T & C’s – Rose breeding talk event & winning of a rose naming

TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

1. Tickets

A ticket purchased is valid for 1 person only and is non-refundable once purchased. 

Should the person fail to attend the talk/event the person will still stand a chance to win the prize and will be notified accordingly.

Prizes are not transferable, cannot be deferred or exchanged for cash and are not negotiable.

2. Eligibility

The ticket sales are open to all purchasers who are natural persons.

Employees of Ludwig’s Roses and immediate family and household members are not eligible to receive the prize.

3. Ticket Sale Period

The ticket sales will run until 9am on 8.October 2017.

4. How to purchase tickets

Submission will be through the platform as described on event marketing.

5. Ticket Sale & Prize Requirements

5.1 A valid payment must be made.

5.2 The name suggested for the rose must be of a natural person or business. Participants may suggest an individual’s name or their business representative.

5.3 The chosen name may consist of the person’s name and surname, The name should consist of 2 words only. It may however consist of name only or name and addition (for e,g Jilly Jewel).

5.4 The judge’s decision on the winner, prize and naming is final.

5.5 The name may not violate any third party rights, included but not limited to copyrights, trademark rights or rights of privacy and publicity.

5.6 By purchasing a ticket and standing a chance to win the rose naming, you represent that the submission does not infringe upon or violate the intellectual property, privacy, or other rights of any third party.

5.7 The name may not contain defamatory words.

5.8 The name may not violate, be obscene or indecent.

5.9 Ticket purchasers agree that the inability to publish an entry, or the obscenity, fraudulent nature or invalidity of registration information (as determined by Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty Ltd., at their sole discretion) will render the corresponding ticket purchase void and no refund will be made on the ticket sale.

6. Rights to Entries

By submitting an entry, you:

6.1 Irrevocably grant Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty Ltd and its Sponsors, its agents, licensees, and assigns the unconditional and perpetual right and permission to copy, publish, post and adapt, in any social media and any other form, throughout the world without additional review, compensation, or approval from you or any other party, the name provided. Prize winners may be required to have their details disclosed and appear on radio, television, the Internet or in printed publications.

6.2 Agree not to instigate, support, maintain, or authorize any action, claim, or lawsuit against Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty and/or the Sponsor on the grounds that any use of the entry, name or any derivative works, infringes any of your rights, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademark rights, and moral rights.

6.3 make no monetary claims for sales of the rose or breeder’s royalties or name royalties for the prize received.

7. Winner selection

The selection process will be by Lucky Draw. The winning entry will be announced directly to winner and on FB as soon as the draw has taken place.

8. Prizes
8.1 Prize claim deadline: 14 (fourteen) days after the delivered notification.
8.2 If the notification is returned as undeliverable, and/or if no response is received to anja@ludwigsroses.co.za within the specified prize claim deadline, we may award the prize to the next in-line winner or determine an alternative potential winner.

9. Conduct

By purchasing an event ticket and participating in Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty Ltd event, each entrant agrees to abide by these Terms and Conditions and the decisions of the Sponsor, Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty Ltd and Judges, which are final and legally binding as they pertain to the prize giving. Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty Ltd reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the ticket purchasing process or the operation of the event or the web site or to be acting in violation of the T&C’s. Ludwig’s Rose Farm Pty Ltd. reserves the right to lock out an entrant whose eligibility is in question or who has been disqualified or is otherwise ineligible to enter.

10. Disclaimer and Force Majeure

Ludwig’s Roses, Sponsor, and the other Promotion Entities are not responsible for:

10.1 typographical errors in any materials relating to the event
10.2 lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete, or delayed entries
10.3 cancellations, postponements, or delays
10.4 Acts of God, war, terrorism, government regulation, disaster, fire, strikes, civil disorder
10.5 unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the event
10.6 electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the event or the processing of ticket purchasing and entries
10.7 or any other causes beyond such parties’ control, making it inadvisable, illegal, impossible, or impractical to continue with the event and prize giving or to perform under these T&C’s.

10.8 Ludwig’s Roses reserve the right to cancel the event and prize at any time, if deemed necessary in their opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of their control and shall not be liable in anyway whatsoever to entrants in such event for any cause or action whatsoever.

China

Highlights of the World Rose Convention held in China 2016.

Photos by Ludwig Taschner

China Opening Ceremony (2)

Opening Ceremony for China World Rose Congress 2016

China Opening Ceremony (4)

Opening Ceremony of China World Rose Congress 2016

China Opening Ceremony (14)

Opening Ceremony of China World Rose Congress 2016

China Opening Ceremony (16)

Opening Ceremony of China World Rose Congress 2016

China Opening Ceremony (23)

Opening Ceremony of China World Rose Congress 2016

China Opening Ceremony (25)

Opening Ceremony of China World Rose Congress 2016

China Opening Ceremony (32)

Wall of Fame – Opening Ceremony of China World Rose Congress 2016

China Rose Museum (3)

Rose Museum of China

China Rose Museum (6)

Rose Museum of China

China Rose Museum (9)

Rose Museum of China – ROSA/SOuth Africa is mentioned

China Rose Museum (10)

Rose Museum of China – art in action exhibited

China Rose Museum (11)

Rose Museum of China – life size sculptures of rosarians

China Rose Show (1)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (4)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (8)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (9)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (10)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (11)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (13)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (15)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (18)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (19)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (20)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (21) - Copy

Rose Show

China Rose Show (24)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (26) - Copy

Rose Show

China Rose Show (29) - Copy

Rose Show

China Rose Show (30)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (31) - Copy

Rose Show

China Rose Show (32)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (33)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (37)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (35)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (38)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (40)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (41)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (43)

Rose Show

China Rose Show (44)

Rose Show

China view to convention centre (2)

View of the convention centre

 

EXHIBITING ROSES

by Ludwig Taschner

Just like playing cricket, rugby, soccer, golf and tennis and taking cats, dogs, rabbits and doves to be judged in shows was developed in Great Britain so was the exhibiting of roses.  Playing soccer, golf and tennis were adopted in most countries of the world, whereas cricket, rugby, cat, dog and rose shows remained very much a domain in countries with a strong English influence.

As is the case with playing sport, it only becomes interesting with the setting up and observing rules. The more intricate the better.

The exhibiting of roses became a mania in England in the latter 1800 and lasted for a century. An aspect that let to this mania was that anyone could take a hand in growing and grooming a  “perfect” rose. A commoner with a small garden as much as a wealthy landowner aiming for the coveted “Best Rose on Show”.

The varieties that produced champion blooms or “queen of show” received all the publicity and rose nurseries concentrated in propagating such varieties and breeders of new roses selected novelty varieties with traits and qualities to produce winning blooms. Every trick in growing was used. Varieties which only produced super exhibition blooms with constant care and grooming were preferred since this cut out a great many competitors who did not have the knowhow, patience nor the funds to purchase the various chemicals for fertilising and pest and disease control.  The dominance of “exhibition varieties” carried on until three decades ago, when flowering performance and ease of growing became the deciding factors for a good rose. ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘Iceberg’ are typical examples. Of course, classes and rules where soon adopted to allow blooms of these varieties onto the show benches.

My first introduction of rose competitions was in 1961/62 in England working for John Waterer’s – The Floral Mile near Twyford, Berkshire.  The company, at the time one of the largest mail order nurseries in the UK , exhibited at Chelsea not with roses , but Irises, Peonies, Azaleas and most spring flowering shrubs and trees  and with roses at all major rose shows held in July and September.  I could not believe my eyes seeing tables and tables packed with tubular vases each displaying an individual blooms. The jubilation and disappointments after judging that took place was just as amazing. To me all roses exhibited were beautiful. A new aspect of my “rose education” started – looking for blemishes. Obviously, the exhibitors were all experts and only blooms of the highest standard were placed.  I quickly realised the reason why loose petalled varieties like ‘Sutter’s Gold’, ‘Virgo’, ‘Charles Mallerin’ and ‘Grandmere Jenny’ were overlooked by many visitors to the Waterer’s stand. Since then, when walking through rose fields, parks and gardens my eyes are drawn to blooms with a typical exhibition shape with a high pointed centre and lots of reflexing petals.

Visitors, or rather potential customers to Buss Nurseries in Pretoria quickly realised that this young German chap actually knew what they were looking for. In the early sixties there were very few garden centres and roses had to be ordered for supplying as bare root plants in winter.  I very soon got to know the keen exhibitors living in the Vaal Triangle. Amongst them most of the founder’s of ROSA  Dr Fred Ziady, Dr Bokkie van der Spuy, Attie van Zyl, Dick Lindner, Dr Saville come to mind.  In those days Spring and Autumn Flower Shows were organised by the various Horticultural Societies filling the town or city halls with flowers.  Fred Ziady and wife Ray would rise very early on the second Saturday in October drive to Benoni stage their roses at the show, on to Brakpan to do the same and on to Johannesburg City Hall. The flower Show in Pretoria was always held a week earlier. Too early for the exhibitors living on the Rand to have their blooms ready.

In those years Willie Krause of Eden Rose Nurseries in Noorder Paar catered for the keen exhibitors in the Western Cape,  Christian Muller of Floradale Nurseries in East London and Jesmond Dene as  well as Olivier Nurseries (later bought out by Lyn Keppler to become Star Rose Nurseries) in New Germany, Natal.  I must not omit to mention Jan Herholdt of  Herholdt’s Nurseries in Eikenhof who was the representative for many breeders and of course Meilland and who did breeding on his own, notably ‘Mimi Coertse’  and ‘Nightingale’. The latter became a prominent exhibition variety in the UK although due to a mix up by famous Harry Wheatcroft, it was known as ‘Gary Player’.

I was asked to judge for the first time in 1969 together with no lesser than Sam McGredy at the Star Rose Show in the City Hall of Johannesburg in December. Not to clash with the Flower Shows organised by the Horticultural Societies in Spring and Autumn, the Rose Societies had to find a suitable timing in-between. There were always three judges and a steward eliminating personal preferences. In the seventies I travelled often to the Flower Shows in Johannesburg to judge and received a cheque for R 2.50 for travelling expense. Mind you, this did buy 25 litres of petrol.

Rose judges in SA assessed in accordance to rules set up and printed in the UK and the USA.  However, in our hot climate exhibitors could not take the chance of displaying blooms too far developed. Often in the hot halls such blooms would open up losing their pointed centre before the judges arrived and blooms had to be at a more immature stage and of course varieties with too few petals had no chance. Willy Stegeman of the Western Cape Rose Society compiled the first judging manual in South Africa which was eventually adopted by the other rose societies in South Africa. That was in the days before our Federation.  I remember the argument we had at one time that I was asked to judge in Cape Town.  We were three teams of two judges who then had to come together and decide on the best rose on show. The other teams had found two blooms of ‘Carlita’ to be tops and I had a hard time persuading my partner judge Willy Stegeman to  go for two blooms of almost equal quality of ‘National Trust’,  entered, I think, by Dick Lindner. Of course, I like star shaped blooms with the petals reflecting to a sharp point. After discussions between the 6 judges it was then agreed to make a ‘Carlita’ queen of Show and a ‘National Trust’ the runner up. I argued that even that was not fair. If the one ‘Carlita’ was first the other one of virtual equal quality had to be second and ‘National Trust’ third or the other way around.

Since, I have judged in New Zealand, the UK, Argentine and the USA. Often I could not agree with the decisions by the local judges. It is never easy. In the US today one talks about the stem war. Stems shorter than 70 to 80 cm with magnificently polished leaves, but to my mind a bit out of proportion, have no chance of winning.

With the experience I gained from exhibitions and judging I obviously selected many new rose varieties with those qualities. Rose exhibitors in the USA soon discovered that Ludwig’s Roses in Pretoria had superb exhibition varieties, that did well in hot climates and most of all could not so easily gotten hold of. We exported rose plants until sanctions put a stop to it. At one time of the 20 top exhibition varieties as published in The American Rose, half were named by me. ‘Elegant Beauty’,  ‘Lynette’, ‘Nightingale’, ‘Rina Hugo’, ‘Esther Geldenhuys’, ‘Andrea Stelzer’, ‘Helen Naude’, ‘Delicate Beauty’, ‘Brides Dream’,’ Bles Bridges’, are some of them.

About twenty years ago the experienced exhibitors of ROSA amended the guide lines of judging roses set out by Willie Stegeman and these were approved by the ROSA council for judging roses in South Africa.  Prof Johan Moll did some sterling work on compiling a manual on the exhibiting of roses in both official languages, inclusive of the Heritage roses and this was published in the ROSA ANNUAL 2001. Amendments were made very recently.

shapes

shapes2

However, with all these rules and pointing systems to hand, judging will never be free of that certain bit of individual preference. Many, many years ago it sort of was jokingly said that if Barney Ziady is the judge, make sure you enter blooms of ‘White Christmas’, although he was known to favour the star shaped blooms of ‘Ann Letts’ just as much.  With two blooms of equal quality with regard to stem, leaves, freshness, shape size, the star shaped bloom will give me a nudge, although I have also put up an argument with fellow judges to let a ‘Just Joey’ win.

It was like in the old days in early November when Lizette du Plessis from Hennenman, who had “cleaned up” a week before at the rose show in Bloemfontein’ visited our rose farm looking for new exhibition varieties.  I should not let out which varieties she choose giving her the edge for next year’s show. (in 1963 at Buss Nurseries we had a batch of about 25 plants of the new yellow HT ‘Golden Sun’ in the field. Bokkie van der Spuy came to look at new rose varieties, saw them and the obvious qualities as an exhibition variety and he paid for all plants on the spot for reason that we would not sell any of these plants to other exhibitors for that year. Needless to say, he won many prizes with blooms of ‘Golden Sun’ the next spring. We had taken the hint and budded lots from the 25 plants and had good stock for the year thereafter when every exhibitor would pay anything to get hold of plants of this variety. Three years later ‘Kings Ransom’ arrived and ‘Golden Sun’ plants were shovel pruned by most exhibitors).  Oh yes, look out for ‘Salmon and Moonlit Spire’, ‘Anne Lorentz’, ‘Hestrie’, Lollipop’ and if Marie Favard, who managed our Winelands rose centre, is asked to judge – ‘Avant Garde’ will be it.

On the more serious side of rose exhibiting, no doubt it has lost its popularity it used to have. However, with generous prize money as is the case in Bloemfontein many more gardeners are enticed to bring their blooms and the same applies now to Flower and Rose shows organised by local garden clubs or Tuinbouverenigings in the Platteland.  Recently, I judged  in Standerton and Fouriesburg and was impressed with the many entries. A problem exists with the classes set out by the organisers. ROSA should compile a database of the very many garden clubs, etc. and make sure that the organisers are in possession of the approved classes with explanations and sketches of what is expected.

One stem of a Hybrid Tea is usually understood. Blooms cut from climbers i.e. ‘Isidingo’, ‘Aperitif’ or ‘Compassion’ should are acceptable in that class, as well as any blooms from the Spire(R)  range.

When it comes to Floribundas it get’s confusing. It should actually state Clusters. There are many floribunda varieties which do not produce clusters and it is impossible for a judge to make a decision between a huge cluster of ‘Simplicity’ against a single bloom of ‘Fidelio’ or ‘Friesia’. Clusters cut from suitable climbers or ‘Duet’ are acceptable in this class.

Another nightmare for a judge is “three stems of floribundas in different opening stages.

