admiring roses in October ’16

  • In the rose garden with Ludwig
  • Happenings
  • Rose Care for October
  • Rose of the Month
  • News from our Rose centres

“Roses and lilies will grow out of my arm…”

Judge Albie Sachs when asked if he felt vengeance

for the bomb that ripped off his right arm and blinded one eye.

In the Rose Garden with Ludwig

It is only three weeks since I walked around with my camera for inspiration for the September issue. Night temperatures were still pretty cold and I thought that this spring the first flowering will be late. Then temperatures rose and the early flowering varieties are already showing colour on the 20th of September. In Durban the roses are in full bloom, thanks to good rains. Even in the Cape Winelands, they will flower earlier than usual. The quick adjustment roses make in response to environmental conditions never ceases to amaze me.


‘Fortuniana’ was the first to be in full bloom and still is a month later. Much more rewarding than the white ‘Banksia Alba Plena’.


‘Afrikaans’ – in front, the shrubs pruned in July are full of buds; behind, the unpruned bushes have never stopped flowering

Forever Busy 20 Sept

‘Forever Busy’ on 20 September, one of the earliest flowerers that simply keeps on and on…

Iceberg bush left was pruned on 25 June for photo in the July issue the bushes on right were pruned on 25 July this was taken on

‘Iceberg’ on the left was pruned a month later than the one on the right. By 20 June the left one has almost caught up. The difference is very small.

Shocking Blue is flowering much earlier than most other varieties.

‘Shocking Blue’ was the very first variety to brag with her “blue” buds unfolding two weeks earlier than most others.

Ludwigs Retail 20 Sept 2016

The roses in our sales area on the farm on 20 September. They will be in perfect bloom for the weekends 1 & 2 and 8 & 9 October.

The Spring Rose Care lecture series is never as popular as the Winter Pruning demonstrations, however, those who do attend are very complimentary, because they leave with a new appreciation of the functioning of a rose – the vital communication between roots and leaves.

finger pruning video

Watch this short video to understand the principle of how easy it is to manipulate your roses into continual flowering,.. 

You can still pinch youngish shoots, even if your roses are over the ideal stage to finger prune. It is so easy to do and the results will speak for themselves.

For me it was fun travelling around the country. I enjoy seeing the performance of the roses in the different climatic regions and answering the keen rose gardeners’ questions.

Star on 3 Sept 2016

Our extensive show garden at Ludwig’s Star Roses in Assagai on 3 Sept 2016.

Bergview in Harrismith on 3 September it is a cold spot

Bergview in Harrismith on 3 September. It is a cold spot, but once they are in flower, they are magnificent.

the roses sligtly protected by hail net at EGOLI are ready to bloom on 9 Sep

The roses, sligtly protected by hail net, at our EGOLI rose centre in Fourways are ready to bloom on 9 September.

In Wynberg-Constantia the lush new leaves are in attraction on itself on 18 Sept.

In Wynberg, Constantia the lush new leaves are mouth watering on 18 September.

As every year in spring, some rose blooms form green leaves and even occasionally green buds in their centre. This is known as a proliferation and happens when bud development takes place during still wintery weather.

It used to be a nuisance aberration and best cut off, so that new, normal stems and blooms can develop. Today they can be purchased as “grass heart” cut roses.

Grass heart

“grass heart” or a proliferation mostly happens in early spring

With the roses nearly in bloom it is high time to pull out the Namaqualand daisies that provided colour during the winter months, but are now encroaching on the roses.

Namaqua Daisies have done their duty and are ready to be pulled up

Namaqualand daisies have done their duty and should be pulled out.

The latest issue of our CATALOGUE has been posted. If you haven’t received your hard copy yet, you can page through it online here…

Ludwig's catalogue


Our catalogue lists close to 900 different roses.

Did you know that:

A variety shown to grow hip high can grow much higher in some gardens, simply because it was pruned lightly. However, there is no way of keeping a tall growing variety short.

Fragrant blooms don’t exude their fragrance the whole day. It can happen that you smell no scent at eight in the morning, then at eleven o’ clock the fragrance of the same bloom is overpowering.

