October is Rose Month!

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

If you take any flower you please and look it over and turn it about and smell it and feel it and try to find out all its little secrets, not of flower only but of leaf, bud and stem as well, you will discover many wonderful things. This is how you make friends with plants, and very good friends you will find them to the end of our lives.
Gertrude Jekyll
In the rose garden with Ludwig

As I write this it is the 26th of September. Many of our roses are virtually in bloom – much earlier than I can recall or have ever recorded.

I so enjoyed taking photographs of the runners for FB during the 30th roses parkrun on Saturday on 22nd September. Finally the pictures could have flowering roses in the fore or back ground again.

A week later on 29th of September the rose farm was truly showing off.

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The climbers on our rose mile create a wall of colour.

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The roses started flowering so early this year!

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Can you smell ‘Arctic Ice’s’ sweet fragrance?

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‘Afrikaans’ spicing things up with the orange explosion.

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‘Afrikaans’ greeting all the parkrun participants.

As recommended in last month’s newsletter, we have also carried out finger pruning so that the show will be prolonged.

The application of VIGOROSA helped to encourage basal shoots and additional sprouting.

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Pinching staggers the flowering so that the plants carry buds of all stages.

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Pinching and fertilising has encouraged all these new shoots and buds.

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One can pick roses from this bed ongoingly. 

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Pinching some of the shoots 3 weeks ago has resulted in super blooms now. 

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As the first blooms fully open, the next stage of half open blooms can be admired.
Pinching in September most certainly generates this constant flow in Hybrid Tea’s. 

Here on the farm, roses that were pruned in August are only starting to have a few fully developed, unopened buds now. The roses pruned in July are much further along.

The difference would have been much smaller if the temperatures had remained very cold from early to end July, as they did in other regions.

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Roses pruned in August are not showing much colour yet.


Last October, if you can remember, our annual rose festival was all about VW’s.  


For many, it was a wonderful trip down memory lane…


This year we are so excited to surprise you with “The House of Roses”!

Step by Step Rose Care for October

Especially on social media we regularly get asked, “When is a good time to plant Roses?” My standard reply is: “TODAY!”

This is the big advantage of growing roses in containers from inception, as we do. They can be planted at absolutely any time of the year, from spring, summer autumn through to winter.

Some of the mountainous regions experienced snowfall and frost very recently. It will hold the flowering back, but the bushes are recovering with the expectation of an even more profuse flowering just a little later.

The water flow from the good rains that fell in the Western Cape region over the past three months is filling the dams. A great relief for farmers and gardeners, well of course EVERYONE!

The temperatures in the Western Cape during September have been fairly low and it seems that I will delay the flowering of the roses somewhat.

Of course, it just means that the blooms will be even larger. With the moisture on the leaves it is best to spray at least fortnightly with Ludwig’s Cocktail and or in-between with Rose Protector.

If the roses suffered due to the drought and water restrictions, by now, they will have sprouted. You can apply 30g of Vigorosa to stimulate even more sprouting and maintain the nutrient balance needed to carry on producing quality blooms.

In Gauteng and surrounding areas the day temperatures in August were pretty steep between 25° to 30° and the roses are flowering almost everywhere. It is not a problem to the bushes at all.

In the regions around Durban the roses have always flowered so early. Although this year it has been much colder there and the roses will flower a bit later than usual.

What to look out for:
Moths are busy laying eggs on the still folded up green flower buds. The tiny boll worms will hatch within a few days and burrow themselves into the bloom. They become fat worms that chew holes through all the petals before the blooms even open.

If you only have a few rose bushes, you can simply inspect the buds and wipe off the eggs.

Regular spraying with the Cocktail or Rose Protector should prevent the moths form laying their eggs or neutralise the worms as they hatch.

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A boll worm egg laid by a moth onto the sepal.

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A tunnel system of boll worm damage to the bloom.

Slight curling of the leaves of new shoots is an indication that thrips larvae have worked their way up the plant and have been munching on the soft, juicy tissue.

The winged adult thrips is about to converge and squeeze its way in-between the tight petals and will start sucking out the petal edges.

The damage makes, specially the lighter coloured roses, appear as if the petals of the opening blooms has been scorched by a constant dry, hot wind.

If you want to see the little critters, the easiest way is to unfold the petals and shake the bloom out onto your hand. You will see long, winged little insects run around. They areu sually yellow or black. They can jump and fly. Watch this video if you are interested in seeing their cycle close up.

Badly damaged blooms are best cut off and held in a plastic bag. Drenching with KOINOR at the end of August, early September would have prevented an outbreak and regular spraying kept it at bay.

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Severe thrips damage on the new shoot.

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Thrips damage can look like the leaf has dried out from a hot, dry wind.

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The petal edges showing thrips damage. After spraying it stopped.

The large flower eating beetles only arrive later in the month. They are attracted by the scent of the opening blooms. The garlic content of the Ludwig’s Insect spray in the cocktail camouflages the scent considerably. However, if they still arrive, either collect them by hand or spray separately with Rose Protector or Cyper onto the blooms and buds – best when they are busy feasting. I find that they stay away for around a week or two.

The dead heading and cutting of blooms is the “enjoyable” and relaxing task of rose growing.

Dead heading, cutting off the blooms that have faded or shed the petals is in a way good house keeping. The rose bed or bush looks neat and groomed, but it also encourages quick, new sprouting and by cutting higher up or lower down one can determine the quality or quantity of blooms for the next crop.

Since most varieties have their very own characteristics here are some images on how to proceed.

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Note the swelling and development of the 3 upper eyes
a few days after picking the bloom.

