? talking roses in May ’18 ?

  • In the rose garden with Ludwig
  • Rose Care for May
  • Happenings
  • Step by Step for May
  • Rose of the Month
  • News from our Rose centres
 “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Henri Matisse
In the Rose Garden with Ludwig

The continuation of the “rosy weather” for most parts of the country from March through April has resulted in lots of extraordinary blooms and new growth, specially on stunted bushes, that did not receive enough water at root level.

“Rosy weather” means cool nights around 12 to 15°C, and a partially cloudy sky but also enough sunshine.

The adverse part is dew that remains on the leaves until late morning and soft rain that brings on black spot and spoils the full blooms.

A Albertina Sisulu Apr18 (4).jpg

‘Albertina Sisulu’ boasting perfect blooms on a powerful shrub.

 A Amys Rose Apr18 Soleil (3).jpg

‘Amy’s Rose’ a tough spire with immaculate blooms!

 A Frau K Druschki May18 (1).JPG

‘Frau Karl Druschki’ stretching after the rain.
A white variety bred in 1901.

 A Grassland Meander Apr18 (4).jpg

‘Grassland Meander’ spewing bright orange buds and blooms like a volcano.

 A Mutabilis May18 (4).jpg


 A My Granny is competing in height with Graden.jpg

‘My Granny’ competing in height with ‘Garden Princess’

 A Sympa original plant Apr18 (1).jpg

‘Sympa de Bellevue’ – one single plant – formidable!

 A these powerful GrandiRosas welcomed the deep.jpg

The GrandiRosa’s welcomed the rain and transfomed it into flower power!

We are all so thankful for the rain that has arrived in the Western Cape!

May the prognosis that good rains in April mean further good rains during winter come true and may the dams all overflow!

The resilience of roses has once more been proven, this time in Knysna.

The local Rose Society staged their annual rose show in mid-April, not knowing whether they would receive entries from the public after last year’s devastating fires.

We helped by sending a few buckets full of fresh blooms from Pretoria for decorating the show venue.

There was no need to worry! The public brought lots of blooms, from as far as Port Elizabeth.

A stem of ‘Little Red Hedge’ that was cut from a bush that had been burned down to the ground a year ago, became champion.

There are most certainly hormones in the plants that somehow revive plants after a fire has burnt them down. We know this from grass and fynbos too.

That said, I would still not advise pruning roses completely down to the ground in winter.

D blooms donate by Ludwigs.jpg

The buckets of blooms we sent down.

 D IMG_1879.jpg

The many blooms that were entered by the public.

 D Knysna Show.jpg

The champion ‘Little Red Hedge’ grown from a rose bush that had been scorched.

Talking about hormones in plants. It has now been established that plants can talk to each other or rather communicate a certain problem, whether it is an invasion of insect caterpillars or a drought. Here are some of the scientific details:

Lack of water is one of the most important factors that limits plant growth. The hormone identified by Takahashi and colleagues helps plants retain water when none is available in the soil.

The hormone moves through the plant circulatory system in the same way that animal hormones move through the body. For example, if you have low blood pressure, your body produces the hormone vasopressin. The hormone circulates through the body in the blood and causes your arteries to constrict, which increases your blood pressure back to normal levels.

Takahashi’s study shows, for the first time, that plants have a similar mobile hormone that can travel through the plant’s body.

“The hormone modulates root-to-shoot communications in response to drought stress conditions,” says Takahashi, “and transmits information about the lack of water in soil from root to leaves, to prevent water loss.”

Now that they have identified the hormone, the team plans to modify it.

The other latest news in rose science is that the DNA code of garden roses has been cracked! In years to come we might be seeing rose blooms as big as soccer balls with a strong fragrance and an increased vase life. For the full article click here…


We have lots of fun at roses parkrun every Saturday at 8:00 am.

The participants that aren’t too serious about improving their personal best even take time to smell the roses…

E DSCN5007.jpg
The official opening of the Rose Café at Ludwig’s Roses Pretoria East

The Rose Café nestled amongst the rose garden at Pretoria East will officially be opened on Saturday 5 May 2018.

