Newsletters: pruning is done, now sprouting will come – talking roses August ’16

Talking Roses with Ludwig Taschner
  • In the rose garden with Ludwig
  • Happenings
  • Rose Care for August
  • Rose of the Month
  • News from our Rose centres
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face – Victor Hugo.
In the Rose Garden with Ludwig
Presenting 12 pruning demonstrations in July gave me a chance to see and assess the performance of roses in the various regions. In all provinces, there has been a shortage of water and a very warm winter, so far. It was quite evident that rose bushes which had been able to retain foliage during the hot summer coped pretty well and were still in bloom because the leaves gave power to the roots. Very old, mature rose bushes obviously survived as their roots were settled deep into the soil.
Esther Geldenhuys
‘Esther Geldenhuys’ grew 3m high and should only be pruned lightly, even with scarce watering such a formidable bush has deep roots
pruning demo
Pruning demo at EGOLI 9 July 2016
30 year old roses in Tonquani Estate, Fourways
30 year old ‘Iceberg’ roses in Tonquani Estate, in full bloom in the middle of winter
'Brandy' survived 25 years in the Durbanville rose trials
‘Brandy’ survived 25 years of growing in the Durbanville rose trials
Pamela standing next to a 30 year old roses still in full bloom at oruning time in July
Pamela, my wife, standing next to a 30 year old rose still in full bloom at pruning time in July
'Iceberg' 30 years of light pruning in the Durbanville Rose Garden
more ‘Icebergs’ -30 years of light pruning in the Durbanville Rose Garden
These 'Pernille Poulsen' on Atterbury road were planted over 30 years ago. At the time these beds were excavated to 1 meter depth and filled with good enriched soil and the roots were able to go deep do
These ‘Pernille Poulsen’ on Atterbury road were planted over 30 years ago. At the time these beds were excavated to 1 meter depth and filled with good enriched soil and the roots were able to grow deeply
JHB Sun lost all it leaves by July but still decorates a Birch tree with blooms
‘Johannesburg Sun’ lost all it leaves by July, but still decorates a Birch tree with blooms
The Durbanville Rose Garden is ready for new plantings The survivors have been kept.
The Durbanville Rose Garden is ready for new plantings. The best performers have been kept.
The most common question was whether to prune or not to prune bushes that are still flowering. No doubt, by the end of July they should have been pruned. However, only yesterday I was standing next to a group of our new ‘Afrikaans’ roses and started to doubt my own advice. Is this a truly evergreen forever flowering variety? It has a very broad growth habit, the super glossy leaves have no sign of black spot and it still produces new flower clusters deep into winter. I have pruned one and left the other unpruned. I will watch them both carefully and obviously report on the results.
is 'Afrikaans' evergreen?
Is ‘Afrikaans’ evergreen?
'Meli Melo' still flowering on 28 July
‘Meli Melo’ still flowering on 28 July
flowering 'Meli Melo'  pruned
flowering ‘Meli Melo’  pruned
Mutabilis still in flower
‘Mutabilis’ still in flower
Mutabilis cut back with motorised hedge shear
‘Mutabilis’ cut back with motorised hedge shear by Phineas
even in Hillcrest where the roses could flower all year round it is best to prune
even in Hillcrest where the roses could flower all year round, it is best to prune
planted in May still needs to be pruned
planted in May still needs to be pruned
pruned note the new red shoots at the base
same rose pruned, note the new red shoots at the base
pruning our rose trial grounds that had turned into a rose jungle
pruning our rose trial grounds that had turned into a rose jungle
roses in mixed beds are best pruned lightly
roses in mixed beds are best pruned lightly
I have just read, with great interest, a new use for roses. Over the millennium, rose petals have been used to make rose oil and perfume, rose roots and hips are processed for medicinal purpose, and there is the obvious ornamental value of roses as cut flowers and plants. At the Technology Centre of Sun Energy in Karlsruhe, Germany, researchers have found that by copying the surface structure of a rose petal from the variety ‘Uncle Joey’ known as ‘Red Mountain Peak’ in South Africa, they achieved a 12% percent increase of light absorption in photovoltaic cells. It has to do with the Micro – Nano structure of the petal epidermis. We better start propagating this variety again – just in case.
autumn roses are big Red Mountain Peak more so than others
Autumn roses are big, ‘Red Mountain Peak’ more so than others. My grandson Xavier admiring a bloom.
We are busy finalising the compilation of our new catalogue. You can look forward to some exciting new releases!