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Simply breaking off a spent bloom by hand (dead heading) looks good,
but it encourages the sprouting out of the two upper leaf axles.
They are unable to develop in to quality blooms.
Cutting slightly further down will activate the superior eyes.

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For best results on a normal Hybrid tea, cut three to four leaves with the bloom.

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Long stemmed blooms are best cut half way down. 


Watch this video that explains a little more in depth on where to cut.

With some floribundas and especially with the colourscape types such as the “Grannies”, Profusions and “Deloitte & Touche”, grooming may be simplified by taking a hedge shear and trimming them occasionally.

WATERING: As I write this, a thunder storm poured 10mm rain over our roses and last night we had 4mm. For us it means one irrigation cycle, which is of course very nice, but it is the change in the weather pattern that is so very welcome at the start of the season.

Good rain showers with water penetrating deep and wide for the roots of trees and shrubs to not have their drinking limited to the rose beds will be excellent. We are very optimistic and hope for a good spread out rain pattern this summer.

FERTILISING: One must not under estimate the “Use Up” of available nutrition in the soil at the root zone.

With enough water available, the mineral nutrients in the soil are freely dissolved and pushed into the rose. They grow accordingly. It is easy to see in the stem length, thickness, leaf size and deep green colour.

The nutrients applied by fertiliser after pruning are quickly used up by rapid growth and applying VIGOROSA fertiliser by mid October forces the roses to re-sprout.

They have no choice but to re-flower, especially since the blooms have been cut off so the plant won’t be able to form seed hips.

At this stage VIGOROSA is spread out over the estimated root zone and then watered in. Don’t apply it as a heap. It needs to be scattered evenly.

WATER SHOOTS or basal shoots are still appearing, particularly now after the rain. It is still good practice to pinch out the tip once they have reached about knee height.

If not caught in time, they are best cut back a little not allowing them to produce a flowering head just now. Such stems keep on producing the best flowering stems to the end of the season and are then retained at next winter’s pruning.

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We cordially invite you to visit our annual spring festival on the farm.

This year we have divided up our Rose Shed into every room of the house and decorated “The House of Roses” with nothing but roses, roses and more roses…

We are totally excited to share this breathtakingly, beautiful display with you.

Friday, 5 October 13:00 – Sunday, 7 October 17:00

Gideon’s Flowers & Functions is creating awe-inspiring arrangements.
Kings & Queens antiques will be for sale.
Come and taste Warwick Estate’s The First Lady wines.
Enjoy a glass of Wilderer Distillery’s world renowned gin.
The Rose Kitchen will be serving tasty refreshments.
Relax on a tractor train ride amongst the rose fields.
A new fleet of diggers, tractors and trucks await the little ones in our new sand pit.

We are grateful to Kings & Queens Antiques for supplying the furniture in the house.
Thank you to Vasco Stone for the statuary.
We appreciate 24 Carrots‘ event management.

The roses are in full bloom and their beauty is mesmerizing. We look forward to hosting you!

Johannesburg Bus Tour
Our annual Bus Tour to private rose gardens in Johannesburg was planned for the 20th of October. Last year it was a case that a lot of the roses were not yet in full bloom. We visited them last week and it showed that the roses were far advanced in flower bud formation. We have decided to move the date of the tour a week earlier to the 13th of October.

Registration is from 7:30am and the last bus leaves at 8:30am sharp from Ludwig’s Roses Egoli. The cost per person is R 390.00.

Please book with Petrisia by email petrisia@ludwigsroses.co.za

Gold Reef Rose Society ROSE COMPETITION

Morningside Shopping Centre on 12 October.

Open to everyone to exhibit. Roses must have been grown in your own garden and have been planted at least 6 months before the show.
Accredited judges judge the best blooms (Ludwig is one of them). There are 16 different classes to exhibit in. 8 in Hybrid Tea’s according to colour, 2 in Floribunda’s, 2 in a beginners section, 1 in scented bloom, 1 in Old Garden Rose (heritage), 1 in 5 different roses and 1 for a retirement centre arrangement.  A “Queen of the Show” is also awarded which is the rose that the judges determine is the best bloom on show.

Tour the Rose Gardens of the Cape!
Thursday 1 Nov – Sat 3 Nov 2018.

Refresh your senses with the beauty of the mountains, the crisp sea breeze and the most exquisite roses.

3 days of exploring private and public rose gardens and lunch at our favourite restaurants.

The cost per person is R1300 per day or R3700 for all 3 days.

Please contact pa@ludwigsroses.co.za for more info.

ROSE of the MONTH: St Dunstan’s Centenary KORwintori(P)
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This beautiful rose graces the front cover of our latest catalogue, which has been printed. You should be receiving a copy in the post very soon.

We are well aware that it was our rose of the month in September too. We felt that it really and truly is such an astounding variety that it deserves to remain for October too.

It is was named for the centenary celebration of the St Dunstan College in Benoni.

It is related to the world famous ‘Peace’ rose. It shows off with glossy green foliage. The admirable blooms start off with high pointed yellow buds that slowly unfold to reveal a multitude of inner petals which take on a sheen of pink. The half open blooms have an intriguing, nostalgic deep cup shape.

They are borne on strong upright stems and remain fresh for a long period on the bush or when cut for the vase.

The mature bush stands proudly upright up to a height of 2 metres. They are ideal in mixed rose beds, as screening of fences or in groups of three as a focal point in a garden.

October is rose month! Visiting any one of our branches country wide is well worth doing. We look forward to welcoming you to colour and fragrance only the Queen of flowers can provide!

Enjoy their show!

Rose greetings,