New Rose Gardener Sunshine Coast - any tips...?

faerie_princessSeptember 5, 2013

In the last 2 years have gone from having 4 small plants on my balcony to 9 rose plants and many types of lavender (there is many others but the roses and lavender are my favourite) in a larger garden.

I was wondering anyone had any tips for growing roses on the Sunshine Coast and/or in a warmer more humid climate. I am growing them all in water saving 50-60L pots, with the climbers training over an archway.

I have been using Miracle Grow weekly-fortnightly on them and now am using Thrive weekly-fortnightly, is there somethings special that I should be using on them.

I also have planted a ground cover at the base of the plants, with the earlier planted types the cover is overflowing the pot, and the newer planted ones it wont be long before its overflowing too. Is this okay...? Or should I remove this and replace with just mulch...?

Rose types:
- Bugatti (Hybrid Tea)
- Papa Meilland (Hybrid Tea)
- Smooth Moonlight (Thornless)
- Just Joey (Hybrid Tea)
(the above were planted 9 August 2013 and 3 of the 4 already have buds on them - so excited to see what they look like)
- Peace (Hybrib Tea)
- Blue Moon (Hybrid Tea)
- Dearest (Climbing)
- Golden Showers (Climbing)
- Chameleon
(these were planted in early May - all but the Golden Showers has flowered - although the Golden Showers has the most growth of the lot)

Any help would be appreciated :)



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Faerie, is there something about how your roses look or how they're performing which isn't what you expected, or which looks bad to you? Generally, if what you're doing works, it isn't broken and doesn't need fixing.

Ground cover type plants usually continue growing until they meet such adverse conditions it stops them. Many will grow from the soil over patios and walks until they fry from the heat, get crushed when stepped on or hacked off. There are several "theologies" about using ground covers around roses, particularly in pots. Mine is, I don't. If the ground cover is invasive enough, it can compete very successfully with the roses for water, food and root space. Some roses many not appreciate that and perform badly because of it. The main advantage I can see for allowing them to spill over the pot sides is they will shade the pots from the direct sun, reducing the heat in the soil ball. That is a good thing generally, but if the roses start complaining while the ground cover keeps flourishing, you may need to rethink under planting the potted roses. Otherwise, from what you've written, it seems you're doing what your roses want. Congratulations! Kim

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Thanks Kim,

Its great to get some feed back, I am not seeing any issues with my roses, but was just looking to see if anyone had had issues to look out for or had tips that had made their growing successful in the first couple of years with roses, ive heard some can be difficult and finicky.

Oh wait....there is this small issue with Powdery Mildew, it seems to be only affecting my Blue Moon, Dearest and Chameleon - i have been treating with the Yates Rose Shield Spray, weekly treatments didnt really have an affect so started every other day treatment and the mildew seems to clear up for a while but before long there it is again...

Is there something else that I can do for them to avoid always having to spray them down with the Rose Shield every other day....?

Also is there any other varieties of roses that do well with in hot/humid climates...?I am eventually wanting to have atleast 50 roses, but with only 1 of each variety!

All help is appreciated and all advice is taken seriously!



    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:51PM
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Is this the Yates Spray you're using?

If so, it says the fungicide is systemic, meaning it absorbs into the plant and incorporates into the sap to provide the protection for two weeks. Spraying more frequently than that can damage foliage and over expose you, your pets (if any) and anyone else coming in contact with the chemicals. If your roses continue mildewing after the systemics have reached their "sap levels", you have other issues at work.

Water stressed plants can also experience diseases because of the stress. You can force them to mildew even when the conditions aren't proper for the disease by keeping them too dry. Not necessarily that you aren't watering enough, but the reflected, radiated heat from surrounding surfaces "cook" the water out of the plants. Perhaps the pots are over heating from the air temperature, direct sun shining on them or the radiated/reflected heat from walls or the patio floor? Growing other plants in the pots with them also increase the competition for water in those soil balls.

The traditional conditions favoring mildew are cool and damp. If your roses are mildewing when it's either hot and humid or hot and dry (and nights aren't cool and damp), that sounds like water stress induced mildew to me. Are the roses mildewing worst closest to either direct sun exposure on their pots, or closest to the hottest walls where the sun shines most directly, for the longest period of the day? If they are, that also helps point the finger toward water stress induced mildew. Might these also have the ground cover growing vigorously in their pots? That ground cover is using water the rose seems to need to help prevent the mildew.

Yes, some roses are much more susceptible to mildew than others. Your local rose garden center/nursery should be able to point you toward those varieties. You can also find out that kind of information about many roses on Help Me Find-Roses. You can make a list of what's available locally, then check Help Me Find to see if there are statements about their disease resistance on the site. But if you've used your systemic spray properly for several weeks or longer and these are still mildewing, the other possibilities I've offered could easily account for why the problem isn't clearing up. You may want to take a look at their placement on the balcony to see if by moving them around, you might alleviate some of the greater heat these might be experiencing. You may also want to consider removing the ground cover and any other companion plants from the pots of the roses which continue mildewing. You might also need to increase the size of the pots they grow in. If they're too small, the plant will consume all the water they can hold, or it might cook out too quickly, leaving the plant "thirsty", inducing it to mildew.

Once thing is certain, I would not suggest using the Yates more frequently than the label instructs. You should have enough of it in the plant sap after several applications and a few weeks for it to begin working. It won't remove the mildew on older foliage which already show symptoms, but it should prevent the new foliage from mildewing as long as it is used properly. I hope it helps. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Help Me Find - Roses

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 7:35PM
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Hi Kim,

Thanks for all of the information!

I am looking forward to learning more and more about Roses, they are fascinating.

Thank you for all of your advice!


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:35PM
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You're welcome, Faerie. Yes, they ARE fascinating! I hope my suggestions help you figure out the mildew issue. Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:44PM
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