0 Coming up roses – why autumn planting is best

taunton-sch--roses.jpg"Is Autumn the best time to plant roses?" and the simple answer is "YES".

Under the 'Plan it, Plant it this Autumn' campaign, the Horticultural Trades Association is encouraging people to carry on gardening throughout the autumn and plan for spring.

The rose still constantly tops the list as one of the nation's favourite flowers and they can still be enjoyed in the autumn months.

Roses produce a better root system if planted earlier in the autumn when the soil is still relatively warm and moist. Planting in the autumn helps roses to establish better and they will be more vigorous and less likely to suffer from drought than spring planted roses.

When planting bare root roses, dig a hole wide enough to allow the root system to be spread out deep enough so that the union (graft) is planted 2-3cm (1in) below the surface of the soil.

The incorporation of some well rotted organic matter and some 'Roots Boost' (a natural product containing beneficial Mychorrhizal fungi that help to stimulate a good root system) to the excavated soil and planting hole also helps. Make sure that the soil and organic matter is mixed and ensures that the root system does not sit directly within any fresh organic matter, as this may burn the young fibrous roots.

All newly planted bare root roses need to be pruned back hard to 3 to 5 buds from the base of the plant. This will encourage lots of new growth to break from the base of the plant, helping to produce a well structured and better balanced plant and reducing the likelihood of the plant becoming leggy.

November is also a good time to prune and train established climbers and ramblers, removing what is often termed as the 'Three D's' diseased, damaged and dead wood and then tie in the new growth as horizontally as possible, as this will slow the sap down and encourage flowering shoots next year.

The autumn is also a good time to organically tidy the rose garden by removing diseased foliage from the plants and picking up any foliage that has dropped onto the soil. Many rose diseases such as black spot reproduce each year from the fungal disease spores on the diseased leaves that are left on the plant or have fallen and over-wintered in the soil. A good mulch of well rotted organic matter can also be applied at this time.

October and November is an ideal opportunity to visit the Peter Beales Classic Rose Gardens to enjoy the delightful autumn interest such as hips and autumn foliage that roses provide.

Listed below are some favourite roses that provide a lovely autumn display.

Shrubs Climbers
Rosa Pimpinelliflora Sir Cedric Morris
Rosa Virginiana Rosa Helenae
Rosa Moyesii Geranium Wedding Day
Rosa Californica Plena Sir Paul Smith
Rosa Glauca Mme Gregoire Staechelin

Simon White, Customer Services Manager at Peter Beales Roses said: "There are definite benefits from roses being planted in the autumn. The choice of bare root plants is far greater than container plants in the autumn and this is the best time to plant bare root roses, as the plants are dormant and under less stress.

Gill Ormrod, Angela Bean or Cassie King
HTA Media Office
Tel: 0118 930 3132
Email: media.office@the-hta.org.uk

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