When it comes to exhibits with  single blooms i.e. ‘Dainty Bess’ again it needs to be stated if it has to be a cluster and if it is strictly blooms with 5 petals or up to 9 petals. I will be happy to see Climbing Cocktail included in this class.

Miniatures classes too need to be much more specified.

It should be stems with one large bloom

Stems of one small  bloom

Stems with clusters

Exhibiting and judging roses with nostalgic flower shapes is again very difficult deciding between deep cup, open cup, pompom, rosette or quartered shapes. These may be stems and blooms cut from Heritage roses, Antico Moderno(R), Panarosa(R) and Fairy Tale(R) roses.  In regions were the growing of Heritage roses is prevalent one could have classes for specific types or varieties or the different flower shapes.

And of course it should be stated that the roses to be exhibited where grown outdoor. Over the last two decades there has been a swing in the commercial production from small flowered cut roses to large flowering cut roses. The breeders followed suit and there is at present an incredibly wide range of hybrid tea varieties with breath taking flower shapes available. Unfortunately most do not show their true beauty since they are harvested too early and will not open to perfection in a vase. By keeping them for some days longer on the bushes in the green house no judge would be able to pick out the champion – they are that perfect and that many.

Top Exhibition roses

Vrouefederasie Roos ‘Vrouefederasie Roos’

Five Roses ‘Five Roses’

Beauty from Within ‘Beauty From Within’

Andrea Stelzer, bloom ‘Andrea Stelzer’

 

Pernicious scale

Introduction

Pernicious scale is a sedentary sucking insect that inserts its tiny, straw-like mouthparts into the bark of rose stems, weakening growth and reducing sap flow. In extreme cases, whole stems can die-back but in small, isolated numbers they do not pose a real threat to the rose.

Their presence is a sign of plant stress which in most cases is due to a lack of water, poor soil conditions or root competition.

Improving growing conditions will significantly reduce the rose’s vulnerability to scale infestation particularly during hot dry weather.

Description

They are such oddly shaped and immobile insects that they often resemble shell-like bumps rather than a pest. Diaspidiotus perniciosus bugs are between 1.5 and 2 millimeters in diameter. Adult female scales have long, thin brownish/red, segmented and wingless bodies covered by a brown circular protective waxy shell. The waxy scale, made from body secretions and molted skins, adheres strongly to the stem and not to the insect itself – this method of self-protection makes the female immobile but virtually impenetrable to natural enemies and chemical sprays.

Pinhead sized nymphs “crawlers”, resembling mites, usually travel a short distance up the stem after hatching and begin feeding – within a short period of time, the female “crawlers” begin producing a shell of their own.

Adult male scales appear as tiny gnat-like insects with a pair of wings and long antennae and are white or yellow in colour. They have a very short lifecycle (about 2 days long) as such they are rarely seen on the plants.

Damage

 

 

 

Both adult females and nymph feed on plant sap from rose canes and sometimes leaves. The insect injects saliva into the plant with its piercing-sucking mouthparts which breaks the plant cells down – the resultant sap is then ingested.

Infestation initially starts at the base of the older stems and slowly moves upwards as nymphs hatch and migrate higher up the stem. Severe infestations will cause significant sap loss and plant vigour. Lower leaves may drop or become brown prematurely causing partial defoliation. Vastly infected stems and twigs can die-back completely. Should growing conditions not be improved the entire plant can die.

 

Environmental Conditions

Scale insects are more prevalent during hot dry periods and plants that are under stress are more prone to their infestation. The stress is usually caused by lack of water, excessive root competition or poor drainage.

Check that the plants are getting enough deep regular watering – between 5 -8 litres of water 3 times a week in Summer. If red spider infestations are often a problem, then a lack of water may likely be the main cause of the scale infestation as well.

If watering is not a problem, check soil quality and for signs of root competition: Working about 25cm away from the stems, dig to a depth of about 20 -30cm around the bush to inspect the soil. Ascertain the quality of the soil, is the soil porous and soft? Or is it hard or very clay? Adding copious quantities of coarse organic matter to the soil will improve drainage and water retention at the same time. See more http://www.ludwigsroses.co.za/how-to-grow-roses/soil-preparation/

Are the roses closely planted to large shrubs or trees? Are there plants creating a hedge in front or behind the roses? Are there lots of visible roots in the soil? This is usually the tell-tale sign of unfavourable root competition. Trees and shrub have a tendency to grow a mat of roots above the rose’s roots enabling them to ‘steal’ food and water that was destined for the rose. Dig a drench between the roses and trees/shrubs in an effort to sever the encroaching roots. This needs to be repeated every 6 months at least. (Planting roses in large 40 litre plastic planting bags and sinking them into the ground will offer long term root protection.) Watering the shrubs or trees will also reduce root competition as they will be less likely to go ‘look’ for water elsewhere.

Life Cycle, Survival and Dispersal

Adult females keep their eggs under their waxy coverings for protection until they hatch, they over-winter on the plant in the same way. It usually takes about a month from birth to adulthood and there are usually 3 or 4 generations per annum.

Eggs develop under the body of the female and emerge as young larvae. The mother produces young continuously for a 6 week period and up to 600 young may be produced. The female nymphs, which are wingless and termed ‘crawlers’, are not visible to the naked eye but resemble mites under a magnifying glass. Crawlers usually settle on a new feeding spot after half a day. Approximately 12 hours after feeding is initiated, they start to secrete wax, which will eventually become its protective scale. They lose their legs in the first molting. They remain sessile for rest of their lives. The immature males mature into mobile adults – develop wings and are dispersed mostly by wind.

Treatment and Prevention

NATURAL PREVENTION

Rose plants that are under stress are more prone to infestation. The stress will usually be caused by lack of water, excessive root competition or poor drainage. Ensuring optimal growing conditions will be the most effective measure in preventing infestation. (See Environmental Conditions above for more information)

For a light infestation on a few roses – simply wipe the scales off with an old toothbrush.

Cut away severely infected stems and throw away them away – do not discard on the compost heap.

Minimising the use of harmful general insecticides will encourage natural predators such as ladybirds

PESTICIDES

After winter pruning spray with a double dose of LUDWIGS ORGANIC INSECT SPRAY (10ml in 1 Litre of water)

References

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7408.html

http://www.learn2grow.com/problemsolvers/insectsanimals/insectdamagecontrol/scale.aspx

http://www.kzndae.gov.za/Portals/0/production%20guidelines/AppleIPDM.pdf

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/plant_pests/flowers/hgic2107.html

 

Spider Mite or Red Spider

Introduction

Spider mites are small arachnids related to spiders and are common in hot and dry conditions.

Roses under heat and drought stress are particularly vulnerable to attack, special attention should be given to roses in pots during particularly hot periods to avoid infestation.

This pest feeds and breeds on the underside of rose leaves. The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, is orange, green, or yellow, with two dark spots on the sides of the body. They have a rasping mouthpart with which it pierces the epidermis of the leaf causing leaves to appear yellow or bronze. During severe infestations webbing over blooms, stems and leaves is visible. Defoliation of especially the lower leaves occurs if left untreated. Extreme infestation and continued drought conditions can cause the entire plant to die.

Description

To the naked eye, when exposing the underside of the yellowing leaf to sunlight, the two-spotted spider mites look like tiny, moving dots; however, you can easily see them with a 10X hand lens. Like spiders, mites have two body segments and eight legs. Adult females, the largest forms, are less than 1mm long. Spider mites live in colonies, mostly on the under surfaces of leaves; a single colony may contain hundreds of individuals. The name “spider mite” comes from the silk webbing that this species produces on infested leaves. The presence of webbing is an easy way to distinguish them from all other types of small insects such as aphids and thrips, which can also infest leaf undersides.

Adult mites have eight legs and an oval body with two red eyespots near the head end. Females usually have a large, dark blotch on each side of the oval body and numerous bristles covering the legs and body. Immatures resemble adults (except they are much smaller), and the newly hatched larvae have only six legs. The other immature stages have eight legs. Eggs are spherical and translucent, like tiny droplets, becoming cream coloured before hatching.

Damage

Tell tale signs of spider mite on rose leaf

Spider mite on rose stem cut wound

Spider mite on underside of rose leaf

Spider mite web on leaf

Extreme spider mite infestation with a web over the bloom

Drought stressed plants are more prone to infestation. Spider mites cause damage by puncturing rose leaves with their slender, pointed mouth parts, sucking the chlorophyll-containing fluids from leaf cells. Older, lower leaves are more prone to attach and will show signs of infestation first. As numbers increase, the entire plant can become infected.

A small number of mites usually isn’t reason for concern, but very high populations—levels high enough to show visible damage to leaves—can damage plants and cause total defoliation.

At first, the damage shows up as a stippling of light dots on the lower leaves; sometimes the leaves take on a bronze colour. As feeding continues and the mites spread, the leaves turn yellowish or reddish, curl and drop off. Often, large amounts of webbing cover leaves, stems and blooms.

High infestation and eventual loss of leaves will severely affect the roses’ ability to photosynthesise, produce new growth and shade its stems from extreme heat which can lead to secondary problems such a sunburn and stem canker.

Environmental Conditions

Spider mite populations can build up tremendous numbers and can decimate roses in a very short time if the conditions are right and left untreated.

Their numbers increase rapidly during the hot summer months when plants become water and heat stressed.

Spider mites prefer hot, dry and dusty conditions so plants adjacent to dusty roadways or at margins of gardens where irrigation is inadequate are most susceptible. Poor air circulation due to overcrowded rose beds will also increase their numbers. Roses in pots are particularly susceptible to infestation during the hot summer months.

High humidity reduces their activity and subsequent threat and as such, overhead irrigation during dry periods is very beneficial in keeping populations in check.

Life Cycle, Survival and Dispersal

Life cycle spider mite

Figure 1 Spider mite life cycle. Development of a typical plant-feeding spider mite. The stage that hatches out of the egg is called a larva. Remaining immatures are nymphs.

In warm sup-tropical areas in South Africa, spider mites may feed and reproduce all year on roses that aren’t pruned or retain their green leaves throughout the winter. In colder areas, where roses are pruned and all remaining leaves are removed, red spider mite overwinter as red or orange mated females on surrounding plants and in ground litter and leaves. They begin feeding and laying eggs when warm weather returns in spring.

The mites go through 5 development stages, reproducing rapidly in hot weather. Egg to adult takes about 14 days at 21ºC, or less than a week at 30ºC. Spider mites commonly become numerous in December through to March

Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. Each adult female can produce more than 100 eggs in 3 weeks. They reproduce at alarming rates – 10 spider mite in December are capable of becoming 1,000 by January & 100,000 by February if left unhindered!

As foliage quality declines on heavily infested plants, female mites catch wind currents and disperse to other plants.

High mite populations may undergo a rapid decline in early autumn when predators overtake them, host plant conditions become unfavourable, and the weather turns cooler.

Treatment and Prevention

NATURAL PREVENTION

Since plants stressed by heat and drought are most vulnerable to attack, deep drenching, regular watering will prove most effective in keeping red spider mite at bay. Overhead irrigation during this time of year will be especially useful in keeping ambient temperatures lower and increasing humidity. A thick mulch of peanut shells, pine needles, bark or crushed apricot pips will retain moisture in the soil for longer and help keep the roses roots cool further minimising heat stress during the hot summer months. Avoid overcrowding rose beds where air circulation is limited.

Check that the irrigation reaches all areas of the rose bed, supplement by hand watering if necessary

Roses in pots should be watered on a daily basis – water pots until you see water seeping from the drainage holes. It is not recommended to place pots directly in drip-trays as this will hinder proper drainage, simply use ‘pot-feet’ or bricks to raise the container out of the drip tray.

Should infestation occur, use a high pressure jet of water and regularly spray the undersides of the rose leaves with water – this will render the leaves an unfavourable breeding ground and minimise heat stress.

PESTICIDES

Minimise the use of general insecticides as these products will greatly reduce natural predators of red spider mite.

Spray the underside of the leaves, concentrating on the older lower leaves then move upwards to the newer growth with Ludwig’s Organic Insect Spray. Spray at least twice, five days apart to control immature and adult mites. Use 50ml in 10 litres of water.

For high infestations use : Milbeknock, it will control all life stages – usually a single application will suffice. Use 12.5ml in 10L of water. Spray only when infestation is present and not as a preventative measure.

Or Ludwig’s Spider Spray – 5ml in 10L of water – control eggs and immatures – spray twice – seven days apart in hot weather. Spray only when infestation is present and not as a preventative measure.

Remember to read enclosed pamphlet for more detailed information on products and procedures.

References

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7405.html

http://www.defenders.co.uk/pest-problems/red-spider-mite.html

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=697

http://www.almanac.com/content/aphids

 

Aphids

Koinor is a systemic, contact, suspension concentrate insecticide for the control of various pests on plants. Its active ingredient is: Imidacloprid (chloronicotinyl) 350g/ℓ. It is easily applied as a drench. It is effective!

Introduction

Aphids on roses. Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphids on roses.
Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphids on rose stem. Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphids on rose stem.
Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphids, also known as greenfly and blackfly, are sap-sucking insects found on the roses’ soft new growth throughout the growing season. They can quickly reproduce, leading to massive infestations entirely covering new red shoots if left untreated. Easily managed and causing minimal damage in small numbers, their presence is more an unsightly nuisance rather than a real threat.

Description

White cast aphid skins on infested flower buds and leaves. Photo by Ludwig Taschner

White cast aphid skins on infested flower buds and leaves.
Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Winged adult aphid

Winged adult aphid

Aphids are tiny green and or pink pear-shaped insects with slender legs that live in colonies on the still developing flower buds and the underside of rose bush leaves.

They belong to a group of insects known as Hemiptera -the mouth parts of which are modified to form piercing and sucking tubes. This group of insects has an incomplete metamorphosis, there being no pupal stage but a series of moults in which the nymph gradually becomes a mature adult. As a result white cast aphid skins are often seen on infested flower buds and leaves.

Adults are usually wingless, but can develop a winged form seasonally or when populations become crowded, so that when food quality suffers, the insects can travel to other plants, reproduce, and start a new colony.

Aphids on new growth of roses

Aphids on new growth of roses

Damage

Aphid soot on rose leaf. Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphid soot on rose leaf.
Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphid soot on rose leaves. Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Aphid soot on rose leaves. Photo by Ludwig Taschner

Nymphs and adults feed on rose plant juices, attacking leaves, stems, buds and flowers. Most especially, they like succulent new red purplish growth.

Their sucking cause misshapen, curling or stunted new growth and leaves partly by the excessive removal of food that would otherwise pass to the growing leaves and partly by the digestive action of the saliva injected into the leaf or bud

Leaves and stems are often covered with a sticky substance called honeydew. This sugary liquid produced by the insects as waste, often attract other insects particularly ants, which gather the substance for food. The honeydew can sometimes develop a fungal growth called sooty mould, causing branches and leaves to appear black. Sooty Mould left unchecked, will greatly reduce the plants ability to photosynthesise.

Environmental Conditions

Aphid activity is influenced by the seasons in as much as the availability of food. They are more prevalent during spring and early summer simply due to the abundance of new soft plant material on which they feed.

Hot dry conditions can cause an influx in their population if plants are not watered well – plant stress causes a lowered sap flow, making the sap sweeter and more palatable to aphids – as a consequence these plants are more susceptible to infestation.

