Five ways to grow better roses

Coaxing roses to produce a spectacular floral display is easy, if you follow a few simple rules. Learn more about deadheading, pruning, feeding and staking your roses, below.

With a bit of care and attention, you can encourage your roses to flower all summer long. Support them, feed and water them regularly, remove spent flowers and watch out for signs of pests and diseases. Our five tips, below, will ensure your roses put on a show-stopping display.

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Deadhead regularly

Deadhead roses regularly, otherwise plants will set seed rather than make more flowers. Healthy stems only need the flower head removing, but weak spindly ones need cutting back hard, to encourage new growth. Prune to where stems are at least pencil thick, even if it means removing almost the entire shoot.

Always cut just above a healthy, full-sized leaf. That's where the hormones concentrate, so the plant is able to produce a new flowering shoot quickly.

Feed and mulch

Mulch roses in spring and autumn, with well-rotted compost or manure. Feed them in summer with a feed containing potash and magnesium, for better blooming. Prevent mildew developing on the foliage by watering regularly, directing your hose or watering can at the base of the plants.

Provide support

Support old-fashioned shrub roses by placing poles around the plants and tying stems to them. Train compact climbers and ramblers up pergola poles, vertical pillars or an obelisk. Standard roses also need supporting. Replace the original cane with a stronger stake and use tree ties to secure them.

Control dieases

Choose disease-resistant varieties to avoid blackspot, mildew and rust, though in warm and humid summers, even disease-resistant varieties can be affected. Rake up and remove fallen rose leaves to reduce the risk of reinfection, and use a fungicide if necessary.

Choose the right rose

Before being seduced by a pretty picture, consider which rose is best for your garden. Old-fashioned varieties rarely flower all summer long, while modern ones do. Order bare-root plants in summer, for delivery for planting in autumn.

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