Top 6 ‘life hacks’ for roses

Life will come up roses, when you follow Rolfe Stok, SMCT’s Head Rosarian’s, top tips to keep your roses budding and blooming beautifully this Summer.

Rolfe Stock, SMCT's Head Rosarian gives a rose pruning demonstration
Rolfe Stok, SMCT’s Head Rosarian, shares his knowledge at a rose pruning demonstration

Tip 1: When dealing with aphids, spray the plant liberally with a mix of dishwashing detergent and water – the soapier the better as this will suffocate the pests.

Tip 2: When buying roses look out for discolouration of the stem and especially the bud union, if brown or black discolouration is present beware, it is preferable that the cane is green.


Tip 3: When positioning your rose do not plant in closed courtyards, or in mixed beds with other plants. Roses need to be spaced away from other disease carrying plants, within an airy spot, have at least 6 hours sunlight per day and good drainage.

Tip 4: The best roses to enjoy in the garden are floribundas with their prolific displays, whilst the best for cutting and displaying in vases are the hybrid tea roses with the longer single stems.

031_SMCT Roses HR (31 of 412)

Tip 5: Colour matching, scent and height are essential when optimising your vista as well as knowing the parentage of your rose for maximum aesthetics.

Tip 6: Beware of yellow roses as they require more maintenance than any other colour. The pigment and enzymes in this colour range lend itself to more die-back and pest invasion than any other. If you have the time and patience by all means enjoy them.

Find out more about Rolfe’s long ranging experience as a Rosarian at SMCT in our  ‘Stopping to smell the roses with Rolfe‘ post.

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