Roses are without doubt the plant that is found the most in our gardens.
Whether it is one of the beautiful roses that have been created, or one of the wild roses, smaller but just as pretty, you can always find a place for a rose somewhere in the garden or on the balcony.
Originally, from Asia, the rose is a member of the family Rosaceae; it is either shrub like, climbing or of the bush variety. Most of them have thorns.
They can be single or double flowered or even with overlapping petals, there is a whole multitude of rose flowers and plants to choose from. Their colours can be equally wide covering the whole spectrum, from pure white to deep black, ranging through blood red to azure blue... Likewise, the different scents will entice your sense of smell: fruit, iodine, musk, tea... you may even be tempted to eat them !
A continual flowering rose will normally provide flowers from the month of May through to the first frosts. Some roses will only flower once during the season in a sensational display, others will flower throughout the summer.
In either case, it is a good idea to remove the dead flowers as they occur by dead heading with a pair of secateurs. This helps the rose avoid exhaustion by not producing unwanted seeds; it will also encourage new flowers (because a plant’s aim is to produce as many seeds as possible).
Roses prefer a soil that is rich in humus. Do not hesitate to regularly add fertilizer (in the spring and at the end of summer). They tolerate clay soils and do not like soil that is too chalky (add peat or acidify the soil with pine bark).
In a pot, rockery or in the ground either as part of a border or in a group… You can plant roses in a hundred and one ways as long as they get the sun.
Rose bushes and climbing roses need regular pruning. This will encourage them to produce new shoots and maintain a nice shape, as well as reducing the spread of disease. See Pruning roses.
What is often noticed with roses is an attack of black aphids or a case of powdery mildew.
To tackle blackfly the most natural method is to use ladybirds. Some garden centres will stock ladybird larvae that can be put on to the affected plants. Also spraying soapy water directly onto the leaves is also effective.
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease. It looks like a white powder covering the leaves. There are commercial treatments available specifically against rose diseases, or spray with a solution based on horsetail.
Rust and black spot are also common fungal diseases. If your roses are attacked by a fungal disease (stains on the leaves), remove the affected parts and burn them. There are several commercially available treatments against these fungi. A good preventative treatment is to occasionally spray them with a bordelaise solution (general fungicide).
Used ground coffee grains spread around the base of the rose acts as a fertilizer, as do banana skins.
You can put liquid nettle solution at the bottom of the hole before planting to give the rose a boost.
Lavender or marigolds planted around the base of roses will protect them against many insects
Cloves of garlic planted in the surrounding soil will increase the intensity of both the rose’s smell and colour and act as a fungicide. Rose jam is an excellent accompaniement for foie gras.