Planting Advice

Select a site with good drainage, and fertile soil. The area should get as much sun as possible. We advise preparing the site in advance,by digging the soil to a depth of 45cm(18″) mixing in a liberal amount of decomposed material, such as well rotted manure, garden compost, peat, humus fertiliser or soil improvers.  

Replacing old roses, which have been planted for around 6 years or more with new? You must change the top soil to a depth of 37cm (15″) or more with soil that has not grown roses before (the old soil will grow anything else apart from roses). If this is not possible then, drench the soil with diluted Jeyes fluid 12 ml per 5 ltrs of water (10 ltrs per sq metre when plants not present – to a depth of 37cm(15″).  Do not plant for six weeks. We suggest in these circumstances using a mycorrhizal product such as Vitax Q4+ or Roots Boost when actually planting rather than Bone meal or Blood, Fish and Bone. For further information please contact us.

Open a hole in the prepared ground, about 30cm(12″) across and sufficient depth to accommodate the root system. Mix a small handful of bonemeal, or blood, fish and bone into the soil. CARE MUST BE TAKEN TO MAKE SURE THIS IS WELL MIXED INTO THE SOIL, as like MANURE it must not come into contact with the roots which will be burnt and make it impossible for the plant to develop. If preferred you can use Vitax Q4+ or Roots Boost or a similar Mycorrhizal fungi, biostimulants product. When planting the level of the union of the plant (the knobble between the stock and plant) should be approximately 12mm(1/2″) below the soil (Figure 3) When the soil has settled the union will rest on the soil surface. Place the plant in the middle of the hole, spreading the roots out as much as possible (Figure 1). Refill hole with soil, and when about half full shake the plant so that the soil fits snugly around the root system then complete the refilling and heel around the plant (Figure 2). If when planting the soil conditions are wet, only lightly tread and re-tread when the soil conditions are more suitable and again when pruning.

Although you may think that the roses provided look as though they have been pruned, they will only have been winter TRIMMED and the following instructions are essential to promote healthy progress.  They will need to be pruned around mid March as follows.

ALL BUSH ROSES (Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Patio)( Figure 4) together with STANDARD, HALF STANDARD & PATIO STANDARDS should be pruned to within 2 to 3 eyes of the union between the cultivated rose and root stock or stem, which will leave around 8cm (31/4″ of cultivated growth.)

SPECIALITY & WEEPING STANDARDS can either be left as supplied or to promote a better shape cut back as described above.  This may mean few blooms in the first summer of Weeping Standards produced by using old-fashioned ramblers.  This treatment is also advised if using a wire trainer so that you can tie the developing shoots on to the trainer whilst in a pliable state.

ALL CLIMBERS, RAMBLERS, GROUND COVER AND GENERAL SHRUB AND SPECIES ROSES.  No general pruning is required in the first season but cut away any die-back.  



We also recommend a feed with a slow release fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 after pruning in March and again at the end of June.  Just a handful round the base of the plant will break down slowly and feed the plant for a longer period.

See separate headings below for type of rose.

HYBRID TEA, FLORIBUNDA AND PATIO BUSHES, STANDARD, HALF STANDARD AND PATIO STANDARD roses should be pruned in two stages.  When blooming has finished normally late autumn early winter remove all soft growth and shorten remaining hard wood by a third.  Finalise pruning mid-February to mid-March depending on season and part of country.  Prune within 2 to 3 eyes of the previous year’s growth.  At the same time take out some of the old wood from the crown.   

RUGOSA ROSES – Once the height you require is attained this can be sustained by controlled pruning.

These should be pruned in November.  Retain all rod-like growth, remove all weak and under-developed shoots and cut back the flowered stems.

REPEAT FLOWERING CLIMBERS, COURTYARD & PATIO CLIMBERS – Little pruning will be needed in the first few years. As they become established prune these in February, removing weak shoots, and cut back rod-like growth, and flowered stems. Endeavour to take out some older shoots from the base of the plant.

“ENGLISH ROSES” and “RENAISSANCE”. If a large specimen bush is required, treat like any other shrub rose. However if space is limited or if you need to promote stronger growth remove some old growth and cut back remaining growth by 50%.

SPECIALITY STANDARDS. These should be pruned in February by taking out some of the old weak growth, and cutting back the remaining shoots. GROUND COVER ROSES. Only light pruning is required in February. Tip back shoots and take out any dead and weak wood.

By selecting healthy varieties, preparing the ground well, and with proper feeding once the roses have established they should give years of trouble free pleasure. Whilst manure is excellent in preparation and as a mulch it is not a food. Roses need to be fed and this is easy involving just two applications. Feed after pruning in March and again around mid to late June. It is important not to feed later than mid July, as you will promote soft wood at the wrong time of the year and this will be more prone to disease. We advise the use of a slow release Rose specific fertiliser or a general one, which indicates it, is recommended for roses, such as Vitax Q4

Once established the more modern varieties have better resistance to disease but we do recommend a preventative spraying programme. Spray after pruning in March and then when you have approximately 15-20cm (6- 8”) of new growth at around 14 days intervals. If you do have any problems with disease then we suggest to help clean the soil of spores in December and January you use a weak solution of Jeyes Fluid. (10ml per 5ltr water which is usually the size of a watering can.) Remember a hard pruned, well fed rose will have a greater resistance to disease.

EU Regulations removed many of the products previously recommended. However we believe the ones listed will be available during the lifetime of this catalogue. For Blackspot and Mildew: Fungus Clear (this is available in Gun form or to dilute) For Blackspot, Mildew plus an Insecticide: Rose Clear Ultra (to dilute) or Rose Clear Gun For Rust, Blackspot & Mildew: Systhane Fungus Fighter (available in Gun form or to dilute) For Insects: Bug Clear (available in Gun form or to dilute)

To promote next flowering period cut back the flowered stems to the first FIVE-LEAF formation. Figure 6

These should not be a problem, but if allowed to develop they will sap the strength from the cultivated rose. Do not be misled by a seven-leaf formation, although suckers do have seven leaves, so do many ramblers, old fashioned and modern roses. Suckers are light green with few thorns and light green foliage and come from below the union of the cultivated rose and under stock. Locate the source of the sucker (it may be necessary to dig the soil away) and cleanly remove. Standards can produce suckers on their stems, and these should be cut away as soon as they appear with a sharp knife.

To help suppress weeds you may wish to use a garden fleece membrane. To hide this you can use well-spent mushroom compost, or a soil improver (which we stock). Make sure whatever you obtain does not include any form of wood chipping or bark. It is our opinion that you should avoid any form of bark or wood chipping,as toxins in these can be extremely harmful to roses, causing sickness, dieback and possible death of the plants.