Life Cycle, Survival and Dispersal

Aphids usually overwinter on roses as eggs laid on the stems during the previous autumn. However, in sheltered places where roses are not pruned there may be active nymphs and adults all year round.

Aphid numbers start to increase in spring when roses produce new growth and reach a peak in early summer. During spring and summer, the aphids are mostly wingless forms, 2-4mm long, that give birth to live young.

Winged forms develop when plants are heavily infested and aphids need to migrate to new host plants.

Aphids reproduce asexually and sexually – generally producing more female aphids throughout the season.

When the weather is warm, aphids can develop from new born nymph to reproducing adult in seven to eight days. Because each adult aphid can produce up to 80 offspring in a matter of a week, aphid populations can increase with great speed if left unhindered.

Aphid life cycle

Aphid life cycle

Treatment and Prevention

NATURAL PREVENTION

Since aphids feed on soft new growth, vigilance during Spring and early Summer will prove beneficial in keeping their infestation in check.

Squashing the aphids with your fingers is the easiest but perhaps most gruesome way of controlling their numbers when only a stem or two are infected.

Using a high pressure jet of water will wash them off infected leaves and buds.

Minimising the use of harmful general insecticides will encourage natural predators such as ladybirds and parasitic wasp.

Ensuring that the plants are well watered and growing in a stress free environment will ensure optimal sap flow minimising sugar build up in the sap thus making the sap less attractive and palatable to aphids.

PESTICIDES

A spring drenching of a product such as Koinor or Merit (active ingredient: imidacloprid) will control aphids populations for much of the summer months. Use 2ml in 1 litre of water and pour around the base of a rose bush that is in production of new red growth.

Spray infected new growth with Ludwig’s Organic Insect Spray. A fortnightly spraying programme will help prevent future infestations. Use 5ml in 1 litre of water.

Rose Protector (5ml in 1 litre) will control aphids as well as Black Spot and Powdery Mildew.

References

http://www.biology-resources.com/aphid-01.html

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=697

http://www.almanac.com/content/aphids

 

Arranging with roses

Using garden roses for bridal bouquets

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Our ‘Antico Moderno’ roses mixed with hybrid teas and miniatures make for stunning table arrangements

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Vegetables & fruit make for interesting flower holders

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Using ‘greys’ as props and fillers

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All floral work done by Ludwig’s Roses.

Contact: Kora at 012 544 0144 or email emily@ludwigsroses.co.za for inquiries.

Cutting & arranging roses

Cutting & arranging roses is easy.

Ensuring a supply of rose blooms for home decoration is often a major incentive to gardeners to plant roses. Any of the various groups of roses can supply cut flowers, but the queen of cut flowers is the Hybrid Tea, which guarantees classically shaped blooms on long-stems. Alternatively, for nostagic shapes look at our Antico Modernos.

The Cut

It is important to refrain from cutting too many long-stemmed blooms in too short a period of time – the excessive loss of leaves and stems will disturb the sap flow and cause stress to the root system. A good principle is to cut the leading upper bloom approximately halfway down the stem, preferably above the fifth leaf. The bloom next to it is often the second tine of the fork and can be cut off at the point of branching. If the bush has many active, new shoots, the issue of leaving enough leaves behind is less important.

Bloom stage

The stage at which the bud or bloom is picked depends both on the variety and on personal preference. One soon learns that varieties such as ‘Johannesburg Sun’, ‘Monica’, ‘Summer Lady’ and ‘Cora Marie’ open their long, slender buds relatively quickly and should be cut when the petals are just starting to unfold. Large, full varieties such as ‘Just Joey’, ‘Double Delight’, ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Yankee Doodle’ should be cut as half-open blooms, or at least when the outer petals have fully unfolded.

After cutting care

Blooms can be picked at any time of the day or night. Have a container half filled with water close by; place blooms in it within a few minutes of picking. From the moment the cut is made, air instead of water is sucked into the stem. Trapped air in stems and leaves causes wilting even after the flower is placed in water. When enough blooms have been picked, top up the container with water, place it in a dark, cool position and leave it to stand for a few hours. During this time, all systems ‘shut down’, with a minimum of evaporation taking place. When saturated from standing in the bucket, the blooms are ready for arranging. If blooms are kept out of water at this stage for a short period, even for an hour, they are able to stay fresh, since evaporation is now minimal.

Wilted Cut Roses

Roses that have wilted prior to arranging (especially those bought at a supermarket or from street vendors) should be placed – or can simply be arranged – in hot water (about 40ºC). Hot water contains less air than cold water and, as it is absorbed through the cut stem, it drives out any trapped air. Bubbles escaping from the cut are visible in a glass vase.

Extended vase life

For an extended vase life, add a satchel of Chrysal or 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or 1 teaspoon of bleach to about 1 litre of water. Sugar dissolves well in hot water and strengthens the petals and, to a limited extent, serves as a plant food. Vinegar or bleach prevents formation of algae, making it unnecessary to replace the water every day.

Grooming

While taking care not to cut too many blooms from one bush, it is still essential to remove old flowers to stimulate the sprouting of new growth. Cut back stems about half-way – about 30 cm for a short-stemmed variety such as ‘Electron’; and for the long-stemmed ‘Andrea Stelzer’, about 50 and even 60cm. At least five leaves should remain on the stub. Cut away one tine of forked stems to channel the sap to a single point. It is not necessary to seal stems after cutting blooms.

The more often ‘dead-heading’ and grooming is carried out, the sooner new growth is stimulated and a never-ending supply of blooms can be expected. This does not apply to the same degree to Floribunda roses, which form clusters, and it often takes three weeks or more before all the buds in a cluster have opened. During this period, the bush starts to sprout new stems just below the cluster. When grooming, remove the whole cluster of spent flowers just above such new shoots. Miniatures and Colourscape roses are such busy plants that they require no more than occasional trimming.

Heritage Roses versus the modern Hybrids

A presentation by Ludwig Taschner at the La Motte wine estate during the Open Garden season in Franschhoek 2014

I grew up with “Old roses”.  My home town was, and still is surrounded by a magnificent mixed forest with Oak trees many hundreds of years old. Dog roses (Rosa canina) grew on the edges of the forest next to farmer’s fields. As kids we would pick the hips in autumn for grandmother to make her famous rose hip jam. This was quite a process, which involved boiling the hips, and squeezing the pulp through a sieve or strainer. We kids had great fun drying out the actual seed kernels, rubbing off the tiny hair prickles and dropping them down the neck of unsuspecting girls at school. Nasty – today, being a grandfather I know who showed us.

In the parks and especially at the grave yard were lots of Albas and Gallicas and even a hedge of Rosa rubrifolia (glauca, Hecht-Rose, Red Leaf Rose). My mother had a treasured bed of moss roses, and only she cut the blooms, cared for them and pruned them. My parents were both educated and dedicated horticulturists and even in the difficult years after the war, we as a family, were dragged to Sangerhausen – a three-hour trip by horse drawn coach.

During my three-year apprenticeship as a tree nurseryman, we concentrated on fruit trees with roses as a sideline. Our annual excursions took us, again, to the Rosariums in Sangerhausen and Forst.

Checking my old catalogues I was actually surprised to see that in 1975 we already listed 25 different OLD FASHIONED PARK ROSES. These were really all the botanical Rosa species and natural hybrids. In 1980 the list had grown to 70 and in 1984 the section became Heritage Roses and the varieties had doubled to 140. The instigators pushing me to swell this section of our varieties were Eve Jenkins and Gwen Fagan.

Roses developed all over the northern Hemisphere about 35 million years ago.

The first odd 200 rose types had 5 petals just as their family members – the apples, pears, peaches, plums, quinces, strawberries.

Without the old one cannot have the new. Let’s look at the old or Heritage Roses.

By wind, birds, bees the various rose types were spread out and natural cross pollinating took place, mostly in the Middle East, but very much so in China although nobody in Europe knew about it at the time.

The romanticism of the roses started in mythology. Stories abound such as that the original roses were thornless and developed prickles after Adam and Eve ate from the apple and it symbolizes the malignance of the humans. White roses developed from the foam of the sea and because the lotus flower closed up over night the white rose became the preferred flower. A Nightingale was enchanted with the white roses and when pricked the dripping blood turned the white rose into a into a red one.

The first practical use of roses was by mixing fragrant rose petals with oil in the period of the antique Greeks. Hectors body was embalmed with it.

The cultivating of roses started in Persia as also the first distillation of rose oil and rose water around 800 AD and it became an important export commodity to India, China and Spain.

Omar Khayyam writes that the whole country (Persia) was a rose garden. That was the region around Schiraz and Isphahan and the Nightingales were singing everywhere. Rose petals were used freely for decorating.

The Crusaders and travelling tradesmen brought rose types and rose oil to Northern and Western Europe.

In the middle ages, 500 to 1500 AD, it was the medicinal value that made the rose popular in Europe. Many acres were planted outside London and there was hardly a prescription that had not one or other remedy made of roses amongst it, be it from petals, hips or roots.

It was around 1800 that new rose types were brought from China to Europe. These were perennial flowering, but frost tender and had to be kept in greenhouses.

In Holland, France and England they were planted next to the hardy, once a season flowering types and cross pollinated by the bees. In England a cattle farmer, a Mr Bennet, who was crazy about roses , thought this was stupid, and like taking a bull to the cow, he started to collect pollen and placed it on the pistils of the roses designated to be mothers. That was the start of intentional rose breeding. It resulted in the first Hybrid Teas and in a relative short period 6000 varieties were described.

It was when a double flowering yellow rose was brought from Persia to Europe and used for cross pollinating that the by now modern colours were introduced – with it the Black Spot fungus disease.

These new hybrids had at first full double blooms also known as cabbage roses and they were replaced by newer hybrids that had an upright growth carrying the blooms more stiffly on straight stems and with a new unique flower shape with a high sharp point.

There were also some short free flowering types, the Multiflora that were brought from the East and with cross pollination it resulted in a group that became known as Polyantha roses. They were re-crossed with the Hybrid Teas and became the Floribundas.

A very small rose was found in Mauritius and brought to Europe and this was the start of the miniature roses.

The question arises – is there still a need or use for the very old, original roses?

A selection of the Dog Rose, Rosa canina is still used as a root stock in Europe. Harvesting of the hips for jam is too laborious and not much carried out anymore.

Rosa eglanteria, the apple scented roses now classified as Rosa rubiginosa was seeded by the birds in regions of the Andes in Argentina and the Drakensberg in South Africa. Although they are now declared invader plants the hips are being picked commercially and sold to Pharmaceutical companies.

Huge plantations of the Persian Oil Rose, Rosa damascena trigintipetala in various countries including South Africa, are kept up for rose oil distillation. In France it is Rosa centifolia and gallica that is used for that purpose.

The Rugosas also known as the Japanese Potato roses are being planted along motorways in Europe as natural barriers and for beautification. They spread by Rhizomes similar to Kikuyu lawn and need not be irrigated in Europe.

The South African Dog rose, Rosa laevigata as also the Macartney rose Rosa bracteata that are planted along farm fences in the Western Cape do have their uses and so also the wichuriana hybrid Alberic Barbier that is planted for kms along the roads in the Elgin region.

Not to forget the stately climbing version of ‘Cecile Brunner’ which is erroneously known as ‘Bloomfield Abundance’ that has not been improved on.

The hybrids of Rosa persica are presently becoming very popular and are marketed as Eyeconic Roses.

‘Mutabilis’ which is a single flowering Chinese hybrid that is capable of flowering all year round and does not get diseases.

‘Fortuniana’ which is used as a rootstock in hot climates.

The white and yellow Banksias that climb into trees and flower much earlier than the other roses.

Rosa indica major, also known Rosa chinensis oderata, is a rose that is performing quite in brack soils and with irrigation water of a high pH and is used as a root stock in regions with such conditions mainly on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.

Obviously the answer to the question posed above is YES we still need them.

The next question is do we still need the 6000 varieties described in the late 1900?

Of the 6000 early rose hybrids there are some that have a sentimental and emotional value i.e. Souvenir de Malmaison, Mme Hardii, Camaieux, Fantin Latour, Isphahan, Mme Zoetsman to name a few, but they are not really comparable to modern hybrids. However, it is like with Vintage motor cars, they should not disappear and it is good to have some private gardens such as Fresh Wood in Grabouw, the Bedford Rosarium and municipal Rosariums such as Sangerhausen. There are keen collectors all over the world and also rose nurseries that specify in propagating plants of these varieties for them.

Finally, do we still need to keep the odd 60 000 varieties that are created since 1900?

In the period from 1900 until 1970 the aim by rose breeders was to create new roses varieties with ever more beautiful shaped blooms and extraordinary colours. The gardeners who were keen on competing with the blooms at rose shows dominated the breeding agenda.

Let me compare this again to Vintage cars. They need a lot of care and maintenance to keep them going on the roads. It is a hobby for those who love them, can afford them as second cars and have the spare time to maintain them. The normal people expect a car that needs a maintenance once or twice a year and otherwise they are filled with fuel and go.

The “exotic” roses grown for competitions fall under the same category. It is only those keen gardeners who do all the fertilising, spraying, grooming, putting on covers etc. in order for the bushes to produce champion candidates.

The modern cut roses that are being produced by the millions every day are grown in similar conditions in greenhouses with the assistance of automation and computers.

The requirement on Modern Garden Roses has changed.

Organic gardening, low maintenance, waterwise performance and a minimum use of pesticides are the preferred aspects these days. Normal gardeners want roses that once planted will perform with a major maintenance in July – The Pruning – and not allow the tank to go empty by watering and fertilising.

To create such varieties Rose breeders and selectors of new varieties had to simply consider on how the roses survived the odd 34 million years without human interference.

Obviously, some rose types must have perished and those we still know have adapted to the environment – climate and soil.

Since we do not have such a vast time span available for further adaptation we need to genetically combine the important attributes that made the roses survive.

With the exception of ONE, Roses will not perform in standing water. Fossils of roses were only found in rocks high up, not in swamps. Rosa palustris is the only one to have survived in the Louisiana swamps by letting the roots spread out above the soil surface.

In practical terms it means that if we are not likely to change the requirements of wanting to grow in well aerated soil genetically and if we do not have the right soil conditions in our gardens we need to raise beds, mix the very poor aerated soil with aeration material i.e. crushed apricot pips or peanut shells, pebbles etc.

The old roses were all shrubby with an overhanging growth which shaded and protected the roots from heat and compacting the soil by trampling around them. Earthworms and other small animals too were protected and attended to a continued aeration where the roots are active. It means to change the stiffly upright growth habit to a more spreading shape. This has already happened with groundcover roses such as My Granny, the Sunsations and Flower Carpet varieties. The next step in process are bushes with a spreading habit still producing upright straight stems with well shaped, large blooms.

Rose breeder David Austin in England was charmed with the flower shape and shrubby growth habit of the old roses and made it his goal to breed new varieties retaining the specific charm and fragrance of the old roses with a repeat flowering habit. His success in the eighties has become rose history. Other breeders took the hint and selected roses with similar flower shape and growth habit for naming and marketing.

Being once flowering only these old roses, being deciduous would flower in early summer with the strength of stored food and then awaited the rainy season as is the case in the middle east and here in South Africa.

The fungus disease Black Spot does not affect all Heritage roses. The Rosa davidii and Rosa wichuriana especially have glossy healthy foliage. In the last two decades the genetics of these have been re-introduced to modern roses.

