How to care for roses!

Top Tips for Beautiful Roses

Soil, compost, mulching and feeding

Roses are hungry plants and really need a well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, so planting in the right compost is an important first step. Levington’s Rose, Tree & Shrub compost contains nutrients and water-retaining agents that help with fast root establishment, plus it works to improve poor soils with a combination of peat and organic recycled materials. Mulching, ideally in the Autumn, is also helpful for keeping moisture in the ground and preventing fungal problems like rust and black spot. We recommend putting down a 2-3 inch thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant every Autumn.

Container-planted roses need a little more TLC because they are essentially trapped in their pots, and depend on you to provide them with the nutrients they need to thrive. We would suggest feeding them with a slow-release plant food, such as Miracle-Gro Rose & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food, once in the Spring, and again after they have flowered to give them a boost for more flowers later in the Summer.

Planting and watering

Roses always flower best in full sun, so choose your site carefully. Dig a good-sized hole or choose a good-sized pot with room for growth, incorporate some farmyard manure or Rose, Tree and Shrub Compost into the existing soil, and then just before you put your rose in, add some Rootgrow, a beneficial fungi which is a little miracle worker in getting your plants to establish faster and better. Backfill with compost, and water in very well. Roses do have a high water requirement, so make sure you water very well a couple of times a week, rather than giving them a little bit more frequently.




Pruning and deadheading

Prune and deadhead in Spring before the new growth starts. If you haven’t pruned roses before, take a look at the RHS website, which has excellent detailed instructions on how and when to prune the different varieties. Then when your roses start to flower in the Summer, keep them deadheaded regularly, which will encourage more flowers later in the summer. Don’t forget, a really good, sharp pair of secateurs, like the Wilkinson Sword Bypass secateurs are essential.





Roses are unfortunately prone to fungal diseases, particularly blackspot, rust and mildew, all of which look unsightly and weaken the plant. Prevention is better than cure, so as soon as they start to leaf up, spray every 2-3 weeks with RoseClear Ultra 2 to keep the plants free of infection. It also has the added bonus of dealing with any aphids, which tend to attack the soft new shoots in May and June.

In the Autumn make sure that you clear away any fallen leaves, bag them up and throw them away rather than compost them, and then put down a mulch around the plant, which traps any fungal spores under the mulch, and prevents them re-infecting the plant the following Spring.