🌹 talking roses in November ’18

In the rose garden with Ludwig
Ludwig’s rose plants close to Pietermartizburg

Events in November
Rose Care for November
Rose of the Month
News from our Rose centres

‘A garden is a friend you can visit anytime.’ – Anon

In the Rose Garden with Ludwig

Much has happened in the rose world in South Africa during the rose month of October. In Gauteng the roses flowered very early and are well on their way to the next flush. 

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The roses are already onto their second flush in Gauteng.

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Look at all the new growth and buds that will open soon!

I am pleased to have seen that our ‘Ashley Callie’ won best rose on show organised by the Midlands Rose Society in Pietermaritzburg. Many visitors to the show also took the opportunity to enjoy the Heritage Rose Garden in Garlington Estate to which we donated a fair quantity of plants.
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‘Ashley Callie’ is a first class rose everywhere!


Gail Birss from the Midlands Rose Society showing
Halmar around their Heritage Garden in Hilton, KZN.


Wakkerstroom also held a rose show this past weekend.
The small town in one of the very cold regions in our country.
Best rose on show was ‘Ingrid Bergman.’

We held a 3-day bus tour to rose gardens in the Western Cape. Anja, my youngest, who oversees our branches in the region initiated the tour there.

The participants were mostly from Natal and Gauteng and the free landscaping ideas were somewhat novel to them.

Not really – it is the magnificent background scenery of the Western Cape that one cannot escape from.

For instance, we visited a garden outside Stellenbosch on the Helshoogte Pass with a view all the way to Table Mountain and Cape Town which is 50km away!

It means that landscapers need to keep ‘open windows’ and not block the view to the neighbour or of the ‘uninteresting’ countryside.

The hospitality we received was also extraordinary and it was impossible to refuse the refreshments, including champagne early in the morning. Of course, that is what makes the Winelands, the Winelands, isn’t it?

Thank you to all who attended and we hope to see you again next year.

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Heritage roses at Farm Rustenburg

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‘Simply Charming’ and ‘Perfume Passion’ with Table Mountain in the far distance.

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A mixed bed in full bloom.

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‘Johannesburg Sun’ & ‘Vera Johns’
at Chart Farm’s pick your own.
Our Cape branch is situated here.

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‘Duncan’s Rose’ and ‘JHB Garden Club’ also at Chart Farm.

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Thomas Proll, the breeder from Kordes in Germany also joined us for the tour.
It is a treat for him to see what their varieties do in our climate.
We truly enjoyed having our old friend in South Africa again!

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‘Crepuscule’ covering an entire high wall.

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‘Hanneli Rupert’ borders the drive way at La Motte.

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The hospitality was like you can only find in the Winelands!
Wilderer Gin tasting at Pappa Grappa.

Fortunately, our main nursery only received the tail end of, the word we only whisper but never say out loud, “hail storm”.

Blooms were torn, and some soft tips snapped off, which was nature’s way of finger pruning for us. There was no damage to the canes.

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The roses after the hail. The damage was not too bad.

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The petals were only slightly torn.

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Only very few stems burst open like this.
Look how a week later the wound
is already callusing and healing.

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These very upright, exposed stems got a little more hammered by the falling ice.

We have been trialing a multiflora rambler “Peggy Martin’ which we have espaliered, and it came into bloom at the end of October. Even now, two weeks later the small double blooms are densely-packed and one hardly sees a leaf.
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‘Peggy Martin’ espaliered onto 4 horizontal wires.

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‘Peggy Martin’ after the hail.

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A fair percentage of our roses have been sheared in order to give a display of super fresh blooms into December.

Ludwig’s Rose plants available close to Pietermaritzburg

Sandra Trethewey from Farmgirl Flowers in Wartburg, KZN stocks a wide variety of our garden roses. Their restaurant under a beautiful, giant indigenous fig tree serves delightful treats. Their shop stocks all sorts of interesting items. Her nostalgically shaped cut roses are planted all around the nursery. A worthwile destination for a rose outing!

Their contact details are here. They are closed on Sundays.