I have been busy evaluating and releasing new rose varieties in South Africa over the past 50 years. It was obviously a steep learning curve.

At first I concentrated on finding hybrid tea roses with firm stiff petals that would hold much longer in our sun, compared to the favourites of the fifties and sixties i.e. Eclipse, Show Girl, Virgo, Charlotte Armstrong, First Love to name but a few.

My early selections are still popular 30 years later. Esther Geldenhuys, Cora Marie, Boksburg Fantasia, Johannesburg Sun. Ace of Hearts, Anne Lorentz, Black Madonna, Hanneli Rupert, Helen Naude, Andrea Stelzer. The one disadvantage was that these varieties exuded hardly any scent. This is due to the thick stiff petals out of which the oxydising alcohol could not escape.

However, fragrant roses were not kept out and indeed there are many, many modern rose varieties that have a more powerful fragrance than the old roses. Double Delight, Oklahoma, Papa Meilland, Electron, Bewitched, Snow Queen, Duftwolke, Just Joey, Perfume Passion.

The multifloras and Polyanthus of the olden days were replaced by a new group that became known as Floribunda. Iceberg must be its most prominent members. Satchmo, Goldmarie, Pernille Poulsen, Orange Sensation, Pearl of Bedfordview, Simplicity are also very popular.

Colourscape roses are the closest in growth habit to the old roses.

With this knowledge and the genetic pool of the various performances of the Heritage roses the creation of modern hybrids has only started and we can all look forward to a continuation of the Glory of the ROSE.

A note to readers in cold climates – the above is for an audience in South Africa where frost hardiness is not a consideration. Breeders in such cold regions dedicated much of their effort in creating new roses that are frost hardy.

Point System on exhibition roses

JUDGING ROSES

  1. form & size and substance of individual stem  30 pts
  2. Colour, freshness, brilliance and purity             30 pts
  3. Stem and foliage                                                  15 pts
  4.  Balance                                                                15 pts
  5.  Presentation                                                        10 pts
  6.  TOTAL                                                                  100 pts

Hyrib Tea bloom shape

Pyramid shape of a hybrid tea bloom

shape

Stem-on-stem

Cut a straight stem and not ‘Stem on Stem’

Arranging

Balanced Bouquet

Arranging-2

Rounded bouquet

Arranging-3

Flat bouquet

Thoughts on Exhibiting Roses

by Ludwig Taschner

Just like playing cricket, rugby, soccer, golf and tennis and taking cats, dogs, rabbits and doves to be judged in shows was developed in Great Britain. So was the exhibiting of roses. Playing soccer, golf and tennis were adopted in most countries of the world, whereas cricket, rugby, cat, dog and rose shows remained very much a domain in countries with a strong English influence.

As is the case with playing sport, it only becomes interesting with the setting up and observing rules. The more intricate the better.

The exhibiting of roses became a mania in England in the latter 1800 and lasted for a century. An aspect that let to this mania was that anyone could take a hand in growing and grooming a “perfect” rose. A commoner with a small garden as much as a wealthy landowner aiming for the coveted “Best Rose on Show”.

The varieties that produced champion blooms or “queen of show” received all the publicity and rose nurseries concentrated in propagating such varieties and breeders of new roses selected novelty varieties with traits and qualities to produce winning blooms. Every trick in growing was used. Varieties which only produced super exhibition blooms with constant care and grooming were preferred since this cut out a great many competitors who did not have the knowhow, patience nor the funds to purchase the various chemicals for fertilising and pest and disease control. The dominance of “exhibition varieties” carried on until three decades ago, when flowering performance and ease of growing became the deciding factors for a good rose. ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘Iceberg’ are typical examples. Of course, classes and rules where soon adopted to allow blooms of these varieties onto the show benches.

My first introduction of rose competitions was in 1961/62 in England working for John Waterer’s – The Floral Mile near Twyford, Berkshire. The company, at the time one of the largest mail order nurseries in the UK , exhibited at Chelsea not with roses , but Irises, Peonies, Azaleas and most spring flowering shrubs and trees and with roses at all major rose shows held in July and September. I could not believe my eyes seeing tables and tables packed with tubular vases each displaying an individual blooms. The jubilation and disappointments after judging that took place was just as amazing. To me all roses exhibited were beautiful. A new aspect of my “rose education” started – looking for blemishes. Obviously, the exhibitors were all experts and only blooms of the highest standard were placed. I quickly realised the reason why loose petalled varieties like ‘Sutter’s Gold’, ‘Virgo’, ‘Charles Mallerin’ and ‘Grandmere Jenny’ were overlooked by many visitors to the Waterer’s stand. Since then, when walking through rose fields, parks and gardens my eyes are drawn to blooms with a typical exhibition shape with a high pointed centre and lots of reflexing petals.

Visitors, or rather potential customers to Buss Nurseries in Pretoria quickly realised that this young German chap actually knew what they were looking for. In the early sixties there were very few garden centres and roses had to be ordered for supplying as bare root plants in winter. I very soon got to know the keen exhibitors living in the Vaal Triangle. Amongst them most of the founder’s of ROSA Dr Fred Ziady, Dr Bokkie van der Spuy, Attie van Zyl, Dick Lindner, Dr Saville come to mind. In those days Spring and Autumn Flower Shows were organised by the various Horticultural Societies filling the town or city halls with flowers. Fred Ziady and wife Ray would rise very early on the second Saturday in October drive to Benoni stage their roses at the show, on to Brakpan to do the same and on to Johannesburg City Hall. The flower Show in Pretoria was always held a week earlier. Too early for the exhibitors living on the Rand to have their blooms ready.

In those years Willie Krause of Eden Rose Nurseries in Noorder Paar catered for the keen exhibitors in the Western Cape, Christian Muller of Floradale Nurseries in East London and Jesmond Dene as well as Olivier Nurseries (later bought out by Lyn Keppler to become Star Rose Nurseries) in New Germany, Natal. I must not omit to mention Jan Herholdt of Herholdt’s Nurseries in Eikenhof who was the representative for many breeders and of course Meilland and who did breeding on his own, notably ‘Mimi Coertse’ and ‘Nightingale’. The latter became a prominent exhibition variety in the UK although due to a mix up by famous Harry Wheatcroft, it was known as ‘Gary Player’.

I was asked to judge for the first time in 1969 together with no lesser than Sam McGredy at the Star Rose Show in the City Hall of Johannesburg in December. Not to clash with the Flower Shows organised by the Horticultural Societies in Spring and Autumn, the Rose Societies had to find a suitable timing in-between. There were always three judges and a steward eliminating personal preferences. In the seventies I travelled often to the Flower Shows in Johannesburg to judge and received a cheque for R 2.50 for travelling expense. Mind you, this did buy 25 litres of petrol.

Rose judges in SA assessed in accordance to rules set up and printed in the UK and the USA. However, in our hot climate exhibitors could not take the chance of displaying blooms too far developed. Often in the hot halls such blooms would open up losing their pointed centre before the judges arrived and blooms had to be at a more immature stage and of course varieties with too few petals had no chance. Willy Stegeman of the Western Cape Rose Society compiled the first judging manual in South Africa which was eventually adopted by the other rose societies in South Africa. That was in the days before our Federation. I remember the argument we had at one time that I was asked to judge Cape Town. We were three teams of two judges who then had to come together and decide on the best rose on show. The other teams had found two blooms of ‘Carlita’ to be tops and I had a hard time persuading my partner judge Willy Stegeman to go for two blooms of almost equal quality of ‘National Trust’, entered, I think, by Dick Lindner. Of course, I like star shaped blooms with the petals reflecting to a sharp point. After discussions between the 6 judges it was then agreed to make a ‘Carlita’ queen of Show and a ‘National Trust’ the runner up. I argued that even that was not fair. If the one ‘Carlita’ was first the other one of virtual equal quality had to be second and ‘National Trust’ third or the other way around.

Since, I have judged in New Zealand, the UK, Argentine and the USA. Often I could not agree with the decisions by the local judges. It is never easy. In the US today one talks about the stem war. Stems shorter than 70 to 80 cm with magnificently polished leaves, but to my mind a bit out of proportion, have no chance of winning.

With the experience I gained from exhibitions and judging I obviously selected many new rose varieties with those qualities. Rose exhibitors in the USA soon discovered that Ludwig’s Roses in Pretoria had superb exhibition varieties, that did well in hot climates and most of all could not so easily gotten hold of. We exported rose plants until sanctions put a stop to it. At one time of the 20 top exhibition varieties as published in The American Rose, half were named by me. ‘Elegant Beauty’, ‘Lynette’, ‘Nightingale’, ‘Rina Hugo’, ‘Esther Geldenhuys’, ‘Andrea Stelzer’, ‘Helen Naude’, ‘Delicate Beauty’, ‘Brides Dream’,’ Bles Bridges’, are some of them.

About twenty years ago the experienced exhibitors of ROSA amended the guide lines of judging roses set out by Willie Stegeman and these were approved by the ROSA council for judging roses in South Africa. Prof Johan Moll did some sterling work on compiling a manual on the exhibiting of roses in both official languages, inclusive of the Heritage roses and this was published in the ROSA ANNUAL 200 . Amendments were made very recently.

However, with all these rules and pointing systems to hand, judging will never be free of that certain bit of individual preference. Many, many years ago it sort of was jokingly said that if Barney Ziady is the judge, make sure you enter blooms of ‘White Christmas’, although he was known to favour the star shaped blooms of ‘Ann Letts’ just as much. With two blooms of equal quality with regard to stem, leaves, freshness, shape size, the star shaped bloom will give me a nudge, although I have also put up an argument with fellow judges to let a ‘Just Joey’ win.

It was like in the old days in early November when Lizette du Plessis from Hennenman, who had “cleaned up” a week before at the rose show in Bloemfontein’ visited our rose farm looking for new exhibition varieties. I should not let out which varieties she choose giving her the edge for next year’s show. (in 1963 at Buss Nurseries we had a batch of about 25 plants of the new yellow HT ‘Golden Sun’ in the field. Bokkie van der Spuy came to look at new rose varieties, saw them and the obvious qualities as an exhibition variety and he paid for all plants on the spot for reason that we would not sell any of these plants to other exhibitors for that year. Needless to say, he won many prizes with blooms of ‘Golden Sun’ the next spring. We had taken the hint and budded lots from the 25 plants and had good stock for the year thereafter when every exhibitor would pay anything to get hold of plants of this variety. Three years later ‘Kings Ransom’ arrived and ‘Golden Sun’ plants were shovel pruned by most exhibitors). Oh yes, look out for ‘Salmon and Moonlit Spire’, ‘Anne Lorentz’, ‘Hestrie’, Lollipop’ and if Marie Favard, who manages our Winelands rose centre,is asked to judge – ‘Avant Garde’ will be it.

On the more serious side of rose exhibiting, no doubt it has lost its popularity it used to have. However, with generous prize money as is the case in Bloemfontein many more gardeners are enticed to bring their blooms and the same applies now to Flower and Rose shows organised by local garden clubs or Tuinbouverenigings in the Platteland. Recently, I judged in Standerton and Fouriesburg and was impressed with the many entries. A problem exists with the classes set out by the organisers. ROSA should compile a database of the very many garden clubs, etc. and make sure that the organisers are in possession of the approved classes with explanations and sketches of what is expected.

One stem of a Hybrid Tea is usually understood. Blooms cut from climbers i.e. ‘Isidingo’, ‘Aperitif’ or ‘Compassion’ should are acceptable in that class, as well as any blooms from the Spire(R) range.

When it comes to Floribundas it get’s confusing. It should actually state Clusters. There are many floribunda varieties which do not produce clusters and it is impossible for a judge to make a decision between a huge cluster of ‘Simplicity’ against a single bloom of ‘Fidelio’ or ‘Friesia’. Clusters cut from suitable climbers are acceptable in this class.

Another nightmare for a judge is “three stems of floribundas in different opening stages.

When it comes to exhibits with single blooms i.e. ‘Dainty Bess’ again it needs to be stated if it has to be a cluster and if it is strictly blooms with 5 petals or up to 9 petals. I will be happy to see Climbing Cocktail included in this class.

Miniatures classes too need to be much more specified.

It should be stems with one large bloom

Stems of one small bloom

Stems with clusters

Exhibiting and judging roses with nostalgic flower shapes is again very difficult deciding between deep cup, open cup, pompom, rosette or quartered shapes. These may be stems and blooms cut from Heritage roses, Antico Moderno(R), Panarosa(R) and Fairy Tale(R) roses. In regions were the growing of Heritage roses is prevalent one could have classes for specific types or varieties or the different flower shapes.

And of course it should be stated that the roses to be exhibited where grown outdoor. Over the last two decades there has been a swing in the commercial production from small flowered cut roses to large flowering cut roses. The breeders followed suit and there is at present an incredibly wide range of hybrid tea varieties with breath taking flower shapes available. Unfortunately most do not show their true beauty since they are harvested too early and will not open to perfection in a vase. By keeping them for some days longer on the bushes in the green house no judge would be able to pick out the champion – they are that perfect and that many.

 

 

 

 

 

Plant Nutrition and Chlorosis

Article of Plant Nutrition and Chlorosis by Ludwig Taschner

The inexplicable chlorosis that often occurs with rose plants triggered off my thinking and a bit of research. Why would roses be perfectly happy and have dark green leaves up until their first flowering and then produce chlorotic new growth with the sprouting of new leaves for the second flush?

One often notices the yellowing of the leaves to various degrees with the veins usually remaining green. Sometimes all new growth is affected, sometimes only on half a plant or just a few stems. Once the weather changes, with enough rain, it corrects itself within days. It is commonly known as an iron deficiency and watering or spraying the bush with iron chelate is suppose to correct it, but it does not always happen.

The incredibly interesting soil health series compiled by Sonia Burger in the Farmer’s Weekly made me go a bit overboard when writing this article, and I will be quoting from her articles from time to time.

Although the basics of plant nutrition have not changed since my apprenticeship days, the understanding of the intricate working together of each of the macro and micro minerals has.

If you get bored and don’t feel like reading through it all, go to the end where it specifically deals with the needs of our roses.

Without plants there would be no food for any living creatures. There is a long list of creatures – including insects, mice and rabbits, kudu, horses, cows, sheep, pigs and vegetarians – who live on roots, tubers, leaves, wood, fruits, pollen and of course seed. Without the creatures that live on plants the meat eaters would have no meal either. Also, let’s not forget all the lekker stuff made out of plants like Coca, Opium, Dagga, aphrodisiacs, sugar, beer, wine, whisky and virtually all medicines. Of course, diamonds, coal and oil resulted from plants being compressed by millions of tons of rock millions of years ago. It is mind boggling if one thinks that plastics, fertiliser, pesticides and medicines are made out of coal or oil, which used to be plants.

The basic miracle of nature is that minerals dissolved in water are transported into leaves and are assimilated with carbohydrates. The carbohydrates themselves are the product of a process by which carbon dioxide taken out of the air is converted by chlorophyll under the influence of light, known as photosynthesis. Leaves fall off trees; plants dry out in winter or during droughts and even trees fall down. This organic matter is now subject to decomposition, or in other words a separating of elements into constituent parts. Decomposition requires microbes to convert organics back to in-organics or minerals.

It seems very simple – all the scientist needs to find out is how to hasten the process of taking the C out of the carbon dioxide (CO²) and harness the carbon monoxide and the world’s energy crisis is over. However, when nature is involved it gets pretty complex and is not easily copied as you will see below.

