How to grow roses in Perth

Growing roses in Perth

Roses are a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. It’s no surprise that roses are one of the world’s favourite flowers. Known for their stunning blooms many roses also have a beautiful fragrance. Roses are very adaptable and can be planted into pots, stand-alone in the garden, climbing up a fence or archway, and look terrific lining a driveway – there are different types of roses to suit every spot in your garden.

If you have ever wondered how to grow roses in Perth then look no further. Roses are a mildly tricky flower to grow, and there are a few tricks to successfully growing roses in Perth, Western Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.

When to plant roses in Perth:

Winter is the best time of the year to plant roses. Whilst you can plant anytime of the year, as a broad rule the hotter it gets the less successful you will be.

Planting roses in late autumn or early winter allows your them to develop their root system. In the spring, these roots are better able to sustain the rose’s growth and can develop further in warmer conditions. This should enable strong flowering in your roses first season in the garden.

Where do roses grow best?

Roses grow best in full sun location with moist, well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. Make sure your roses get at least 6 hours of direct sun a day; less light, and your roses won’t bloom as well and will be more susceptible pest and disease.

How much water do roses need?

Roses are relatively thirsty. When establishing roses in year one they require 10 litres of water, two to three times a week. Once your rose plants are established, they will only require one deep soak per week in the cooler months. Increase this to twice per week during summer months.

Types of roses in Perth, WA:

Below is a list of disease-resistant rose varieties, perfect for WA conditions. These varieties will be available at specialist rose nurseries or you can ask your local garden centre to order them for you.

A few of my favourite varieties of roses in Perth;

Best cut flower rose varieties

  • Mr Lincoln rose – Mr Lincoln is a hybrid tea with very fragrant dark red flowers and tall upright growth.
  • Eiffel Tower rose – An exceptionally long stemmed pink rose with very good fragrance. Buds are long and elegantly formed.
  • Just Joey rose – Just Joey is a large decorative coppery orange coloured rose, it buff blooms with waved and frilled petals. The unique coloured flowers are sweetly scented. One of the World’s favourite roses, inducted into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1994.

Best shrub roses

  • Mutabilis rose – Mutabilis know for it’s attractive large loose sprayed flowers of ever-changing shades, from brick-red buds to biscuit-buff enriched to bronze pink and red in the sun.
  • Abraham Darby rose – Abraham Darby is a large shrub rose variety with many-petalled flowers of apricot to yellow.
  • Iceberg rose – Iceberg was introduced over 40 years ago by Kordes and is still one of the most popular roses. Pure white double blooms are produced continuously all season. A healthy bush ideal for massed display, also popular as a standard.

Best climbing roses

  • Pierre de Ronsard rose – One of the most popular climbing roses. Also known as Eden Rose. White to pale pink blooms deepening to carmine in the centre. Flowers freely and repeatedly.
  • Lamarque rose – Lamarque is a very fragrant, double white and lemon centre rose variety. Clusters of blooms on semi-trailing shoots; Height to 3 metres, more robust in warmer climates like WA. Can be used as a large climber or shrub.

Small rose varieties

  • Marie Pavie rose – Marie Pavie is a white to pale pink flowered rose. An antique rose with few thorns, blooming fragrantly all year long.
  • Courage rose – Courage is an upright, deciduous shrub rose with thorny stems bearing pinnate leaves divided into ovate, toothed, matte, dark green leaflets and large, lightly fragrant, double, red flowers.
  • Gold Bunny rose – The soft gold blooms are fairly large and of classic shape. They are borne almost continuously on a compact light green bush up to 80 cm high, in small clusters on medium stems, making it ideal as a bedding rose.
  • Angel Face rose – Angel Face is a floribunda with highly fragrant mauve flowers and bushy growth. Feature flowers that appear in clusters. They tend to be smaller, bushier and less prone to sprawling.
  • Pope Paul II rose – Pope Paul II is known for producing luminous, pristine, lavishly petalled blossoms. This elegant rose grows in the Vatican’s private garden and has won trophies and medals all around the world for fragrance and disease resistance.
  • China Doll rose – Climbing Rose China Doll is a beautiful almost thornless climber that will flower continuously through the season. Large clusters of small pink double flowers will smother the dark green arching canes from early Spring until early Winter.
  • Flower Carpet rose – Flower Carpet are the one of the most popular flat ground covering rose. Being a very low maintenance and disease resistant plant makes them very desirable in any garden.