Halmar was mightily impressed by Farmgirl Flower’s
gardens during his visit last week!


Their garden cut roses are absolutely splendid!

Walk and Talk Sunday 16 December at 9:30 am

Put on your walking shoes, hat and sunscreen and join me for a walk-and-talk through the rose fields on the Pretoria farm, which includes all the new roses in our trial beds. The talk is free, and we leave from the office at 9:30 am.

Step by Step Rose Care for November

The prevailing weather determines how to care for our roses at this time of year.  

Amazingly, I notice very few flower-eating beetles so far. If they do arrive, the easiest way to eradicate them is to keep a ready-to-use Rose Protector handy. It is pre-mixed so you don’t need to measure and dilute anything and it comes in a Handy Andy type spray container.

You then simply spray onto the beetles and blooms. They usually catch the hint and disappear for a while.

I saw Monkey beetles for the first time in a garden in the Cape. They were ravaging the blooms. Treatment would be the same as for the CMR and Fruit beetles.

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Monkey beetles in a bloom in the Cape.
Best remedy: keep a ready-to-use Rose Protector
handy and spray onto them.

Bud or boll worms are around aplenty this spring. Since it is a moth that arrives at night to lay its eggs onto the green sepals of the rose buds, it is difficult to catch the small caterpillars as they hatch and start eating their way into the bud. Once it has eaten its way into the bud it is impossible to eradicate them. They just eat, become thick and puncture every petal in the process. Their main season should be coming to an end right now.

Now is the time to watch out for the Christmas or brown beetles. They come out at night and chomp and frolic on your rose leaves. They are the same ones that fly against outside lights.

Not too easy to stop. You can build a light trap by hanging an LED lamp just above a bucket that has a little water and two tablespoons of oil in. They then fall in and can’t get out.

Alternatively spray with Makhro’s Plant Care onto the leaves during the day.

Most Fungus diseases only become a problem in moist, cool, misty weather. These are mainly Black Spot, Downy Mildew and Rose Rust. 

All this sounds quite terrible and complicated, but none of these pests or diseases are too much of a problem if you spray fortnightly, alternating Ludwig’s Cocktail and Rose Protector. It is all about prevention, before you need to try and cure.

Our easy to follow monthly guide is downloadable here…

To make this chore easy and efficient make sure you have the right-sized spray pump.

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When we refer to our “cocktail” we mean mixing together these three products,
diluted into water and spraying the mixture onto the rose leaves and blooms.

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The finer the mist that comes out of the spray apparatus the better the coverage.
If you have many roses, you might want to build such a motorised sprayer.

A regular, monthly application of fertiliser or nutrition is just as important. We expect our roses to carry on replacing spent blooms with new stems and flowers for our South African long, long growing season. Being unable to stretch their roots far out in search of nutrients like a big tree, they rely on us to be fed.

Ludwig’s VIGOROSA is easy to apply. Scatter 25 to 30g around each bush. Twice as much for a large climber.

It contains the full range of nutrients including Epsom salts. Without these nutrients (dissolved in water and absorbed by the roots) the rose takes food out of the mature lower leaves on the bush in order to keep on growing. These leaves then become light green and susceptible to fungus diseases so that even the preventative spraying becomes ineffective.

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The two middle bushes are clearly Nitrogen deficient.
An application of Vigorosa will
turn the leaves dark green and boost growth.

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The plant lacked Nitrogen when forming this new growth.
The lighter green colour is a clear tell tale sign.
Applying Vigorosa will balance the shortage.

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The plant on the left is suffering from extreme Nitrogen defficiency.

Our roses have shown their hardiness and adaptability to the amount of water that arrives at their roots. They like water in motion, which means that water should flow through and be absorbed by the soil with the excess draining further down, allowing for the air to follow. The beautiful huge-bloomed cut roses offered for sale in the shops and by florists are watered 10 times a day. Every watering is just 100 ml, that adds up to 1 l later a day and seven litres a week.

This is not practical for a garden, as each garden has variable soil quality, sand or clay or turf, root competition, or restricted water availability.