The speed at which plant material decomposes depends on temperature, moisture, air and the texture and it may take a month or years. Peat moss for instance is submerged fern which grew on or above a water surface. With no air getting to it at the bottom of a lake it never decomposed. Taken out of the lake and mixed with soil it does not take very long to decompose.

Plants developed and adjusted in accordance to the availability of water soluble minerals in the upper 1m crust of the earth. There are plants that adapted to growing in acid soils and others in a very alkaline situation, with most of them preferring a more or less neutral growing base. Scientist sorted this out long ago and we differentiate the various soil types on a scale of pondus Hydrogeni worldwide known as pH with pH 7 being neutral, lower values indicating acidity and higher values alkalinity.

Naturally, temperatures, soil depth, rain or fresh water availability, all played a role in plant development.

All this is just a refresher from old school stuff, but keep on reading. I get to specifics for the roses eventually.

It was Justus von Liebig, Professor in Chemistry, who was instrumental in the start of AgroScience around 1850. He established that plants need 10 basic elements to grow. (He also developed Aldehyde, chloroform, baking powder and meat extract.)

Of the 10 basic elements, the plants take Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O) out of the air or water. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potash (K kalium), Lime (Ca calcium) Sulphur (S), Magnesium (Mg) and Iron (Fe) need to be available in the form of dissolvable salts in the soil.

The micro or trace elements include manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum and cobalt, sodium, chloride and silicon.

He further established that the nutrient requirements are in accordance to the nutrient that is the least available in the soil. For instance if there is insufficient Lime in the soil the plant cannot do with extra Nitrogen or Potash.

These minerals, including the various trace elements, have certain synergies with each other, but also very specific functions in plant development. If it is out of balance, plant growth becomes abnormal and any abnormality brings on pests and diseases.

Plants that grow well in one region because of the availability of the various elements shed enough material that is decomposed and the then separated minerals are absorbed again by the plants. Obviously, the decomposed material from plants that prefer to grow in acid, low ph soils is rich in acid minerals i.e. Sulphur. Alternatively, compost made from plants that grew in alkaline soil, and even manure from animals grazing such plants, is high in alkaline minerals i.e. Lime and Sodium combinations.

In nature fire, floods and erosion destroys most of the decomposed material and if this is not checked a completely different plant population establishes itself from seeds that are blown in and even seed or root rhizomes that were suppressed by the previous plant growth. Farmers know all about that.

In the old days when farming was carried out with hoes or animal drawn implements, farmers usually knew which soil was best suited for which crop and planted seed accordingly. These days with huge tractor drawn implements, huge fields are leveled, ploughed up and planted with one crop. Science is giving a helping hand. Equipment in satellites can read quality and depth of the soil and directs the implement or shows the farmer on his laptop computer what to do to create the right plant density and fertiliser combination and strength.

NOW we come to our gardens and ROSES. Almost every garden has several soil types and is subjected to various climates, often extremes. A garden is very personal and it will never do to have the same type of plants in every garden in a specific suburb or region, just because they grow so easily. Indeed we want to cram every possible plant in it, from huge shade trees and sun loving plants to acid soil loving Azaleas, Hydrangeas and Camellias and of course Roses who feel comfortable in a fair range from pH 6 to pH 7.5. All must grow happily in close proximity.

Every soil can be fixed to grow any plant in it, simply by bringing in the necessary additives. Extremes might entail blasting rock to be able to grow trees, draining out a swamp or filling up the soil level by a metre. It is simply a question of available finances.

The extremes in gardening became very clear to me when flying to South America recently. That Gauteng has become the largest man made oasis is very obvious at take-off. After flying for hours over the semi desert of the Karoo, Kalahari and Namibia and more hours over the Atlantic the other side of the Atlantic presents a different picture – dense forests as far as one can see. Then, out of that looms the huge concrete jungle that is Sao Paulo. Virtually not a tree in the city, gardens are small and most plants are grown in hanging pots.

In the semi desert of Gauteng and many similar cities and towns in South Africa people want a large garden in order to create there own little oasis. I suppose in the tropical forest of South America it is a constant fight to restrain the forest from overrunning the garden and with that huge green lung around them, the people are satisfied with growing their favourite plants in confined spaces.

Soil is explained in the encyclopedia as the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, consisting of disintegrated rock usually with a mixture of humus, which again is explained as the characteristic organic constituent of the soil formed by the decomposition of plant material.

The whole process must have started with mineral salts in the sea, eventually the formation of algae making use of this nutrition, then ferns and finally flowering plants. With the upheaval of our earth so long ago sea water was everywhere and plant nutritious mineral salts remained in the soil as the water drained away. It was then up to the plants to provide humus and from then on plant development became more and more sophisticated, adjusting to the different soils and climates.

Organic farming or gardening is the “IN” thing at the moment. As with all things, there are pros and cons. The pro is that plant roots are able to absorb a very balanced diet of nutrition which makes for healthy plants becoming healthy food. The con is that the release of various nutrients from organic matter will happen when the conditions favour microbial growth and this is not necessarily when the plant requires the nutrition the most, resulting in reduced harvest and higher production costs.

The more humus in the soil to a good depth of at least 50 cm the better the growth. Soil in South Africa is usually very poor in organics. Plants and plant debris is burned, never mind intentionally or not, or the wind blows away the upper drier loose particles. Compare this with Western European climate of no veldfires, frequent rain and moisture and with enough forests acting as wind breaks.

If the humus is made from several different components (plants) it is more fertile. Regrettably, most bagged compost on offer is of one plant source. Really good compost is “grown” in one’s own garden the old fashioned way by adding leaves and lawn clippings and vegetable left-overs, twigs and branches on a heap and turning it over every six weeks to two months until the heap has virtually turned into soil.

Compost that is still hot when in a heap is not fully decomposed. At this stage it causes a nitrogen drawdown. Organic gardeners should keep a drum in the back yard and make a tea by mixing chicken, rabbit or pig manure with water, stirring it occasionally for two three weeks and then pour this over the not yet fully decomposed compost. It will overcome the nitrogen drawdown and speeds up the composing process. Adding manure will have the same effect and non organic gardeners may sprinkle fertiliser over the compost for the same results.

Using this principle projects have been carried out most successfully in Soweto by digging trenches about 60 cm wide and 50cm cm deep filling them with plant debris turning it over in the trench and adding a little of the soil that was dug out. After only a few months vegetables are planted directly in the filled trenches with incredible results. When one crop is ready to be harvested the next trench is ready to be planted.

  • Now let’s look at the seven main plant nutrients in detail:There is no shortage of Oxygen, which is taken out of air and water.
  • Hydrogen and Oxygen are separated from the H2O which is water.
  • The same applies to Carbon which is separated out of the CO2 in the air.
  • Phosphorus is regarded as the fuel of life – the energy currency of all cells. It is an essential nutrient in all forms of life. It is the key element for photosynthesis harnessing the sun’s energy and stores it as chemical energy, which is converted into simple glucose and then complex sugars and then starch. Good phosphorus levels ensure better photosynthesis. Other forms screen destructive UV light and only let in that part of the spectrum required for photosynthesis. It allows sufficient uptake of nitrogen and magnesium which are vital for chlorophyll production. Good phosphorus levels contribute to the taste, nutrition, colour, size and shelf life of fresh produce and the lasting quality of the blooms.

Phosphorus is also one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, second only to calcium. It contributes to muscle growth and fertility, is required for kidney functions, it helps the heart beat regularity and plays a vital role in the body’s energy storage system. A body without phosphorus soon becomes tired and weak.

Phosphorus is a “lazy element” because it does not move from where it is applied in the soil and it does not leach. For this reason it is essential to mix it well with the soil when planting or when digging over a rose bed in winter. The pH of the soil has a significant effect on phosphorus availability. At a high level it ties up with calcium, at a low pH it joins with aluminium, iron and manganese. The formed phosphate compounds are insoluble.

In the form of Monocalciumphosphate, as it is in Superphosphate, it is water soluble for a few weeks. Once it has become a Bicalciumphosphate the roots need to excrete a citric acid which allows absorption of the phosphate.

  • Phosphate is available as Superphosphate, in MAP, Bonemeal, guano manure and the centre figure of compound fertilisers give an indication as to how much phosphate it contains. For instance 2-3-2 fertiliser is very high in phosphates and should not be applied monthly to roses. The 5-1-5 or 8-1-5 are the better options. Soluble humic acid granulate (as in Vigorosa) again ensures absorption, microbe activity and the stabilisation of phosphates.
  • Potassium is the cellular spark plug and the third of the macronutrients. It is an alkaline element essential for soil, plant, animal and human life. It is the major cation (an ion carrying a positive charge which moves to a negative charge) in intracellular fluids. Without potassium in the cells one would not be able to turn over a page as the instruction to do so would not be passed from brain to the cells that form the building blocks of the muscles in ones hand.

Potassium in the plant regulates the 50 enzymes responsible for catalytic reactions and is required to convert nitrogen into protein. It facilitates the movement of sugar and starches and influences stomata regulation.

Although about 90% of the potassium is found in soil it is insoluble. It is only released by microbial activity or weathering. Soluble potassium is found as a cation (K+) which is strongly attracted to and hence stored on the negative charged clay colloid. The humus colloid has less attraction but is also capable of storing potassium.

Plants access potassium via the soil solution. This is usually no problem in soils with high clay content, however in sandy soils there are few storage surfaces for potassium and most are carried away. Adding humus to sandy soil contributes significantly to the retention of potassium.

Whereas most nutrients found in living tissue are only released back to the soil through decomposition, potassium does not follow this rule. It is kept intercellular and for instance rain leaches potassium from manure and freshly cut grass.

Potassium is available as Potassium chloride (KCl), Potassium sulphate K2SO4, potassium nitrate (KNO3 and potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) which also has a fungicidal action. Potassium chloride is used in most combi fertilisers.

In high pH soil calcium and magnesium with their double positive charge fill up most spaces in the soil and potassium is drained away and cannot be absorbed in sufficient quantities.

Sodium, if exceeding potassium, is taken up by the plant instead and this imbalance prevents uptake of manganese. On the other hand a lack of calcium levels increases potassium levels which lead to an imbalance in plant growth.

  • Calcium is the soil doctor: Mostly we think of it as Lime (CaCO3). Calcium is the most important mineral in the soil and ensures good soil and plant health which ultimately translates into better human health. It is the transporter of all minerals.

Farmers know that balancing calcium levels and correcting soil deficiencies is the first priority in any fertility programme.

Up to 70% of the negatively charged soil particle is occupied by calcium. Although every farmer and gardener knew for over a century that the pH could be raised by adding CaCO3, however, the role of calcium as an essential nutrient was ignored and the synergistic interactions between calcium and other minerals were not well understood. The ideal pH is 6.4 at which all minerals are most available to the plant.

Calcium does not just adjust the pH, but also flocculates the soil improving spore space, resulting in good oxygen movement which again leads to more roots and microbes.

Balanced soils need the correct calcium to magnesium ratio as these work as tug-of-war teams in opening and closing the soil.

In the plant calcium plays a vital role in strengthening the cell walls and membranes. It strengthens the leaves and stems, making them more resistant to pests and diseases and it helps the plant to optimally make use of sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen.

Adequate calcium levels make fruit and vegetable taste sweeter and to last longer, which includes the vase life for roses.

For normal to slightly acid soils add dolomite lime which contains 20% calcium and 10% magnesium. In brak soils rather make use of gypsum (calcium sulphate)

All the above translates into the same basics of gardening and successful rose growing which I have been preaching about over the past three decades.

If you dig up your flower beds to at least 50 cm depth ensuring drainage from that level further down and by mixeingliberal quantities of humus in the various available forms of compost, semi composted stuff, peanut shells, pine bark chips with superphosphate and or bone meal as an additive more than half the battle is won in providing nutrition and ensuring that the fertiliser applied later on is able to act to its fullest effect.

By working a layer of compost or even just the half decomposed mulch into the soil every winter enough basic material is made available for microbial activity and the monthly recommended dose of fertiliser ensures that extra growth we expect from a rose bush these days.

I am convinced that our constant “plugging” of regular fertilising of our roses over the past decades has brought about the desired result, with in roses flowering for a good 8 to 9 months of the year in South Africa. There is, of course, the danger of fertilising indiscriminately all season long so that the “goodness” of the soil is destroyed in the process, simply because the intricate function of the various minerals with microbes have become completely imbalanced. There are many farmers who have done this to their soil as well, with the crop just not responding to the fertilization anymore.

Worldwide research has resulted in the successful isolation and use of carbon acids. Carbon acids increase the uptake and consumption of nutrients and many farms have already been re-vitalised after introducing this into the soil. Headlines in the Farming press are witness of this:

Carbon Acids bring yields to life

Organic acids boost crop yield

Building soils with humic acid can fight disease

Export-quality citrus from carbon acids

Several years ago we were involved in trialing carbon acid products, researched by the CSIR, in our nursery.

Once this became commercially available I was quick in latching onto it, knowing that a combination of HUMIC ACID (one of the carbon acids) and fertiliser with the basic macro minerals N, P, K, Magnesium, Sulphur and lime would be a superior product and Ludwig’s Rose Farm commercialized it under the TradeMark Ludwig’s VIGOROSA®.

The only complaint we have heard over the past three years since it became available is that the rose bushes grow too high to reach the flowers.

Whereas farmers relied totally on the plants taking carbon out of the air, not working the stalks, stems etc back into the soil, allowing the microbes to reconvert this organic material to carbon, they are now applying a carbon product in a slightly acid form that stimulates microbial action and assists in improving storage of the other mineral nutrients and getting them dissolved and absorbed by the roots of the plants in an improved form.

All this still has not solved the problem of chlorosis. With the above in mind and from observation, it appears that the rose bushes go through a growing change once they have formed the blooms. They would rather just form hips and let them ripen, which does not suit us at all. Enforcing re-sprouting by removing the open blooms, watering and fertilising the slowed down process is reversed to one of rapid absorption. The new growth that is formed does not receive the nutrients in a perfect balance and this is amplified by increased evaporation of the water in the leaves in the accelerated heat. It needs to be appreciated that most minerals are dissolved in water in the soil; this solution is absorbed by the roots through the process of osmosis and travels up to the leaves. That is when the process of photosynthesis starts where all these various minerals are needed. With water disappearing too quickly the salty minerals remain stored and become concentrated and only cooler weather and lots of fresh water alleviates a temporary chlorosis.

Koinor for control of thrips

KOINOR

active ingredient is imidacloprid

This synthetic derivative of nicotine is a systemic insecticide that translocates to all parts of the plant when applied as a drench over the rooting zone or when sprayed on leaves of the plant.

When drenched, it gives protection against small insects for a growing season or about 6 months.

It is toxic to insects, but not to earth worms and mammals in diluted form.

Add 2ml/10l water and drench.

Watch the following short video on how to apply it.

Gallery of Weddings & Functions at Ludwig’s Rose Farm

View the magic of moments of love and romance in our gallery of weddings & functions at Ludwig’s Rose Farm.

