perfect rose in their favourite colour for that someone special. Check the News page on this website for suggested varieties.
They can be planted at any time of the year, as long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged, and in a variety of positions. Provided that you can dig the soil, you can plant, so the roses can be put in and be left to settle without worrying that the weather is not suitable for planting.
They can be kept in any cool place, such as a shed or garage, until you are ready to plant them after Christmas.
Roses are supplied either as bare-root or in pots, and the bare-root ones, which are rose plants lifted from the ground with no soil attached, are suitable for planting at any time throughout the winter. The potted ones will need to be given time to establish roots before planting in the spring.
Roses are extremely versatile and thrive on direct sunlight during the growing season. They will grow in almost any soil, as long as it is well-drained. However, they do not like too much competition from other plants so when planting it is wise to give them some space so that they do not have to compete with too many other plants for light or moisture.
Once established and flowering, they benefit from regular dead-heading, which encourages further flowering.
They only need to be pruned once a year and can be pruned back quite hard without being killed. In fact hard pruning will encourage completely new shoots from the base of the plant which will become main flowering branches in subsequent years.
Seasonal cultivation tips for roses for December
When established bush roses and Standard roses are no longer giving any pleasure then December is an ideal time to cut back the roses by about half. This is to help prevent wind rock, and as such opening up a hole near the root system where water can penetrate and freeze.