Roses have been cultivated across time and around the world and remain a favorite for many, many gardeners. Beautiful blooms in an array of wonderful colors and fabulous fragrances make shrub roses, climbers and ramblers a must-have for many gardens and backyards – including ours.
So when TV gardener and author Monty Don revealed how to enjoy blooming roses for longer this summer we sat up and took notice. The roses in Monty’s own garden are one of the highlights of his Instagram feed for us.
Want to discover the secret of enjoying more roses in your garden this year? Just read on because we’re sharing Monty‘s advice. And if you haven’t got started with your own flowers yet, our guide how to grow roses has the lowdown.
Monty Don’s top tips on getting your best-ever display of rose blooms
Monty Don revealed how to get more roses this summer on his website (opens in new tab). Now we’re sharing his top tips below, along with our own advice.
1. The key to getting more roses this summer? Deadheading is the secret, says Monty. For great results, you’ll need to do it at least once a week in mid-summer. The best tactic, though, is to do the job daily, he says.
2. Deadheading – in effect pruning – delivers roses for longer because it stimulates new sideshoots which bear new flower buds, Monty explains.
The other benefit of deadheading and learning how to prune roses is that it stops the plant developing seed which also increases the possibility of repeat flowering, he says. Why? Seed takes precedence over the rose’s supply of nutrients and water, he explains.
3. Although you can pull off spent flowers, Monty recommends using the best secateurs – you might want to put on a pair of the best gardening gloves, too, to avoid the thorns. Cut back to the first leaf below the old flower, he says; this is where a new shoot will grow.
For roses that flower in a cluster you should remove individual faded flowers by pinching out or snipping, cutting the whole stem off once all the flowers in the cluster are finished.
4. Monty points out that some roses have fantastic hips (seed-filled pods) in the autumn. These, he reminds us, only develop if the rose is allowed to set seed and fruit. His recommendation is to enjoy the rose blooms for as long as they last then wait for the new season display they produce from their fruit. Bear in mind that the hips will help bring birds to your garden, too.
Love the idea of a good crop of hips? David Austin Roses (opens in new tab) recommends roses such as Rambling Rector, Kew Rambler (shown above), R. Rugosa, and shrub rose The Lark Ascending.
5. Roses do require some additional care to deliver a prolonged display of flowers. It’s a good idea to feed them in mid-summer (as well as doing it in March or April before they begin flowering). You can get special rose fertilizer to do the job.
6. You may need to consider watering plants in hot and dry periods in high summer, too, or if your soil is dry and sandy.
7. Don’t let weeds steal water and nutrients from your roses either in order to get the best display of blooms. Clear weeds from the soil around your plants with a hoe, and keep them from growing by adding mulch in spring. Our guide on how to get rid of weeds is packed with useful tips on how to stop them spreading.
Armed with these expert rose care tips, we're sure your roses will be looking their best this summer.
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper.
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