They have exciting events planned. Please see further below for details.

Mother’s day at the Main Rose Farm

Join us for a Happy Mother’s Day on the rose farm. The Rose Kitchen has prepared an exciting menu for the day and they look forward to hosting you and the special ladies in your life…
Delicious Chef’s buffet breakfast cost: 195 per person / 110 per child

Lovely long lunch: 350 per person / 180 per child

Please click here for the scrumptious menu details…

and here for the booking sheet…

Contact: events@ludwigsroses.co.za | 012 544 0144

The playground is FUN and not far from your seating, so you will be able to relax whilst the young ones play.

Step by Step Rose Care for May

As indicated above, the rainy weather over the past weeks encouraged black spot development, which starts on the mature lower leaves, moving upwards. It eventually causes defoliation.

The extent of the infection very much depends on the condition of the bushes at the wet weather time. Well grown roses with deep green leaves have a better natural resistance than those that are under-nourished or are in partial shade where the leaves stay wet for longer.

Of course, it also depends on the vigour of specific varieties. Some that were defoliated are full of leaves and starting to bloom again. Others in the same bed still look very sad. Of course, our Eco Chic varieties simply enjoyed the rain.

If you did not spray regularly or immediately after the first rain, your roses might be defoliated. There is hope! Spraying with CHRONOS still makes a huge difference, even after infection.

A Rose Care Service, whom I have persuaded to move away from traditional fungicides to our cocktail that includes CHRONOS, contacted me recently to report that all the roses of the many gardens they service are completely free of black spot.

So, once again, proof that our recommendation really is effective! The three products Ludwig’s Insect Spray, Chronos and Picanta mixed together in water and sprayed onto the leaves with a proper spray pump every two weeks keeps them virtually black spot free. Even spraying once a month will make a huge difference.


G Black Spot susceptible behinfdeco chic in o.JPG

The difference between an Eco-Chic variety at the back
and a rose that is susceptible can be like day and night.

G eco chic Red ASyoba Std.jpg

Eco-chic ‘Red Ayoba’ just laughs at the rain.

G Heike cross McHardy.jpg

‘McHardy’ easily outperforms the variety on the left that has lost all its leaves.

G eco chic Rooi Rock and Happy homes.jpg

‘Rooi Rok’ and ‘Happy Home’ are both stunning in
comparison with others in the same bed.

G note the difference of black spotv suceptibl.jpg

Note the difference in height between the Eco-Chic roses in the background
and the front ones.

G Sunny Ayoba and Vuvuzela.jpg

‘Vuvuzela’ and ‘Sunny Ayoba’ standing out as eco-chic fungus warriors.

Powdery Mildew is not such a bother anymore. Only certain varieties are more susceptible to getting it.  Roses planted in a windy or shady position also get it more easily.

I Powdery Mildew on a specific variety and sprayed the bushes with ODEON once. Ten days later I noted that the new growth is free of mildew and that the prominent white powder had disappeared from the infected leaves.

H Powdery recovery (4).jpg

Powdery Mildew shriveled the leaves.

H Recovery from Powdery (1).jpg

After having sprayed with Odeon, the new growth is powdery mildew free.

Downy Mildew is a considerably more difficult fungus to prevent or stop. It is much more prevalent in misty regions.

The change of weather to a much drier air and spaying with Chronos has brought the infections under control.

Ha Downy Apri18 (4).jpg

Downy mildew can be devastating as it enters the stems and blocks sap flow.

Thrips larvae have become a nasty nuisance on the younger leaves.

The larvae puncture the very young, soft leaves which curl and become deformed.

Spraying with Plantcare has stopped them as can be seen on the images below.

The larvae molt into adults that suck out the petals in the blooms.

I Recovering from Thrips.jpg

The lower leaves are deformed. After spraying with Plantcare,
the new growth is clean.

I Recovery from Thrips (14).jpg

Note the thrips damage on the bottom leaves.
A Plantcare spray application rid the plant of thrips larvae.