Happenings
Election day Rose plant special
In celebration of our democracy and because roses are simply so much more beautiful than politics, we are offering a -20% discount on all rose plants for Election day, Wednesday 3 November! We look forward to welcoming you in between voting.
The Rose Kitchen specials for August
  • Pensioners breakfast for R29 on weekdays
  • Cake Mondays…  Get a free regular foam cappuccino with each slice of cake ordered!
  • The Rose Table will be a monthly  “lang tafel “ lunch  hosted in the “afdak” on the last weekend of each month. This month will be Sunday the 28th of August. A three course lunch at R140 pp & kids for R85. Limited space, so booking is essential. A cash bar will be available for beverages.
  • WEDDINGS & FUNCTIONS… 50% discount on the venue on all weddings or functions in the Rose Shed. T&C’s apply.
please mail enquiries and bookings to events@ludwigsroses.co.za
Step by Step Rose Care for August
In last month’s Talking Roses, I gave detailed advice on how to prune the various types of roses and there is also a useful YouTube insert on pruning on our website.
Pruning Climbers is tedious and time consuming and they are usually kept for last, like this ‘Crème Caramel’ in our sales area, still flowering on this last day of July.
Créme Caramel before pruning
Créme Caramel before pruning
the old wood does not look healthy and needs to be cut out
the old wood does not look like it will give any new growth and needs to be cut out
It is obvious that the espaliered canes have become far too dense and the older branches are not well supported anymore and should be removed. Easily done by cutting them bit by bit and pulling them out.
After pruning
After having pruned and removed too old branches and shortened or cut off the little flowering side stems it is now easy to tie them in the required position.
after espaliering  with stretch ties
Then one can easily espalier the stems onto the arch with stretch ties again. One almost spirals some of the canes on the uprights and over the arch. If leaves are retained at the highest point of climbers it does not cause a problem.
As stated above, if you have not yet pruned the roses, it is time to do so now. Many regions had good rains and a drop in temperatures this week. As soon as it warms up the roses will sprout. It makes sense to put all the energy into the upper eyes of the pruned stems rather than in lots of little twigs with little or no sprouting at the base.
It needs to be appreciated that roses are deciduous –shedding their leaves annually, usually falling off at maturity or blaar wisselend in Afrikaans. This is really a mechanism plants have developed to withdraw water out of the leaves and stems, so that it cannot freeze and cause damage in frosty weather.
We do not experience such a cold winter and the leaves will not always drop off. They will however be neglected by the plant and become a host for various invasive insects such as spider mites, thrips and aphids.
Another reason why old leaves should not be left on the plant after pruning is that they continue making sufficient food and the rose gets ‘lazy’ so that in spring it does not convert the stored starches into sugars, carbohydrates and hormones, which then delays the sprouting of new flowering stems.
from adjoining bushes of Sheila's Perfume the right branch was defoliated due to Black Spot
from adjoining bushes of Sheila’s Perfume the right branch was defoliated due to Black Spot
Again, if not done already, there is still time to check the friability of the soil and aerate it to a depth of about 30cm in a rose bed or around rose bushes. One must not forget that the regular pruning, as well as cutting flowering stems with leaves during the growing season decreases root activity. It is therefore important that within the immediate rooting zone, it is easy for the bush to make hair roots and to absorb the required water and nutrition without having to go far to find it.
Creating cavities by breaking up clay lumps, loosening soil and retaining small stones allows air and water to penetrate easily. Digging in organic material such as compost, old manure, peanut shells, crushed pips or coarse milled bark chips, provides the roots with a prolonged feast and it will show in the growing and flowering throughout the season.
Digging in our controlled release VIGOLONGER fertiliser ensures that the plant receives controlled doses of the right nutrients for the next 6 – 8 months and makes fertilising more of a once off chore than a monthly one.
If you really want your roses to explode into flower, we recommend topping up with Vigorosa in mid-September, December and in March.
If it is found that water is standing or not draining away, the only options are digging a drain channel, if the bed is on a slight slope or uplifting the bushes and raising the bed with extra soil and compost and replanting it.
Hard soil and shallow watering resulting in a shallow root system
Hard soil and shallow watering resulting in a shallow root system
adding a thick layer of compost, peanut schells and a sprinkling of VIGOLONGER
A bed where we added a thick layer of compost, peanut shells and a sprinkling of VIGOLONGER.
carefully mixed with the soil to a depth of 25cm. With such attention to the roots the roses are bound to perform superbly
We then properly forked over the soil to a depth of 25cm making sure to mix in the soil enriching peanut shells, compost and fertiliser evenly. With such attention to the roots the roses are bound to perform superbly
standing or very slow draining water is deadly for rose roots. It is best to raise such beds.
standing or very slow draining water is deadly for a rose’s roots. It is best to raise such beds.