How to grow roses from cutting:

Take rose cuttings from strong, healthy plants during morning hours, when they’re well hydrated. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a stem or stems between a withered bloom and the rose’s woody base. One stem will make several cuttings.
  2. Remove the bloom and stem tip. Cut at a 45-degree angle, right above the first set of leaves at the top and again above the last set of leaves at the stem’s bottom. Put cut stems in water immediately.
  3. Cut each stem into 15- to 20cm lengths, so that each cutting has four “nodes” — that’s where leaves emerge on stems. Keep cuttings moist at all times.
  4. Remove all the leaves except one set at the top of each cutting. This helps cuttings root and helps you gauge their progress.
  5. Pour a small amount of rooting hormone into the dish. Pour only what you need, and discard the excess when you’re done.
  6. Moisten the cutting’s bottom half, and dip it into the rooting hormone until covered.
  7. Use a stick to make a planting hole 3 to 4 inches deep in your rooting bed or container. Make it big enough so you can insert the cutting without brushing off the hormone.
  8. Stick the cutting into the hole so its bottom half and at least two nodes are covered,1 and then firm the soil around it.

Growing roses in pots:

You don’t need a large space to have your very own rose garden. Growing roses in pots is easy, fun and rewarding! In general growing roses in pots is a great idea. Below are the steps on how to how to grow roses in a pot;

  1. Choose a pot that is at least 50cm wide and deep (miniature roses can grow in a smaller pot).
  2. Position the pot in a full sun location.
  3. Fill with quality potting mix. Remove and/or push soil to the side to create a planting hole. Use the excess soil to create a mound in the centre of the hole.
  4. Remove the rose from its pot or packaging, prune off any damaged or broken roots. Evenly spread the roots over the mound.
  5. Back fill hole with potting mix, ensuring the graft union is 5cm above the top of the soil. Firm the soil and water well.
  6. Once shoots or leafy growth starts to appear, feed weekly with a liquid plant food for roses.
  7. Cut flowers to enjoy inside the home and remove spent flowers – this will help promote more blooms.
  8. Prune roses back by two-thirds in winter, removing dead branches and any stems growing inwards – an open, vase shape will help with light and air circulation.
  9. Roses have large root systems, so it’s ideal to re-pot every couple of years into larger pots to prevent them becoming root-bound.

When do roses bloom in Perth:

In mild areas the big spring flush of rose blooming comes between mid-October and mid-November, although this varies with climatic conditions. When removing faded flowers there is no need to cut lower than the uppermost strong well-developed eye which points outward on the plant.

What is the best fertiliser for roses:

Once new growth appears in early spring, feed weekly throughout the growing season with a complete fertiliser. I recommend using a liquid fertiliser which has been specifically designed for roses. It should be high in potassium to encourage flowering.

My recommendation is Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

When to prune roses in Perth, Western Australia:

This is the part of growing roses that often frightens beginners but if you follow these tips on when to prune your roses and you’ll be fine:

  • Prune roses in winter, when dead hanging occurs and then a light pruning after flowering throughout the year. (There are exceptions to the rule above with some winter flowering roses so seek some advice before pruning if unsure).
  • Always use sharp, well-cleaned secateurs to prevent any disease.
  • A pruning saw may be required in order to remove old hard wood.
  • Always wear protective gloves.
  • Remove all old and unproductive wood from the rose bush – cut those brunches off at ground level or at the point where they join the main stem (don’t be shy).
  • Canes that are unproductive can be pruned back to just above the healthy branch.
  • Stems should be cut just above an outward facing, healthy stem at an angle sloping away from the bud.
  • Don’t remove any of the pink water shoots which will provide new flowering canes – these can be pruned next season if requires.
  • When pruning, try to maintain a good shape.

Pruning roses on a regular basis will ensure that the rose bush is healthier and remain at a more manageable size. With this in mind you can safely choose to prune back a rose bush to as much as one third of its size.

Companion plants for roses:

A range of things make for wonderful companion plants for roses. Some of my favourite companion plants for roses include; Mini agapanthus, Erysimum, Pansies, Petunias, Violets, Swan River Daisy, Strawberries, Gerbera, Daylilies, Bearded Iris, Statice, Baby’s Breath and Delphinium.

Where to buy roses in Perth:

A large majority of rose root stock here in WA originates from South Australia. The rich loam, well irrigated South Australia soil is the ideal place for establishing new roses. The root ball of these roses are then wrapped in a sawdust mixture and placed into a plastic bag for transportation to WA (and other states).

You can find roses easily in winter in Perth garden retailers, supermarkets and hardware stores like Bunnings.

Common problems with roses:

Common pests of roses are Aphids, Thrips, Mealybugs and Caterpillars, all these pests are easily controlled with your choice of Insect Killer.

Control scale with a Pest Oil during the growing season, and a Lime Sulfur during the dormant periods.

Check out our other how to grow in Perth guides:

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