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How not to Grow Roses

Our Mistakes in Growing Roses

We grow Roses, but we often do it 'wrong'. The conditions here in South Australia are rather harsh for roses. The rose is the national flower of England, and the climate in South Australia is much hotter and drier than England's climate, but Roses can even be grown in Equatorial areas. I have seen some good Roses in Mindanao in The Philippines.

It is normally recommended that used cat litter should not be put on the garden. We use only the types of cat litter that break down, based on things like wood (Kat's Korner) Rice hulls (Max's), recycled paper (Breeder's Choice) or similar types. When the cat's tray needs to be emptied, it just gets put around the Roses.

In our shop, we get a lot of cardboard boxes come in. As many of these as possible are reused. If they cannot be reused, the cardboard gets put into the recycling bin, but some of it, for various reasons cannot be recycled. This gets put round our Roses. It helps to suppress weeds and probably slows the drying out of the soil in the summer.

To hide the cardboard we put our grass clippings on top of it. This combination of organic matter on the surface of the soil forms a rich A0 horizon to the soil and encourages Earthworms.

Apart from the cat litter, cardboard and grass clippings we do not fertilize our Roses.
Another thing you should not do with roses is to have other plants growing among them. This is another thing we do wrong. There are several types of other plant in our rose beds, including Belladonna Lilies.

In Australia, you need to use grafted Rose plants. If you grow them from cuttings the root system is not good enough. At least that is what the experts say, but we do not know anything about growing roses, so half of our Roses are grown from cuttings.

Our pruning is more conventional, but it is done over several months, starting in late autumn, and finishing in early spring.

And our results? Well, our rose plants have survived several years of drought where the water they get is very restricted. The flowers were hit hard by the 45̊ C (115̊ F) heat recently, but are coming back now. We get a lot of compliments, and it is common for people to take one of the flowers as they walk along the road. Looking down our road at the general impression of the front yards, ours is normally one of the colorful ones. For a few slides of our Roses, Please See my Slide Shows: Roses and MoreRoses

We will continue to grow our Roses the wrong way.


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A few Pictures of our Roses taken on November the 14th 2010