Blossoms that reign supreme

Blossoms that reign supreme

Blossoms that reign supreme

Do you wish for an enchanting rose garden in your home? A Dyuti charts out a plan to make your wish come true.

This is that time of the year when red roses rule the roost. Do you dream of having the ravishing beauties in your garden? Or are you too scared to venture into it because of all the effort and dedication needed? But truth be told – rose gardening doesn’t have to be strenuous. Read on to find out how you can experience the joy of a beautiful rose garden right in your home.

First and foremost, decide on how you’ll grow roses – through bare roots, cuttings or full-grown plants. Bare-root roses should be hydrated overnight or for a day before planting. When it comes to potted roses, gently take the plant out from the pot, untangle the roots and then plant it in a rose bed. When growing roses from rose grafts, pick healthy stems. The best season to plant these beauties is spring.

Next comes the space. You can either grow roses in a spacious rose bed or in colourful pots and containers. Look at your available space and decide. For those living in apartments, container gardening in the balcony or any corner of the house is the best option. Select from among wood, clay, ceramic and plastic containers. Clay pots, being porous, are ideal for healthy root growth. 

If you’re preparing a bed, choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. But remember, overexposure could cause the roses to wilt. On the other hand, a shaded spot can enable only stunted growth. Hence, look for the right amount of filtered shade, which can maximise the colour of your blossoms and promote longevity. 

Make sure to clear all debris in and around the bed to make enough room for the plants. Remember, when the roses are packed together, diseases and pests proliferate with ease. Do leave some space for comfortable foot traffic, too. 

Nourish the soil

It is now time to focus on soil nourishment. The soil you plant your roses in should be fertile. Dig at least a foot deep into the soil and mix in peat moss to facilitate drainage in clay soils and moisture-retention in sandy soils.

Remember, preparing the rose-bed is detrimental to healthy root-growth and proper drainage. Add fertilisers to promote faster growth. You can choose from granulated, powder, crystal-form and liquid fertilisers. For a long-lasting effect, opt for slow-release fertilisers. If you are using chemical fertilisers, make sure they contain a combination of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. 

Organic fertilisers like manure and compost can also be used. But beware! Fertiliser overdose can cause the plant to wilt. Also, protect your rose-bed from the wind and the scorching afternoon sun with a canopy. For extra care, mulch the soil using shredded leaves to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth, especially during winter. Remove the mulch when spring arrives.

Find your perfect rose

Beginners should stick to easily-cultivable, hardy and disease-resistant types of roses. If you are growing roses in pots or containers, avoid large varieties of roses. You could go in for modern shrub roses and groundcover types as they can tolerate some neglect from your side. Floribundas are quite lenient, too. However, hybrid tea roses and grandifloras need lots of attention.

Choose from among shrubs, sprawling ground-cover plants or climbers. For the latter, you’ll need trellises, lattices or little ladders to guide the plant’s growth or let them clamber up along walls or fences. 

Patio tree roses resist the winter’s wrath and are ideal for growing in containers. Miniature roses can be employed at the edges of your mini-garden for an elegant look. They can also be used to add colour in a rock garden. Go in for damask and musk roses for their enchanting fragrances.

If you dread the watering hassles, it’s best not to take up rose gardening as most of the them need plenty of water, for all seasons. Once you’ve planted the roses, watered, fertilised and pruned them, ensure that you keep them pest-free. One of the easiest ways to do this is to water the roots when the soil is dry. This prevents moisture from accumulating on the leaves.

Drip irrigation will also do the same work and prevent rotting of leaves. But too little water is also detrimental to plant growth. It is important to strike the right balance. Heavy watering is essential during the first year to aid the plant to take root firmly. 

Watering early in the morning prevents mildew and fungus. Another important task to be carried out regularly is cleaning. Remember to snip off dead blooms to encourage blossoming. Remove damaged leaves from the plants and from the soil underneath, but do not use them for mulch.

Clip off broken, diseased, pest-infested stems and branches often. This promotes air-circulation, facilitates larger blossoms, prevents pests and keeps your rose bed hale and hearty. If you detect black spots, white or orange powdery growth on the underside, attend to them immediately.

Prune the affected areas and take out the pests with soap water. You can also use insecticides. So, go ahead and create an enchanting rose garden in your home and revel in its natural beauty.

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