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How to grow Roses


July 28, 2022


Searles Gardening Team

Gardens just would not be complete without the magnificent scented rose flowers and winter and spring are the best time to plant roses.

Roses love a full sun position and like room around them, so don't overcrowd the plants. When planting roses, make sure to leave about a 60cm space all around each rose. This promotes good air circulation through the bushes to discourage fungal diseases.

An important tip for roses is soil preparation. Roses prefer rich organic and well-drained soil. Improve poor soils with Searles Organic Compost. Adding more nutrients with 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser will boost growth and flowering.

Prior to planting out your roses, add to the soil a handful or two of Dolomite. This adds calcium and magnesium to the soil which aids nutrition uptake.

If planting into pots, ensure the pot is of a reasonable size to accommodate the growth of the rose (minimum size 50cm x 50cm). Use Searles Fruit, Citrus & Rose Specialty Mix as this provides an abundance of nutrition, wetting agents and growth assistance to produce excellent results.

After re-potting roses, give them a liquid feed with SeaMax Organic Fertiliser to help settle their roots in the new potting mix and kick start their growth.

Roses need regular fertilising to keep producing their glorious flowers. A fertiliser recommended and endorsed by the Qld Rose Society is Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food. Searles Flourish provides plants with fast-acting nutrients for better growth and flowering. Apply at planting time and continue every 2-3 weeks, especially prior to flowering.

Another fertiliser to use, which promotes strong healthy growth, helps protect roses from fungal diseases and temperature extremes, is SeaMax Organic Fertiliser. SeaMax is fully organic, also endorsed by the Qld Rose Society, may be applied to the leaves and/or soil. Try alternating between the two fertilisers every 2-3 weeks for best results.


Check the plant label for watering directions. It is important to get the balance right. Too much water and the soil will be waterlogged, leading to root rot. Not enough watering and the leaves tips will start to brown and growth will be poor.

Regular watering of the soil at the base of the plant is ideal. Excessive watering encourages fungal diseases like blackspot and powdery mildew to thrive in moist, wet conditions.

Be mindful to adjust your watering regime throughout the different seasons. Increase watering during hot summer days and reduce during the winter months.

Look out for water repellent soil. Tired soils and potting mixes with infrequent watering may lead to hydrophobic soil. When the soil is watered and the water pools on top and doesn't soak into the soil, the soil is considered hydrophobic. Sprinkle Searles Penetraide Re-wetting Granules onto the soil to promote better water absorption. This is ideal for pots and garden beds, as its benefits last up to 12 months.

After each flush of flowering, be sure to prune back the finished flowers, as this helps promote more flowers and keep the bush compact. Prune bush hard in late winter for a spring burst of new blooms. Always clean your secateurs thoroughly as this may pass diseases onto your roses.

When new growth starts appearing in spring, keep an eye out for aphids as they love new growth and are likely to make an appearance along the stems and new buds. If your roses fall victim to insect troubles from aphids, thrips, mites and whitefly, then apply Searles Rose Pro or Searles Bug Beater, as directed to help combat and clear any problems quickly.

In times of humid and hot weather, fungal diseases like black spot and powdery mildew can proliferate quickly and cause leaf drop and stem dieback. Searles Rose Pro will also control black spot and powdery mildew and is a great trigger spray to have at the ready when troubles first appear.