Halmar & Vanessa’s Wedding at Ludwig’s Rose Farm

Jana & Malcom’s Wedding at Ludwig’s Rose Farm

EXXARO’s Award Function at Ludwig’s Rose Farm

Kara’s Wedding

Lize and Jaco’s Wedding

Malcom and Jana’s Wedding

Marike and Francoise’s Wedding

Ramona’s Wedding

Rose Shed

Persia

Text & images by Ludwig Taschner

My impression from a Rose Tour in May 2014 through Persia or as it is correctly known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. I thoroughly enjoyed the the masses of roses growing all over Persia.

The idea was to find and look at historic roses. We, 39 members of the German Rose Society, traveled by bus some 3000km. Iran is considerably larger than South Africa, but much of the climate and countryside is fairly identical to our Karoo with snow capped Mountains on the North western periphery.

SONY DSC ‘Karoo-like landscape with pomegranates’ 

Driving from the airport to Teheran I could not believe my eyes…roses, roses everywhere! Not Rosa persica, Rosa foetida persica or Rosa damascena that have their origin in this country but, take a guess, the best rose variety in a warm climate. Yes, it was ‘Iceberg’. My estimate is a million ‘Iceberg’s growing in the cities of Iran.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC ‘Iceberg’ in mass everywhere

The next popular rose was a multi-coloured one and I had to take a closer look to identify it as ‘Charleston’ (MEIridge).The runner’s up in smaller parks and landscaped areas were ‘Scarlet Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘Red Success’. Vermillion is definitely the favourite colour.

Charlston ‘Charleston’

SONY DSC ‘Charleston & Iceberg’

SONY DSC ‘Red Success’ 

SONY DSC ‘Scarlet Queen Elizabeth’

SONY DSC ‘Cora Marie’…… in need of some maintenance

SONY DSC ‘Orange Triumph’ 

Every hotel had rose gardens, I identified the varieties easily. Mostly, popular cut roses from three decades ago: ‘Tineke’, ‘Anabell’, ‘Antique Silk’, ‘Cora Marie’, ‘Ilona’, ‘Black Baccara’, ‘Frisco’, and its striped sports, ’ Corvette’, ‘Osiana’ and a few others. Amongst them some strong growing miniatures such as Magic Carousel and ironically ‘Stars ‘n Stripes’ in the otherwise very anti – American attitude.

SONY DSC Miniatures are still in demand here 

SONY DSC ‘Stars ‘n Stripes’

SONY DSC Themes of water and flowers

SONY DSC Typical oriental garden design 

An attempt was made in many gardens to introduce the “oldies” by planting ‘Rose de Rescht’ and ‘Jacques Cartier’. Even so, when we explored every ancient building, I did not find ‘Shiraz’ in Shiraz nor ‘Omar Khayyam’ or ‘Rubaiyat’and ‘Ispahan’ in Isfaham. I did make an appeal to some officials that they should really make an attempt to plant these historic varieties at the historic sites and buildings, seeing that they spend millions on restoration.

SONY DSC Rosa moschata

SONY DSC  ‘Rose de Rescht’

The local population frequents the historic sites often, actually crowding them. It is obvious they like roses, however, they are happy with the modern types and varieties. This convinces me even more that historic, once a season flowering roses belong into “rose museums”- Rosariums i.e.Sangerhausen, Bedford or private collectors and not into city plantings and public gardens. Even when restoring buildings, modern paints, glues and materials are used and most definitely we have these days’ modern roses that by far exceed the performance of the old roses yet still provide that very nostalgic effect.

SONY DSC SONY DSC People enjoy the public gardens & roses

SONY DSC Trees are planted very close together, giving a tall but thin canopy 

The importance of the roses in the old times is clearly seen in the wall and ceiling decorations of the old mosques and palaces.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

In Isfahan we did find a restored public rose garden with a high activity by Nightingales as written about by their old poets.

SONY DSC ‘There were lots of Nightingales in this garden’

A visit to the Maidan and the Ali Qapu palace in Isfahan is a must. This second largest city square in the world (after Tiananmem in China) is impeccably kept and full of action with hundreds of horse drawn coaches. The endless two level bazaars surrounding the square were very neat and one is able to walk and look without being accosted.

SONY DSC Bazaar

SONY DSC SONY DSC Horse drawn carts are still in high fashion 

In several mountainous places at just under 2000m altitude, the Persian Oil Rose, Rosa damascena trigintipetala, is grown commercially for the extrusion of rose water.

SONY DSC Rosa damascena trigintipetala

The distillation process and copper kettles are historic, but the heating is taken over by gas burners.

SONY DSC Rose distillation

SONY DSC The Persian Oil Rose is planted underneath these trees in this high lying village

Persian musk rose 'Nastarana' Persian Musk Rose ‘Nastarana

We did find a superb specimen of The Persian Yellow or Rosa foetida persiana growing on the edge of a damascena field.

SONY DSC  Rosa lutea persica or The Yellow Persian rose

SONY DSC  Rosa foetida 

The actual Rosa persica, better known as Hulthemia persica, is regarded as a weed in the Barley fields and is burned in winter. Alec Cocker had seed of this rose collected in Iran in 1964 and shared this with Jack Harkness. Jack was succesful in cross pollinating this rose and these hybrids are the base of the very many novel “eyconic”, deep eyed, varieties released by Chris Warner, Jim Sproul and others.

Rosa persica Rosa persica

The 5 petalled Rosa lutea also originated in Persia. This rose was used by Pernet as a parent and resulted in ‘Soleil d’ Or’, the forerunner of all modern yellow roses – and the black spot.

SONY DSC Rosa foetida lutea

All in all a great country to visit with friendly locals and beautiful roses.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC Friendly locals

SONY DSC Ludwig riding a massive goat

 

Finger Pruning

Although finger pruning it is not a MUST it has so many benefits for Hybrid Tea bushes!

It should be carried out on HT’s in mid to end September in accordance to climate and sprouting advancement. Ideally just before flower bud formation which can be felt in the tip of the new shoots.

  • When the tip or the upper two to three leaves of about three to five stems on a bush are pinched, the result is an incredible lengthening of the un-pinched stems within days.
  • The purplish leaves of the pinched stems turn green within a week and the stems become mature long before the un-pinched stems. The roots respond to this with increased vigor.
  • When the un-pinched stems come into bloom they may be picked with fairly long stems because the pinched stems have sprouted new shoots and are capable of absorbing the sudden extra sap pressure when the other leaves are removed.
  • The in-between non-flowering period of 45 days is shortened to three weeks or even less. Of course, if a light pruning has been carried out, leaving many side stems, the bush will do its own version of finger pruning by simply not producing a flower bud in the tip of every shoot. Such stems, known as blind shoots, will stop growing at about 10cm to 20cm length and mature without a flower. But the mature leaves carry on feeding the roots.

For Floribundas pinching is not necessary. Unlike a typical hybrid tea bloom that only needs a week from the first show of colour to the picking, the flowering period of a typical cluster is three weeks or more. This longer period is the critical period for the leaves to nurture the roots until new sprouting has taken place.

The actual finger pruning or pinching entails:

  • count the number of new flower-bud bearing shoots.
  • select about a third or quarter (maximum 5 out of 15 to 20 or 3 out of 12)
  • pinch out the tip, by using thumb and pointing finger and snapping it sideways.

We differentiate between a soft pinch and a hard pinch.

The soft pinch – remove the very tip of still undeveloped folded-up leaves.

A hard pinch – break off the upper 3 or 4 leaves.

Expect 1 new stem from a soft pinch which is virtually an extension and two or three new stems from a hard pinch.
All types of pinching may be carried out on one bush. Since the main purpose of finger pruning is to create green leaves quicker one will obviously pinch stems that are thinner, too close together or are bent, crooked or have damaged leaves.

Unhappy plant
If you find a bush that is just not growing well at all and has started making flower buds on unnaturally short stems, pinch off every shoot or remove every bud. This builds up more leaves with a stronger downward sap flow. This strengthens the roots allowing them to penetrate further resulting in the formation of basal shoots and stronger re-sprouting at the top. You should see the difference within three weeks. Flower formation uses up a lot of strength.

Winter Pruning Aftercare

Aftercare

Winter pruning stimulates root activity and sprouting of dormant eyes. The speed of development is partially dependent on temperature, but also on the water and nutrients available. It is obvious that watering and feeding should commence fairly soon after pruning has been completed.

  • Water the bed or soil around the rose bushes thoroughly, especially if watering has been applied sparingly over the past weeks during dormancy.
  • Check the soil condition in the rose bed by digging with a garden fork and getting a feel of the soil structure at root level. The soil should crumble in your hand. If it is hard and lumpy, air and water have difficulty penetrating down to the roots, resulting in poor root development. Poor soil condition is remedied by introducing organic material such as compost, old manure, peanut shells, and milled pine bark, even partially decomposed leaves and lawn clippings. Mix this material with the soil by digging it over to the depth of the fork tines. Try not to loosen strong roots: reposition the fork if it meets resistance from roots.

Be careful not to raise the soil level in a rose bed year after year by introducing compost and mulch. This can cause the root system eventually to be settled too deeply, where the soil remains too cold and wet for the development of micro-organisms.

The roots of roses should be encouraged to grow downwards and to find the best level for developing a fine hair root system. This is the best time of year to help establish such growth habits. Digging out a plant that has performed poorly can show whether it has been too deeply covered. If so, there are two ways of addressing the problem. Either simply remove most of the composted top layer in the rose bed down to the correct level – where the bud union or knob is just covered with soil – and then loosen the topsoil, so that remaining compost can penetrate down to the deeper level where the main roots are embedded. If insufficient composted soil remains at this level, remove a further layer of about 10 cm, restore some of the compost, and proceed to dig it in. Alternatively, dig up the rose bush, cut away roots that have formed higher up and above the bud union and replant the rose after having dug over the bed and mixed the good topsoil with some of the subsoil.

  • The first fertilizing of the season is carried out soon after pruning. If organics are also being dug into the soil, it is easier to spread both fertilizer and organics over the soil surface and to dig them in together. If, however, the existing mulch has decomposed and now consists of a thin layer of compost, spread just the fertilizer over the old mulch and mix together with the top 10 cm of soil. See here for the recommended fertilizing procedure.
  • Water well again after having dug over the soil. Any loosened roots must be well embedded in the soil, and this can only be achieved with heavy watering. See watering instructions
  • Spray with lime sulphur, Ludwig’s Insect Spray or Oleum, although this is not essential if you have adhered to a regular spraying programme throughout the season. One part of lime sulphur is diluted with five parts of water. If pernicious scale is present on the lower parts of the stems, mix 100 ml of Ludwig’s Insect Spray or Oleum in 10 litres of water and add 10 ml of Metasystox or Ripcord for best results.
  • The rose or stalk borer wasp seems to smell open cut wounds, and if they are in the vicinity they awaken and will drill down the soft pith found in the centre of a rose stem. Such holes are not detrimental or cause die back and if you have sprayed diligently with an insecticide during the season, the borer will likely have been eradicated from the garden. If not, it is best to seal all cuts with Steriseal, ordinary PVC paint or with a little clay.
  • Mulch keeps the soil cool and retains moisture, but a thick application early in the season when temperatures are still low actually prevents the soil from warming up. It is better to start a fresh layer of mulch towards the end of August.
  • From now on, water the rose bed weekly, increasing to twice weekly once the roses show rapid growth and temperatures have increased.
  • Pest control of roses becomes necessary in early September in all regions.

Spanish Garden Design

For Ludwig’s Roses by Emma Brown

Beautiful pines, graceful ferns, and sun-soaked piazzas make the Spanish garden one of the most serene and blissful, crafted to make the most of the generous sun but with graceful interludes of shade. A delicate blend of open spaces, cool sanctuaries and artfully balanced detail and simplicity, it’s one of many landscaping concepts which are easily achieved and aesthetically pleasing. The gentle climate of South Africa means that the variety of garden projects available are boundless, and the versatile Spanish garden can be adapted in a myriad of ways to accommodate the outdoor lifestyle that you desire.

Design Principles

Spanish gardens are a mixture of the grandiose and pastoral, of curves and columns, of vibrant colours and pastel hues. They take their influences from PersianRoman, and Moorish designs (like the famous Moroccan Jardin Majorelle), changing over the centuries but keeping the same general outline. These are the design principles, some of which are similar to the Victorian style:

  • The design is primarily rectangular and symmetrical, with variations of circular and cornered shapes
  • Paths are parallel and perpendicular, outlining long promenades
  • Beds, lawns and pools are geometrically shaped
  • Columns, arches and trellis-work are used to emphasize the design
  • Classical and Moorish ornaments and statues are used as focal points
  • Brick, stone, and tiled courtyards are central to the design, with bright colours
  • Topiary plants are clipped and shaped into balls, columns, and rectangles

images 9792853f2e2bbba4f11c203811c90cfb c7eb4863130f6c803e5c59aaca768fbe

Unlike French gardens which are highly geometric, pristine and trimmed, Spanish gardens are orderly but more wild and natural, giving off the impression of a small, contained space which is usually enclosed by a courtyard. Smaller accents lead up to a focal point at the end of the garden where all the elements are drawn together.

The traditional Spanish garden focuses more on shape than on colour, but is diverse in its range of combinations. Here are a few examples:

[Insert image here, and properly attribute as follows: Gartenanlage Generalife, Alhambra, Granada, Spanien eigene Aufnahme, Erstellungsdatum 22.Juni 2006, Autor Peter Lorber]

Alcazar Jerez

Alcazar Jerez

Common Plants and Patterns

Some of the best plants to use in a Spanish garden include:

  • Magnolia, orchid, myrtle
  • Bougainvilleas and bignonias of varying colours
  • Jasmine, passion flowers, roses, mandevillas and dipladenias
  • Hibiscus, lantanas, oleanders, and angels trumpets
  • Cacti
  • Figs, oranges, pineapples, grapefruits

magnolia jasmine-flowers fig Cactus Hibiscus cactus-2 passiflora myrtle_2 dipladenia_diamantina_jade_red angels_trumpet_pink_large_c

Roses that would do well in such Spanish garden style:

Floribundas

Kissing Ayoba Red Ayoba Sunny Ayoba 2

Kissing Ayoba     Red Ayoba         Sunny Ayoba

Colourscape

Deloitte & Touche kinders van die wind 011 Playmate Pots07 Playmate is growing in a woven container

Deloitte & Touche      Kinders v. d. Wind             Playmate

Hybrid Teas

Tineke in full flush Full Sail Arlene Archbishop Tutu open

Tineke                Full Sail               Arlene                Archbishop Tutu

Standards are also very popular to give height

SangerhLovelyFairystd

Climbers

Towering Rose Magic  Cherry Garland with Fiery Sunsation at its feet over the dome at Ludwig's Rose Farm. Perfumed Breeze

Towering Rose Magic, Cherry Garland & Perfumed Breeze

The Spanish garden can be as rustic or as refined as you wish – rough stone paths work beautifully for a country life look, and symmetrical tiling can work wonderfully in more regal styles. Choosing tiles that are rich, deep hues as well as brightly lit ones can create a warm, pastoral charm, and don’t have to be geometrically arranged although tighter patterning can create a striking contrast with the rest of the garden. Even mosaics can produce enchanting effects when used as a focal point or minimalist accents, but like all other elements of the garden, it must blend organically. The fluid and diverse character of the garden allows for huge creative potential to incorporate other influences as well, and finding hand-crafted artwork and perusing local markets for ceramics, produce and other essentials to place in the garden will help to spur on the creative juices.