After smelling 10 fragrant roses, one loses your sense of smell.

Our perfume bottle symbol reveals that the rose is fragrant. The fuller it is, the stronger the fragrance. Some have mistaken the fragrance bottle symbol to mean that the rose needs to be sprayed with a fungicide. This is obviously not correct at all.

I photograph the blooms when they are at their most beautiful opening stage. Climate and season most certainly influence both aspects, so it can happen that a rose looks slightly different to its picture. I have however never been accused of misleading anyone 😉


October is rose month! Our roses flower well from now into winter, however it is impossible to beat the colour splendour they provide now in October. So, visiting any one of our rose centres this month – is a must!

45th Spring Rose Festival in celebration with JC Le Roux

This year we celebrate our famous rose festival from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 October. We hope to welcome you there!

Baloons & Roses

The Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine inspired exhibition in “The Rose Shed” will be an explosion of bubbles, blooms and balloons…

○ Meet the Queen of this year’s show, the unveiled and newly released JC Le Roux rose,’LA FLEURETTE’.

○ Walk through and photograph the MCC sparkling wine inspired exhibition, set up with thousands of fresh cut roses and balloons.

○ Enjoy J.C.Le Roux MCC sparkling wine tastings paired with rosy treats and eats over both weekends.

○ Treat yourself to delicious deli food whilst looking out on the roses or relaxing on the picnic lawn.

○ Hop on tractor train rides through the rose fields.

○ Let your kids play in our improved play area.

○ Admire the splendour of countless roses sharing their beauty with you!

Garden day – 9 October

The celebration of Garden day in South Africa happens to coincide with our own Spring Festival – all the more reason to enjoy the day out in country with us.

Read more about this wonderful initiative here.

On Sunday the 9th, we are offering a -15% discount on all rose plants, at all our rose centres countrywide, in celebration of appreciating nature by gardening around your home.

Our Rose Bus Tour to gardens in Johannesburg is scheduled for Saturday 15th October, leaving from our EGOLI branch in Glenferness at 8h30 sharp. There are still some seats available. The gardens we are visiting are special and will be inspirational to see.

A packed lunch will be provided as well as refreshments for enjoying at your leisure in any of the gardens. The cost is: R330.00 To book contact:

ROSA convention and rose bloom exhibition competition is held at the Wanderers Golf Club from 13 October, as part of the National Rose Convention.

For the intinerary click here. For more information and to enter your roses contact John Benfield on 084 740 6497  or For more info on the convention contact,

Gardens of the Golden City – beautiful gardens for a beautiful world – visit their website to find out about open gardens to visit in Johannesburg this summer.

Step by Step Rose Care for October

Municipalities needing to save water are urging residents to cut down on watering their gardens. This is no reason to panic. It is relatively easy to still enjoy the beauty of the plants in your garden by applying simple and effective measures.

Farmers and gardeners are eternal optimists. We believe that the rains will come.

In the meantime, we need to realise that every drop of water counts.

Dig in coco-peat around your roses. Coco-peat is ground and compacted coconut husks, usually available as bricks. The fibres have excellent water retaining properties and working in as much as possible around your roses will make sure the water is held around the roots for a longer period of time, before seeping down deeper. A single kilogram of dry cocopeat will expand to 15 liters of moist coco-peat. Coco-peat is hydrophilic and quickly reabsorbs water even when completely dry.

Mulching provides a heat insulating cover over the soil and is most important. Various materials can be used. A layer of pine needles is excellent. The water will easily flow through it without absorption and the air follows. Woven black cloth or weed stop will prevent weed growth and the water can be applied close to the main stem. The soil needs to have been loosened and worked with compost or peanut shells before adding the cloth, allowing the water to spread sideways when seeping down to the roots. Peanut shells also do an excellent job, but so do dried leaves, wood chips or any organic material that will block the sun out and keep the roots cool.