Each gardener needs to find a satisfying rhythm for themselves and the roses. A light watering every day or a once a week deep drenching is ideal. That involves running the mini sprinklers for 10 minutes daily or for one hour once a week. The same applies to hand held watering.

I have realised long ago that a person who has “green fingers” actually simply understands the water requirements of the various plants.

We have written about the use of grey water in the past and we have even recorded a video about it. Especially in the Western Cape people are now successfully adopting the use of grey water.

Hopefully more rain will arrive.

Glen Arum rose garden

We would like to share pictures of this breathtakingly, beautiful garden in Balgowan. It is called Glen Arum. Ed purchases all his roses from Magda at our Star Roses branch in Assagai. Thank you for shaping the garden with so many beautiful roses!

Just look at how remarkable the garden is:  


The gardens of Glen Arum in Balgowan.


Is the combo of ‘Deloitte & Touche’ & ‘Momentum’.


These colours just work together!


Standards under planted with ‘Crystal Fairy’.


A hedge of luminous ‘Fiery Sunsation’.


A mixed bed with Colourscape roses in front of taller Floribunda and HT’s.


‘Granny’s Delight’ hanging over a wall contrasted by Agapanthus below.


‘Knock Out’ and a Dahlia.


The roses give so much colour. As if an artist completed his masterpiece.


‘My Granny’ neighbored by ‘Granny’s Delight’

Roses of the Month: ‘Espresso’ SPEbrown(P)

This rose is one of our 2018 novelties bred by Spek Rozen in the Netherlands. It truly has a unique colouring.

A typical cluster flowering floribunda that grows to between hip and chest height. The stems are clothed with glossy bronze leaves in their young stage. They mature to a deep green as the flowering buds are formed. The semi double blooms are of a bright vermilion orange that takes on an interesting brown tone as they mature. The golden yellow stamens are prominently showed off as the petals of the opening blooms unfold.

Plants are available at a special promotional price at all our branches.

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‘Espresso’ a novelty Floribunda with a unique colouring.

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A close up of ‘Espresso’.

News from our Rose Centres

We keep close contact with our branches regarding the flow of varieties. Obviously the selection of varieties differs in every region. The firm favourites ‘Iceberg’, ‘Double Delight’ and ‘Just Joey’ are the exception. The vagaries of different varieties due to the climate is fascinating. We take note of this and promote the roses that do best in their favoured regions.

After the many years, it is still amazing to see how quickly the roses adjust to the local climate. All plants offered for sale in our rose centres are propagated at the main farm North of Pretoria. The soil or rather the growing medium in the plant bags is suitable with regard to water holding capacity, aeration and nutrition.

Traveling around to our rose centres it is immediately noticeable how they have adjusted. It is not just from here to the Cape or KZN but even at Pretoria East, the Big Red Barn or Egoli a mere fifty to a hundred kilometers away.

We look forward to welcoming you at any one of our rose nurseries soon!

Ludwig’s Rose Farm

Walk and Talk Sunday 16 December at 9:30 am

Put on your walking shoes, hat and sunscreen and join me for a walk-and-talk through the rose fields on the Pretoria farm, which includes all the new roses in our trial beds. The talk is free, and we leave from the office at 9:30 am.

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The rose bushes on the main farm in Pretoria.

Ludwig’s Pretoria East
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The plants at Pretoria East yesterday.

Ludwig’s Roses Big Red Barn
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The roses enjoy the climate at the Big Red Barn.

Ludwig’s Roses EGOLI
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The roses at Egoli yesterday.

Ludwig’s Roses Winelands

The climbers welcoming you at Ludwig’s Winelands entrance.

Ludwig’s Roses Cape Town

The roses at our Cape branch at Chart Farm in Wynberg.
We have just revamped the little shop!

Ludwig’s Roses Outeniqua
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The roses at Outeniqua with the beautiful surrounding mountains in the background.

Ludwig’s STAR Roses

‘Happy Home’ at Star Roses in Assagay.

As you can see, one can never tire of roses…

Don’t let the end of year rush create too much stress. We wish you a good time amongst your roses during the rest of November.

Rose greetings, 

Ludwig & Halmar