This inspection hole showed that over the years the soil became compressed and shallow with solid yellow clay just 20cm below.
Most of the roses in this bed were drowning
Most of the roses in this bed were drowning
Most of the rose plants were uplifted, the whole bed was raised by 30cm, adding compost and organics, drain pipes were installed to take surplus water to the nearby drainage ditch and the bed is now perfect to start re-planting.
The soil around the bush has been lowered and the crown is drying our preventing new basals.
The soil around the bush has been lowered and the crown is drying out preventing new basals.
If one finds that the soil was eroded over the years and the crown is bare and has this dry look, cut out the dead wood retain one or two of last years stems and bring in composted soil to cover the crown. It will be a miraculous recovery by October.
cut out old and dead wood, retain 1 or 2 new stems and bring in extra composted soiol to cover the crown
cut out old and dead wood, retain 1 or 2 new stems and bring in extra composted soil to cover the crown
In the July issue of Talking Roses we also went into detail about scale insects and mealie bugs which have become an increasing problem in the past hot summer with not enough rain. In the meantime, we have run tests by spraying with various pesticides and we found that a combination/mixture of 100ml LUDWIG’S INSECT SPRAY with 10ml PLANT CARE in 10l water gave an excellent control within two weeks.
Spraying for scale
Spraying for scale
Roses of the Month: ‘Little Red Hedge’ and ‘Little Pink Hedge’
Whenever I look at these two varieties it seems like yesterday that they enchanted me and I came up with their appropriate names. They actually became favourites over the past 33 years. With their unique ability to sprout an endless supply of basal stems each bearing 30 to 50 small but nicely shaped blooms in the fashion of a Delphinium spike, they are indeed a perfect choice for a “little hedge” or useful as a border to large rose beds and shrubberies.
Little Red Hedge
Little Red Hedge
Little Pink Hedge
Little Pink Hedge
News from our Rose Centres
Election day Rose plant special
In celebration of our democracy and because roses are simply so much more beautiful than politics, we are offering a -20% discount on all rose plants for Election day, Wednesday 3 November! We look forward to welcoming you in between voting.
Ludwig’s Rose Farm
Diarise our Spring Rose Care and Finger pruning demo to be held Sunday 11 September 2016 at 10:30. No booking necessary and attendance is free of charge.
The Rose Kitchen specials for August
  • Pensioners breakfast for R29 on weekdays
  • Cake Mondays…  Get a free regular foam cappuccino with each slice of cake ordered!
  • The Rose Table will be a monthly  “lang tafel “ lunch  hosted in the “afdak” on the last weekend of each month. This month will be Sunday the 28th of August. A three course lunch at R140 pp & kids for R85. Limited space, so booking is essential. A cash bar will be available for beverages.
Ludwig’s Pretoria East
Pamela, my wife has taken over the management of our Ludwig’s Roses Pretoria East rose centre. She will make your rose buying experience a bubbly and colourful experience.
Carl Coetzee who has managed the nursery since the year 2000 is following his passion of consulting gardeners, specially on roses. We wish him all the success in this new endeavour.
Ludwig’s Roses EGOLI
Yvette who has been recovering from a knee op is not quite back at work yet, but she will be towards the end of the month. Sello her assistant manager has been doing a sterling job and we are very proud of him.
Spring Rose Care and Finger pruning demo to be held Saturday 10 September 2016 at 10:30. No booking necessary and attendance is free of charge.
Ludwig’s Roses Winelands and Cape Town
We are glad to hear that the Winter rains have arrived and look forward to a gardening season in spring and summer with abundant water.
Spring Rose Care and Finger pruning demo to be held Saturday 17 September at 10:00 and Sunday 18 September at 10:30 at Winelands.
Saturday 17 September at 14:00 at Cape Town.
Ludwig’s STAR Roses
Magda has reported 250mm of rain in the Hillcrest area. Hope that the storage dams in KZN get filled soon and watering restrictions come to an end.
Spring Rose Care and Finger pruning demo to be held Saturday 3 September at 14h00 & Sunday 4 September 2016 at 10h30
We wish all the ladies a relaxing Women’s day filled with nothing but love on Tuesday the 9th. May a beautiful rose find its way to you and make your day!
Rose greetings,
Ludwig