Pine needles are excellent as a mulch and the roses love the acidity

weed stop mulch

Weed stop mulching is also effective at conserving the irrigated water

Deep, penetrating watering less frequently is far more beneficial to the plants then what regular intervals of applying less water is. Build dams that hold approximately 10 litres of water around your roses and fill them once or twice a week. This will keep the roots moist enough at a deep level till the next application. Rather run your irrigation at an hour at a time then 15 minutes regularly.

In extreme cases make use of plastic bottles by half burying them next to the roses. Cut off the broad base and invert the bottle-cap end in the ground. It is easy to fill the bottles with a watering can or hand held garden hose. The roses will adjust and form hair roots wherever the moisture is.

Grey water from your bath, washing machine and shower may be re-diverted to the garden and especially the roses. Using less detergent or switching to eco-friendly alternatives is advisable as well as watering maybe once a week with municipal water to dilute the chemicals. Cooled spaghetti water and shower collected bucket water are even simpler ways to re-use water for the garden.

Keep grooming and picking to a minimum. If one is unable to water the roses deeply, one needs to ensure that the bushes retain a good leaf cover. Roses are medium water users and they do adapt quickly to their water situation. If they receive less water their leaves become smaller and tougher, they put on less growth and they simply flower less. You will be amazed at how long they can survive without watering if they have to.

Hold back on fertilising if you are not able to water well. If Ludwig’s VIGOLONGER was applied it is not a problem since the controlled release is minimised without high moisture content of the soil and the fertiliser in the granules is not lost, but will be retained for wetter days.

In Durban, the roses suffered from a lack of water for a long period due to water restrictions and there is also a lot of root competition with the many luscious shrubs and trees around. With good soaking rain since June the roses revived miraculously.

Durban roses in full bloom

Roses in full bloom in Durban. They recovered from the drought in no time.

Without rain there is little chance of leaf drop due to fungus diseases, however there would be an increase in insects wanting to suck out sap on leaves and stems.

Spider Mites and scale insects suck on the down flow of the phloem to get to the sugary water which should actually nourish the roots and one needs to be aware and spray when necessary.

Milbeknock is most effective for red spider and Plant Care is able to keep scale invasions in check.

Thrips are also much more active in hot climates. They damage the soft young leaves and suck out the petals of the flowers. Plant Care too will be the most effective as it has a systemic and contact action.

Both Ludwig’s cocktail and Rose Protector have a combination for controlling fungus and insects too.

If you note that the odd rose bush has only made short new stems with green leaves and not a sign of flower bud is in sight, it means that the roots are not happy. They are unable to stretch and absorb water and food.

It might suffice to spike the soil all around the bush with a digging fork. Push it down all the way, pulling it backward and forwards a bit to loosen the soil. Then spread a liberal layer of compost mixed with some fertiliser over this area and push the fork down again and then water well. Your rose should start sprouting well within a week.


Loosening the barren, compacted soil, adding compost, fertiliser and water will revive the struggling plant in no time.

The farmers and gardeners in the Western Cape seem to be very hopeful that the good rains will continue into November. This means fungus infections and regular spraying will be essential to retain a good leaf cover. Again Ludwig’s Cocktail and Rose Protector are effective and it is actually best to alternate between these two.

And the roses will be happy to receive the monthly application of VIGOROSA, that is, if VIGOLONGER was not worked into the soil earlier. This applies of course also to those who have borehole water and to all of us, once the seasonal rains begin, bringing relief and filling the major dams around the country.

Rose of the Month: François Krige KORharmen

Francois Krige

This rose should be more popular. It certainly is special in many aspects. The globular buds are huge and they open slowly into quartered, double blooms. The crimson-red is unfading and the petals are firm. The blooms make for perfect cut flowers. If you like the colour red, then this rose is for you.

Our Rose Centres

Ludwig’s Rose Farm – 45th Spring Rose Festival in celebration with JC Le Roux

This year we celebrate our famous rose festival from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 October. We hope to welcome you there!

October is rose month! The roses at all our rose centres across the country will show off in their full splendour now in October. So, visiting any one of our rose centres this month – is a must!

Enjoy their beauty!

Rose greetings,

Ludwig Taschner