Roses are king of flowers and they grow well in Lahore. Here i would like to share some tips on growing roses. Roses like temperate climate, neither very hot nor very cold. In Lahore, the months of October to April are good for rose growth. Roses do not like humidity hence monsoon is hard for roses. Here are some tips on roses which are my personal experience. I would like to extend my thanks to Umar Khan from Mardan, Dr Amer and Umar from Lahore for giving me some valuable tips. You can see some of my roses below, all are growing in pots on my rooftop:
Shifting/ Planting Roses
- Always shift in evening.
- Hoe twice as deep before placing the rootball at new location so that the newly plant rose will have soft, aerated soil beneath it to grow roots easily.
- Try not to break the root ball (gatchi). Although in winter months, breaking the gatchi or root ball will not kill your plant but it is best to plant with as much soil attached as possible.
- Plant as soon as possible after getting the new rose or existing one removing from soil/pot. Although in winter months, roses can survive for weeks if they are kept moist with rootball and not left bone dry.
- After shifting your rose, it may yellow its leaves and shed all the leaves. It is normal and plant will being new growth in few weeks.
- Give ample water for the first time after shifting. And then water only when the soil goes dry. If you plant in pots then water freely until water goes to bottom of pot and you can see it coming from bottom.
- Never fertilize your newly shifted roses until you see the new growth.
- For first year, use dilute fertilizer and not full concentration recommended.
- Generally roses in pots require more fertilizer as compared to soil bed. Better to give 1/4th dosage every 2 weeks.
- Do not fertilize in winter months when plant is not growing actively.
- Roses like phosphorus and magnesium so Epsom salt is good for roses as well as phosphorus based fertilizers. Give less nitrogen so for NPK based fertilizer first number should be low.
- I personally use local 5-15-45 NPK based water soluble fertilizer with trace elements. Always choose a fertilizer having trace elements like magnesium, iron etc.
- Another good feed is to give one teaspoon of SSP and half teaspoon of nitrophos to roses every month specially in areas which water is alkaline. I have personally tested this regimen and it is very effective.
- Roses full direct sun as much as possible. However give shade in after noon in hot summer months.
- Some roses tolerate partial shade, one example is iceberg.
- Roses will grow in around 4 hours direct sun but will give less flowers. If you have less than 4 hours direct sun, do not grow roses.
Watering / Drainage
- Roses love water but need good drainage. If water is standing in your pot for many hours after watering then it is not good drainage. Same applied to soil bed.
- To improve drainage, mix organic matter like old rotted cow manure or leaf compost etc in the soil bed. I use local plant fert fetilizer for drainage. You can mix peat moss as well.
- Cow dung manure must be at least an year old. In punjabi it is called kamela. Cow dung manure is suitable in winter months while leaf compost is suitable in summer months.
- You can go for overhead watering but not in the evening.
Diseases / Pests
- Insects: Most common pests for roses are aphids (in spring specially), mites (mostly in hot dry months), mealy bugs etc. If it is an early attack of insects then use a strong force of water on underside of leaves in the morning (never in evening). If attack is severe then better to use organic home made sprays or as last resort use following insecticides:
- Acetamaprid kills aphids, mealybugs and mites
- Imidacloprid kills aphids (Tela) only
- Bayer Oberon kills all kind of mites
- Fungus: Fungus attacks due to poor circulation of air or over head watering in the evening. Mildew is a fungus which is of two types, downy mildew and powdery mildew. Use Bayer’s Aliette.
- Blackspot: Choose those plants which are resistant to black spot. pick infected leaves and burn them otherwise it will spread fast.
- Hyibrd Tea are large flowered roses. If you are after large flowers but do not care about number of flowers then go for hybird tea. Some famous examples are double delight, Peace, California dreaming, fragrant plum, Mr Lincon etc. If you are after most fragrant roses then go for hybird teas.
- Floribunda are prolific flowering roses. If you want a rose covered with flowers but do not care about very large size then choose floribunda type of rose. They do not carry as great scent as hybird teas but compensate that with the clusters of flowers. Floribundas are better candidate for pot growing as compared to hybird teas. some famous examples are iceberg, daybreaker, angel face.
- Grandiflora are best of both worlds floribunda and Hybird tea. Flower shape is like hybird tea but shape of plant is bushy like floribunda. One famous grandiflora is Fragrant Plum.
- Miniature are small flowering roses suited to pot culture. Although the miniature does not refer to mini size of roots but generally speaking most miniatures can be grown in small pots. Some famous miniature roses are sunblaze, ballerina etc.
How roses are propagated:
Although there are many methods but two are most common.
– By cutting Rose is grown from its cutting. Plant grown from cuttings is exact replica of parent, all traits. Own root roses take little more time to establish but are make better bush than grafted ones. Most miniatures are own root. Iceberg is also propagated by cuttings.
– By grafting Most of rose plants available at nurseries are grafted. Grafted roses are composed of two roses. Rose 1 is a common rose having roots while rose 2 is the-rose-you-want and both roses are combined so that your-wanted-rose grows on top of common rose. It grows faster than own root rose but you have to remove suckers from this rose. Suckers are shoots produced from the common rose and they take energy away from the-rose-you-want. Check this image for difference between the two
- Generally speaking, remove spent flowers will yield more flowers.
- Pruning and hoeing is recommended as soon as you see rose breaking its dormancy.
- Remove flower buds during May-September so that plant puts more energy in root development instead of poor flowers in hot summer months.
- You can also remove flower buds in first year of planting new rose for the above reason.
- Do not prune your plant first year. Second year, light pruning.
- In hot climates you can keep graft bud just below the soil surface while in cold climates you should keep it much below the soil surface
I hope you will like my tips on growing roses, do post your comments.