I Thrips 7Apr18 (2).jpg

The “crinkled” and smaller leaves are a typical sign of thrips larvae infection.

I Thrips recovery (2).jpg

After spraying with Plantcare, the new shoots recover.

It is only in the warm winter regions that it makes sense to fertilise this month to extend the flowering period.

Grooming (dead heading) is not important now for the well-being of the bush, but it does look neat (like mowing the lawn).

Cutting blooms even with long stems is not bad for the rose. The blooms, especially on our hybrid teas and Anticos, are almost twice the size they were in summer.

J 7de Laan Apr18 (7).jpg

‘7 de laan’

 J Helen Naude Apr18 (2).jpg

‘Helen Naudé’

 J Miss Earth Apr18 (6).jpg

‘Miss Earth’

 J Moon Adventure Apr18 (3).jpg

‘Moon Adventure’

 J Rosanna Jacobs Apri18 (4).jpg

‘Rosanna Jacobs’

 It is now the best time to decide which roses need to be transplanted because of the soil quality, standing water, shade, over-crowding or not fitting in with the height of others in a rose bed.

Label them accordingly. Although it is safe to transplant in May it is easier to do so in June or July when the leaves have dropped. However, they all look the same which is why labeling is necessary.

It appears that the rainfall in the Western Cape last week was sufficient to at least to drench the soil in farms and gardens. No doubt, the roses that have suffered from the drought or lack of watering will come to life again. At this late stage of the season it is best not to interfere by cutting and fertilising.

However, spraying for black spot to save the new leaves would be essential.  Pruning is then done in July. Light or harsh pruning will depend on the filling of the Theewaterskloof dam.

Roses of the Month: ‘Pinocchio’

This month we thought of going off the beaten track by selecting a miniature.

And not just any mini, but a very special one. ‘Pinocchio’ has the most fascinating stripes that appear randomly in yellow enhancing and contrasting the base vermillion colour.

It is a relatively compact grower and most certainly eco-chic. Ideal at the edge of beds or in a pot on your patio.

Plants are available at a reduced rose of the month price. An exciting little rose to grow!

Pinocchio May18 (66).jpg

‘Pinocchio’ a vibrant miniature.

Pinocchio 2.jpg

This miniature rose called ‘Pinocchio’ flourishes in pots.

News from our Rose Centres

Ludwig’s Rose Farm

The Rose Kitchen has prepared a wonderful menu for breakfast or lunch on Mother’s Day the 13th of May. Why not join us for a relaxed day on the rose farm?

Please click here for the scrumptious menu details…

and here for the booking sheet…

Contact: events@ludwigsroses.co.za | 012 544 0144

Ludwig’s Pretoria East

The weekend of 5 and 6 May 2018 marks the official opening of the Rose Café.

Enjoy a non-alcoholic, Rose-infused Cocktail at our organic flair bar or a light lunch in our beautiful Tea Garden set between the Roses.

2nd Life School of Music will create ambiance with live music both days between 11am – 4pm,

SAT 5 May – Children’s Treasure Hunt from 1-3pm.
This promises to be a day packed with activities for the children with the highlight of a Creative Treasure Hunt between the Roses.

Cost of R50 per child. Booking is essential.

The Creative treasure hunt will create an artist of each child where all children participating will receive a prize sponsored by Zonki printing, Thuto Teach and Stunning Stuff Mosaic Blanks. Main Prize by Lucky Draw.

SUN 6 MAY – High Tea between 1-3pm
Gary Forwood & Gerrit Boonzaaier will entertain the Ladies on stage with some beautiful lyrics during high tea.

Cost is R120 per person and booking is essential.

Prizes for the ladies with the best Rose inspired dress, hat or shoes…

Join us for a lovely lunch or afternoon tea between the Roses whilst listening to beautiful live music.

Call Cheri on 062 751 5203 for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you at any one of our rose centres across the country during the month of May!

We wish all the mothers and grandmothers a special Mother’s day filled with roses next week!

Rose greetings,