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RosesRoses are still, despite some heavy competition, just about the most popular garden flower around and this is the perfect time to add them to your collection, as both bare rooted and container grown plants are in the market now.

Prices per plant vary tremendously depending on whether they are bare rooted, bushes, climbers, miniatures, ramblers or shrub roses grown from imported or local stock.

When selecting rose plants, each one should be checked thoroughly for any sign of damage, disease or pests; anything the slightest bit suspect should be avoided otherwise you may end up taking home far more than you bargained for!
Choose only perfectly healthy plants which show clear evidence of vigour, and no matter how enticing a bloom happens to be, never select weak growing plants over strong ones.

The majority of buyers opt for rose bushes already full of flowers which, while amply demonstrating promised joys, is a mistake as all of these existing flowers, along with excess growth, should be pruned off before the plants are put in the ground or in prepared pots. Roses must be pruned fairly hard back when transplanted otherwise they use so much energy in trying to retain top growth that their ability to redevelop a strong root system is adversely affected.

A mix of 60% sweet earth, 20% organic compost and 20% old, well rotted, organic manure is ideal whether the roses are to be grown directly in the ground or in pots. Pot size is dependent on the type of roses under cultivation, with miniature bushes obviously being quite at home in much smaller clay pots than a shrub rose which will reach a large size on maturity.

Planting distances in the ground also vary according to type, so check with your nursery when purchasing roses with which to glorify your garden.

– B Khan

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on Jab 6, 2013.