Other Planning Ideas

There is never greater inspiration than seeking other ideas and finding ways to blend styles and techniques of gardening. Perusing forums and websites like Garden Design provides a great opportunity to see some new styles, as well as pinterest and art websites. There are several online resources available such as gardening courses which can be taken over the internet, and YouTube presents a vast treasure trove of instructional videos as well as free interactive software which gives you the chance to brainstorm and sketch out some ideas. Visiting the local library and renting or buying guides on gardening is also an informative and fascinating source for creativity, and even older editions of publications which can reveal some true gems of landscaping design and technique, and there is no harm in asking friends, families, co-workers and professional landscapers for some key advice. Best of all, you could even visit the great gardens of Spain, whether it is Park Güell in Barcelona, the Royal Place Gardens in Aranjuez, the Gardens of the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba, or the magnificent Alhambra.

With so many eclectic tastes and influences and freedom for creativity, the Spanish garden is the perfect setting for artistic expression, festive occasions and peaceful evenings. Perhaps one of the most beautiful styles of garden in the world, it is truly a splendour of natural and hand-crafted environments.

Winter Pruning

Roses rejuvenate themselves by producing new stems from the base on a regular basis. Left unpruned, roses eventually carry out their own pruning by not nourishing the thinner inside growth, which slowly dries out completely and dies. In this case, new basal stems either push their way through the dead growth to flower higher up in the full light, or push up on the outsides of the bush or shrub, which becomes broader over the years.

Watch these clips to see how easy pruning is. Remember, you need not fear hurting the roses by cutting them back, they love it. It is like having a hair cut to them.

Watch more of our videos on how to prune the different types of roses by following this link!

Why prune

We prune roses to maintain the shape of the bush, to keep the main branches to a manageable height, and to eliminate unsightly, superfluous dead wood. Pruning encourages strong new growth and reduces the number of flowering stems, resulting in an increase in eventual flower size.

When to prune

Pruning should generally take place from mid-July until the end of August, with local weather patterns helping to pinpoint the time more exactly. For most parts of the country, the best time to prune is during the latter part of July.

In warmer regions, such as the Lowveld and coastal KwaZulu-Natal, pruning can, if desired, be carried out by the end of June.

In very cold regions pruning is delayed – it might vary from the first week in August to the last week in August in the really cold parts of the country.

Bear in mind that pruning encourages sprouting even during fairly low temperatures. Newly sprouted leaves are tender and could be burnt by late frost, in which case nothing is gained and important stored reserves are lost.

In general, roses cannot be induced to flower earlier in spring by pruning early. However, delaying pruning by two to three weeks can result in a slight delay in flowering, possibly by up to a week.

Equipment

Pruning shears must be in good condition, as sharp blades make the job much easier. Blades can be sharpened with a new sharpening device available from most garden centres. Make sure to sharpen mainly the slanted outside of the blade and only very little on the flat inside. Continual sharpening of the inside will eventually create a gap between the blades. If there is play between the blades, tighten the centre nut gradually until the two blades are squeezed tightly next to one another. Before tightening the nut, allow a few drops of oil to penetrate between the two touching parts around the centre bolt and into the spring.

Sharpener Pouch

Buy Now         Buy Now       Buy Now

Using long-handled loppers of good quality, you can prune all types of roses without the assistance of a saw. The same principles of sharpening and of keeping the pivot bolt and nut tight apply to long-handled loppers.

Gloves, available from garden centres and hardware stores, make pruning more manageable, whether they’re long-sleeved welding gloves or short gardening gloves.

How to prune

For accuracy and neatness, make a pointed measure stick of about 1 m in length. Make a mark 10 cm from the point, which is the depth that it is to be pushed into the ground. Make a further mark 50 to 70 cm (according to personal preference) up from the first mark and cut off the stick at 20 cm above the second mark.

Bush roses

Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and the bush types of the English and Nostalgia roses

Ludwig Taschner getting ready to prune

Ludwig Taschner preparing to winter prune – good tools are essential

unpruned rose bush

Using the measuring stick, the plant has been pruned to 70cm height

Push the (above mentioned) measuring stick into the ground next to the bush to be pruned, and cut off every branch and stem in line with the top of the stick (70 to 90 cm above ground level). With the top growth and twigs removed, it becomes easy to inspect the bush and to select the main stems or branches that are to remain. The maximum number of stems or branches to remain is four and the minimum one. ‘Branch’ means a fairly thick wooden member that has branched more or less at the base and is two years or older. A ‘stem’ is this season’s wooden growth from the base. The colour of the thorns helps distinguish between this season’s stems and older wood. Thorns turn grey on old wood, but are usually still brown or reddish on this season’s stems. The bark, too, is grey and thick on older wood.

step 1 cutting back to top of measuring stick

step 1: cutting back to top of measuring stick

step 2cutting back to the 70 cm mark removing twigs and criss crossing branches and older wood

step 2: cutting back to the 70cm mark, removing twigs and criss-crossing branches and older wood

Step 3 light pruning

step 3: light pruning

Step 3 severe pruning cutting back to 50 cm mark leaving maximum 4 stems

step 3: severe pruning, cutting back to 50cm mark leaving maximum of 4 stems

Step 4 severe pruning

First identify four suitable stems that are more or less neatly arranged in diverging directions. Remove all other stems and branches. If there are only one or two good stems, it is possible to retain some of the older branches. If the situation is not clear, start at the centre by removing older branches that are obviously in the way. However, if the branches do not look as if they could sustain new growth, cut away all older branches, retaining just one good stem, which should, ideally, be more or less in the centre. From this single good stem you can expect five to six good blooms, and alongside it, the development of new basal stems.  Once you have selected the stems to remain, and removed all other stems and branches, check the measuring pole again, and cut the remaining stems at the mark that is 20 cm below the top. All remaining branches should be cut at the same height, give or take 10 cm, but not more. Remember that the root system will favour taller stems to the detriment of lower stems, a trend known as apical dominance.

The direction of the top eye is of minor importance – the rose will decide which eye to favour. The actual final cut should be at 90° to the stem. This is the smallest wound and since the stems are almost never absolutely vertical, it means that the cut is also not horizontal and will not collect water.

any type of cut is acceptable, however avoic slanted cut too close to an eye as seen on right stem

any type of cut is acceptable, however avoid slanted cut too close to an eye as seen on right stem

When cutting, make sure that the thick blade is facing up and is pointed away from you. If the thicker blade faces downwards it will bruise the stem severely. Another trick to make cutting easier is to grip the branch or stem well above where the cut is to be made, and to push gently away from the cutting blade of the shear. Very thick branches require vigorous pushing. Pushing stretches the wood and makes it softer to cut. If not familiar with this method, practice it higher up on the stems until you get the feel. If pushing is not synchronised with cutting, the branch might split. Pulling the stem backwards over the blade will make cutting almost impossible. The same technique applies to cutting very thick branches with loppers, where one can either use a foot or knee to push, or ask an assistant to help.

Once the remaining stems have been pruned to the specified height, any side branches on these stems should be cut off smoothly next to the main stem. If any of the main stems is forked, remove one tine of the fork. Remaining stems should be separated from each other at the top by at least the length of the shears (about 20 cm).

Commence with the next bush. It gets easier all the time. However, no two rose bushes are identical, and adjustments have to be made. Where a bush is much weaker and shorter than the others, it is advisable to cut back such a bush more severely than the others. Much taller bushes are usually simply brought back to the standard 50 to 70 cm. They will grow as tall again, and as quickly.

Specimen Bush roses

The above method applies to Bush roses planted in beds, in groups and rows. Bush roses that are planted as single specimens or further apart than the recommended 50 to 80 cm, have more space to develop and can be pruned more lightly. This entails cutting them back to about 1 to 1,2 m. It still helps to remove growth, and particularly old wood, from the centre of the bush. Leave no more than four main branches, but allow substantial side stems on the main branches to remain, usually cut back to a length of about 20 cm. Such lightly pruned roses will produce quality blooms in October. Rose bushes that are pruned lightly every year form very thick wooden stems and have a tendency to remain bare – without foliage and flowers – at the lower part of the bush.

Spire roses

These are simply very tall Hybrid Teas, whose growth is formal and upright. They are planted for the purpose of screening or providing colour high up as a background. Prune Spire roses to chest height (1,3 m) and lop off all branches at this level. Then remove all surplus branches from the centre, again leaving not more than four main branches. When it comes to cleaning up the remaining main stems or branches, leave some of the stems on the upper level. Make sure that the tops of remaining stems are spaced about 30 cm from each other.

Shrub roses

There are two ways of handling this group of roses. They can be pruned more or less like Spire roses, which will encourage strong new stems and large flowers in spring. However, if the graceful, arching habit of an informal shrub is required, do not cut off the shrub at a certain height but rather start by identifying the younger, better stems, and then removing older wood at the base. Since growth is usually very dense, it is advisable to pull out each main branch as it is cut, and then to re-check which other stems can be removed. Space must be created for new growth in the centre of the shrub. Cut back long, arching canes to where they start growing horizontally, as last season’s hanging stems will not give rise to quality blooms. However, the weight of new growth and flowers will recreate the arching effect. Again, all or most of the shorter side stems are cut off smoothly next to the main stem.

Climbing roses

Some Climbing roses grow to such size and profusion that it becomes an impossible task to prune them. You can leave them unpruned, or simply tidy up at the base by cutting off obvious non-flower-bearing wood and stems. Since the bulk of the flowers are usually at such a height that one cannot see the detail of each bloom, the concern here is for profusion of blooms rather than individual quality.

However, if you feel that the rose has grown out of hand, pull up a ladder and reduce the growth drastically, always bearing in mind that cutting back such a strong rose will result in even more new growth and, usually, fewer flowers. It is best, before commencing pruning, to remove all ties holding the long branches in place. Cut away older branches in favour of new ones and then tie back the remaining branches on to the fence, pole, pergola etc. The most spectacular show can be achieved by tying long, climbing stems horizontally on to a fence or wall. Again, all side stems are cut off next to the main stems.

unpruned climber

Unpruned branch of a climber

pruned climbing branch

Pruned branch of a climber

Pruning Wedding Garland

‘Wedding Garland’s’ leaves have been stripped off, now the stems sticking out are being tied down and or cut back

Spiralling

After pruning climbers, try to spiral the stems as much as possible around the pole for more flower production

Espaliering

After pruning – climbers should be fanned out horizontally or spiraled to have maximum bloom production

Another way of handling Climbers and also several of the large shrub and climbing types of English rose, is to bower the long canes and tie their tips at the base of the plant or on special pegs driven into the soil.

If a Climbing rose in your garden does not flower, try leaving it alone. Some Climbers need two years before they have done most of their growing and are ready to start flowering.

Pruning will encourage them to grow again, but not necessarily to flower. If this means that the rose is too large and unwieldy where you have planted it, and does not perform as you wish, take it out and transplant it to another, more appropriate spot, or give it to someone who has more space.

Miniature roses

There are two pruning options here. One is to chop off all stems about 10 cm above soil level and then to cut out the ground shoots, leaving about four. If the Miniature is grown as a specimen and has achieved a substantial height and width – about 80 cm high and wide – use hedge clippers to trim it by a third or half. Older, woody stems can be removed from the centre. It is too time-consuming to prune the numerous little twigs. The rose will sort itself out and flower beautifully in spring. We do not expect large blooms from miniature roses, but rather an abundance of flowers.

Groundcover roses

PruneGranny1

‘Granny’s Delight’ as a mature plant before pruning

Granny's Delight - light trimming

‘Granny’s Delight’ – lightly pruned

GrC properCutBack2

‘Granny’s Delight’ – winter pruned

These grow into a dense, matted bush or low shrub. They can be left unpruned, but this might bring on red spiders early in the season. If weeds have become established amongst them, clip the roses well with hedge shears, and then remove some or all of the older wood, as well as the surrounding weeds.

‘Iceberg’

Iceberg pruned severely last winter 009

‘Iceberg’ severely pruned the previous winter

Unpruned Iceberg stem

‘Iceberg’ – stem unpruned

Iceberg Stem pruned

‘Iceberg’ – lightly pruned

Iceberg Stem severely pruned

‘Iceberg’ – severely pruned

Iceberg resprouting after pruning

‘Iceberg’ – resprouting after pruning

This variety is exceptional in that it is able to flourish year after year on old wood without having to renew itself from the base. This is why ‘Iceberg’ is able to grow into quite a large shrub and to flower every day of the season. No other variety matches this ability.

Large shrubs of ‘Iceberg’ can be pruned lightly year after year and they will still produce the same quantity and quality of flowering clusters. However, if you wish your ‘Iceberg’ to remain a ‘tame’ bush that fits in with other Floribundas, prune in accordance with the instructions for Bush roses.

Standard roses

These are essentially Bush roses, and are pruned in almost the same way. However, do not use the measuring stick as described for Bush roses. Instead, cut back all stems and branches to about 50 cm of the crown or bud union and then remove all older wood and twigs. Final pruning should leave the stems about 30 cm long.

Miniature Standards are obviously cut even shorter unless they, too, are expected to perform as small shrubs.

Umbrella Standards are also tidied up by cutting off all the side stems and twigs and by shortening the arching canes.

Watch our videos on how easy pruning really is by following this link!

 

Aphids

Introduction

Aphids weaken and destroy plants by sucking out the life-giving sap from leaves, stems and fruits. Plants attacked by aphids get yellow leaves and start to wilt, slowly dying. Aphids are also transporters of viral and bacterial plant infections.

Description

Aphids, also known as plant lice and in Britain and the Commonwealth as greenflies, blackflies or whiteflies, (not to be confused with “jumping plant lice” or true whiteflies) are small sap-sucking insects, and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea.Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions.

NATURAL PREVENTION

  1. Spot the aphids. Aphid damage is recognisable by telltale signs of cottony-looking threads around new buds and leaves. Some aphids prefer older growth. Aphids are also known as “plant lice” and they hang around in bunches, making them easy to spot
  2. Make Organic Aphid Sprays. Create an aphid spray using a mild detergent and water, or make a soapy garden spray. Spray every two to three days over a period of a week – you must spray the aphids directly for this to be effective. You can also use garlic spray as an effective aphid controller.
    • Consider using neem oil mixed with water. Or, add neem oil with OHN (garlic + ginger + molasses). Dilute the ingredients in water and spray directly below the leaves (where aphids hide). Spray repeatedly 3 times per week for a plant with serious aphid damage.
  3. Squash them. Provided you don’t mind quite a bit of patrolling and squishing, you can be very effective at reducing the aphid population by manually squashing them. This is labour intensive and likely you will miss some, but combined with organic sprays, this can be very effective. Wash your hands well with soap after each session, or wear garden gloves.
  4. Companion plant. Plant your favourite roses alongside aphid-discouraging plants. Aphids dislike garlic, chives, onions, mint, petunias. Aphids love nasturtiums. Roses grown with garlic plants or chives are much less prone to aphid attacks and both have a beautiful flower of their own during flowering season.
  5. Release ladybirds. Ladybirds (ladybugs) feast on aphids. You can purchase the larvae in packs online or from specialist nurseries. Follow the release instructions carefully – they should be released right near the food (the aphids) and must never be released in an area that has been sprayed with pesticides.
  6. Blast them with the hose. Depending on how sensitive your plant is and your water usage restrictions, you can blast aphids off the plant with the jet stream of a hose.
  7. Try flour. Sprinkle flour over the aphids using a sieve or flour sifter. The flour will coat the aphids and they will drop off.
  8. Dig banana peel into the ground. Cut-up banana peels or use dried banana pieces for this. Dig the cut-up peel or dried pieces 2.5–5 cm into the ground around the base of every plant that aphids are attracted to. The aphids will soon be gone.

PESTICIDES

 

What could be wrong with my roses?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY ROSES?
Whenever one thinks that the roses in a garden are not growing well or do not look healthy or even abnormal it is best to correctly identify the problem and the cause before attempting to spray with a pesticide. Very often it is a growing problem that reduces the natural resistance to insects and diseases. The illustrations below should help in the identification.

Deficiency Symptoms

Rose leaves inform the observant gardener of the plant’s wellbeing or of its problems. Large, deep green leaves indicate an active root system, well aerated, with enough moving water and adequate nutrients available for absorption. Stem length and flower size can be expected to be superlative. Smaller leaves can indicate heat stress and insufficient water, while discolouration of the leaves shows a deficiency of nutrients – see section on fertilising.

The most common, clearly noticeable deficiencies are of nitrogen and iron.

NITROGEN DEFICIENCY

Nitrogen deficiency is indicated by pale green-yellow leaves and shoots. On an average rose bush, approximately 20 to 30 actively growing shoots extend, in total, by about 5cm per day. This growth requires a considerable amount of nitrogen. Being water soluble, nitrogen is leached out of the soil more quickly than any other nutrient, particularly in sandy soil. The only way to bring a plant out of such a deficiency is by adding a fertiliser high in nitrogen (N). Within 10 days of application and watering a distinct difference in the greening of the leaves and sprouting should be evident. Using manure takes twice as long to bring about a change and with well rotten compost even longer.

IRON DEFICIENCY

It is indicated where leaf veins remain green, but the areas in between gradually turn light green to yellow, and almost white in severe cases. An iron deficiency does not necessarily mean that there is no iron in the soil, but rather that it cannot be absorbed by the roots – usually the result of insufficient aeration due to soil compaction, over-watering or waterlogging. Without a good supply of oxygen in the root zone, micro-organisms are inactive and do not convert iron, manganese, boron, copper, sulphur and other essential trace elements into a form that can be absorbed by the roots.
Sudden loss of leaves (leaf drop caused by disease, removal of too many active leaves when cutting long-stemmed blooms, or hail) disturbs the balanced flow of sap, leaving the roots unable to absorb and transport trace elements. Signs of deficiency become apparent in the leaves within days.
When the soil contains relatively high percentages of lime or sodium (natrium combinations), causing high alkalinity, absorption of some micronutrients, including iron, is blocked. Acid organic material such as peat moss and milled pine bark helps regulate this problem, together with a handful of flower of sulphur sprinkled around each plant once or twice a year. (The condition will compound if caused by alkaline irrigation water.)

HIGH pH

Various deficiencies occur due to a very high pH of 8.5. This high pH can be reduced by applying a good handful of flour of sulfur around each bush, and then watering it in.

MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

A magnesium deficiency can be overcome by spreading Epsom salts around the bushes or by using Ludwig’s Vigorosa® fertiliser.

TO RECTIFY DEFICIENCIES
Ensure adequate aeration of the soil, and treat plants with trace elements in chelate form (for easy absorption by the leaves and roots), or add them to the spray cocktail. The most popular commercial product is Phostrogen, which contains all required nutrients. To correct deficiencies almost immediately, wet the leaves and drench the soil with 50g of Phostrogen in 10litres of water for about ten medium-sized bushes.

A common practice is the annual application of a tablespoon of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate). Magnesium is an important trace element, responsible for the formation of chlorophyll, and is beneficial in alkaline soil where sulphate helps acidify the soil. In good, friable soil and normal conditions, this treatment, while not harmful, is not necessary.
Excellent, quick results are achieved after fertilising with LAN (limestone ammonium nitrate) at a rate of between 50 to 80g per mature bush.

Problems arising from extreme weather conditions
Much of this has to do with what is commonly known as sap flow, actually it is the circulation of water and dissolved minerals (nutrients) flowing upwards from the roots into the tip of every leaf. The strongest flow is to the highest points to the leaves which are exposed to the sun most and where evaporation is the strongest. These vertical bundles of tubes known as the xylem are on the outside of the wood. Part of the water is lost due to evaporation and the other part combines minerals and sugars created by photosynthesis to form amino acids. This sap is thicker than water and cannot be lost through evaporation. It is transported via the phloem, a porous tube, downwards and sideways to all growing parts of the plants and to the roots. The phloem is on the outside just beneath the bark. The important part one needs to understand is that the leaf acts as a sort of valve. Without leaves there is no downflow and a stagnation of the water that was pushed upwards. The sun heats up stagnant water in xylem to the degree of killing cells and tissue causing what is called sunburn.

SUNBURN
Although sunburn is not a disease in itself, it causes a secondary disease known as stem canker or coniothirium. This is caused by bacteria and no remedial sprays are available. It causes ‘die-back’ or rather ‘die–up’ of part of the rose bush, or even the entire bush. A secondary fungus and bacteria settle in dead tissue almost immediately, and soon attack the surrounding healthy tissue as well. Black to purplish blotches become visible on the stem. The xylem capillaries through which sap is transported are blocked or severed at this point and, once the dead tissue has encircled the stem, the above section shrivels and dies.

Sunburn occurs on the lower parts of the stems, usually on the curvature just above soil level. It can happen in early August, when the stems are still bare after pruning, and the sun rapidly warms frozen tissue after a frosty night. In regions that expect late frost, it is advisable to spray after pruning with a solution of 1 part lime sulphur to 5 parts water, or use limewash. The residual whiteness reflects sunlight.

Sunburn occurs more often and with more devastating results in the heat of summer, when the lower parts of the plant are not shaded by a canopy of leaves and when water in the surrounding soil is allowed to heat up because of insufficient mulch or cover. Sudden leaf drop (caused by black spot, spider mites, hail etc.) can slow down the sap flow so much that normal cooling processes – liquid moving through the capillaries – does not take place.

If blotches are apparent but have not spread too much upwards (they never move downwards), it is still possible to retain the affected stems by sealing them with Steriseal. The stems will put on new growth and, with the sap flow restored, callus growth around the edges of the infected areas will prevent the disease from spreading. Such branches can be removed at a later stage during routine pruning, by which stage new basal stems will have taken over.

Another, often devastating problem that is caused indirectly by a slowing down and concentration of sap in the phloem is a proliferation of red spider and scale insects.

COLD SNAP
A cold snap in September can burn the tips of soft, new shoots. This happens almost annually in the coldest regions of the country. If the cold is not too severe, it may turn out to be beneficial – by performing a good pinching of shoots, after which rose bushes will sprout very quickly again, and with renewed vigour. However, if the frost is very severe, symptoms of sunburn (described above) may occur.

Climatic conditions and weather patterns play a major role in determining the well being of roses. Preemptive spraying can lessen the impact of adverse weather conditions.

 

Downy Mildew

Downy MildewIntroduction

Downy mildew refers to any of several types of oomycete microbes that are obligate parasiteof plants. Downy mildews exclusively belong to Peronosporaceae.

Downy Mildew is not as widespread and much more dependent on ideal temperatures and moisture conditions to cause devastating results on roses.

Description

Red purple blotches of downy mildew on rose White hair of downy mildew on roses

Downy Mildew symptoms occur on leaves, stems, peduncles, calyxes and petals.

The leaves develop purplish red to dark brown irregular spots or blotches which might be mistaken for spray burns or possibly black spot.

If one is not familiar with the symptoms of Downy Mildew one could easily overlook this until infections have caused leaf drop and deformation of the bud. The biggest problem is the speed with which infection can take place with the resultant devastation of a whole flowering flush.

To visibly identify this disease one needs to pick an infected leaf, fold it at a brown spot and hold it against the light. White “hair’ are visible.

Damage

Downy Mildew on rose Stem burst open due to downy mildew Downy Mildew

The ideal stage for a Downy Mildew attack seems to be when the buds are still green and about pea-size. Germination takes place in the upper two, still soft leaves and soon after, this Mildew enters the peduncle, spreading upwards and blocking the normal sap flow to the bud. The buds are unable to develop normally and are eventually totally distorted and unpickable. The bark of the still soft basal shoots become affected by severe Downy Mildew infection. This is evident from a brown-purplish discolouration of the skin. Soon after it bursts open to release more conidia or to serve as a seasonal hiding spot for the Pathogen. This is why sanitation is so important and it is best to cut out affected parts, remove them from the site, and burn them.

Environment

The optimal conditions for the appearance of Downy Mildew are constant high humidity, low night temperatures and moisture on the leaves. The optimal temperatures for spore germination is between 10°C and 18°C no germination take place at temperatures below 5°C and the spores are killed at temperatures above 27°C. Certain cultivars are more resistant to Downy Mildew than others. The causal agent of Downy Mildew is Peronospora sparsa, this fungus might be on your roses under normal conditions – with a very sparse spore production – until such time that conditions become favourable. The spores germinate within 4 hours in water, enter the leaves, and reproduce in three days. Spores survive on dried fallen leaves for as long as one month.

Areas of occurrence

Downy Mildew was virtually unknown on the South African Highveld until the nineties and even in the cool, moist climate of the Western Cape of South Africa it was not recognized as a problem on roses two decades ago. The main areas that are now suffering from Downy Mildew on and off are in Kwazulu Natal of South Africa

Prevention & Treatment

In practice this means one has to lower the humidity by improving ventilation and aeration. Only by correcting the optimum climatic conditions (or a sudden change in weather – sunshine) will an immediate stop be made to the spreading of Downy Mildew.

NATURAL PREVENTION

Plant roses in full sun. They should receive a full six to eight hours of sun daily.

Plants will grow more robustly and be able to resist powdery mildew better. Shade causes slower moisture evaporation thus creating a breeding zone for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.

Plant roses in an area with good air circulation and space them well. Moisture evaporates faster. In addition the breeze will dry off the foliage.

Aerate the soil in winter. The roots of roses need an aerated soil; plants are stressed if water logging occurs and stunt new growth, thus being more susceptible to powdery mildew.

Water correctly. Plants that do not receive enough are more prone to fungal infection. Deep soakings, 3 times a week in the hot summer months will suffice. Watering late in the afternoon or evening must be avoided. Any sudden influx of cold air will immediately increase humidity and cause drops of evaporation.

Choose resistant varieties. Roses vary in their resistance to this disease. Use resistant varieties for low maintenance plantings.

The method of picking off diseased leaves to prevent spreading has become an old fashioned method due to the availability of new, disease tolerant roses and effective pesticides that should be used for major infestations.

PESTICIDES

Spot checks and preventative spraying are essential. Effective fungicides should be on the shelf in regions where this disease is prevalent such as Coastal regions and on Inland regions if autumn rains are prevalent. If Downy Mildew breaks out and one is unable to spray within 24 hours it will be too late for curative action coupled with the danger of severely affected main stems which are essential for the next flush.

Protecting the leaves by spraying is effective. During ideal “downy mildew” weather condition, spraying on a weekly basis is essential. The following fungicides are effective to a degree in preventing the spores to enter the leaves as well as killing spores on the leaves. The most common group contains the active ingredient Mancozeb. Of these are very many fungicides registered under various trade names.

The most common:

  • Dithane WG                 mancozeb
  • Mikal M                     mancozeb + fosetyl aluminium
  • Ridomil Gold                 mancozeb + metalyaxyl

Fungicides containing copper:

  • CoppercountN                  copper ammonium
  • Copperoxychloride                copperoxychloride

Fungicides absorbed by the leaves

(These have a partial curative action as they clear the blocked capillaries)

  • Proplant                   proparmocarb
  • Proparmocarb               proparmocarb
  • Benlate                   Benomyl
  • Chronos                  imidazole prochloraz zinc complex

Fungicide to eliminate spores

  • Phytex                   phosphorous acid equivalent

Also see

Peronosporaceae (list of downy mildew genera)

References

Taschner, L. Ludwig Taschner’s Roses 2010:37 ISBN 978-1-77007-803-1

Rust

IntroductionRust on roses

Ludwig’s Roses on: Rust is a disease caused by the parasitic fungus Phragmidium tuberculatumand and some other closely related species. It is specific to roses, and appears in spring and persists until the leaves fall.

Susceptibility to rust varies widely among rose cultivars, and most modern roses are resistant to rust. Rose rust is the least serious of the common rose diseases; black spot and powdery mildew are far more prevalent.

Description Rust on roses

Rust appears as its name implies, as red-orange spots (raised looking like warts) on undersides of leaves and yellow blotches on top surfaces. Infected leaves may fall early.

Generally prevalent during cool moist weather.

Damage

Rust causes the young foliage to curl and distort  – older leaves are not deformed but display the same coloured spots on the top and underside of the leaf  lowering photosynthetic efficiency that results in reduced plant growth and vigour.

If left untreated the foliage will eventually fall off which will set a rose plant back considerably if infestation takes place in spring.

Plants can be severely stunted if they are heavily infected early in the growing season. Rose tissue becomes more resistant to infection as it ages.

Environment

Rust thrives in cool, moist weather (18 to 21 degrees Celsius), especially in rainy, foggy or misty conditions. This disease will develop on leaf surfaces that remain wet for 4 hours (as can occur during summer fogs, heavy dews or extended rains).

Life Cycle, Survival and Dispersal Rust close up

The fungus causing rose rust is, like all rusts, a biotroph:  it infects the host tissues for extended periods without killing them, feeding on the living cells. Like all rusts, it is not able to survive on dead plant material, so must either alternate with a different, perennial host, or produce a resting spore to pass the dormant season.

Phragmidium tuberculatum and several other very similar species which infect roses do not have an alternate host; that is, they only attack roses and pass the winter as resting spores.

The first formed spores (spring spores) infect young stems, causing distortion and the production of bright orange pustules. These in turn infect the leaves to produce dusty orange spores (summer spores) which are spread by wind and initiate further infections. In late summer, the pustules producing summer spores switch over to produce the dark, tough resting spores. These spores survive the winter often adhering to stems or trellises. And then the infection starts over again in spring.

Reproduction of rust spores occurs every 10 to 14 days throughout summer.

Infections may be severe enough to cause serious damage, but this is relatively rare and most infections are light enough not to require control.

Environment

Rust thrives in cool, moist weather (18 to 21 degrees Celsius,), especially in rainy, foggy or misty conditions. This disease will develop on leaf surfaces that remain wet for 4 hours (as can occur during summer fogs, heavy dews or extended rains). Reproduction of rust spores occurs every 10 to 14 days throughout summer

Treatment and Prevention

NATURAL PREVENTION 

Good soil drainage is essential for moisture control; adding organic matter, double digging beds or planting raised beds are effective means in providing a good healthy environment for roses. Also it is best to avoid working in a wet rose garden so as not to help spread rust spores (this is also sound advice regarding minimizing the spread of blackspot and mildew). In humid regions, try to limit wetting the foliage on rose plants while watering and provide good air circulation between plants by spacing them well apart from one another. Prune to keep the centers of rose bushes open for air circulation as this will assist in keeping them drier.

FUNGICIDES

Dithane                     mancozeb

Rose Protector/Rosecare         Propiconazole

Resources

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=269

http://www.rosemagazine.com/articles02/pages/rust.asp