talking roses in Auguts ’17

  • In the rose garden with Ludwig
  • Rose Care for August
  • Happenings
  • Rose of the Month
  • Demos at our Rose centres

For the beauty of the rose we also water the thorns…

African proverb

In the Rose Garden with Ludwig

Winter has been relatively mild. We have experienced slight frost for only two mornings so far.

We pruned the container roses around the offices in early July for the pruning demonstrations. The roses sprouted almost immediately. Let’s hope there will not be an icy surprise in August.

This Panarosa was pruned end May for photography.

May is not ideal, as it is too early.

Amazingly it came into bud and bloom now.

This rose was also pruned in May and sprouted only blind shoots with one bloom.

This stem, pruned in May, made new green leaves and is now re-sprouting from them.

We did not have the heart to cut off the last rose blooms of summer, so here and there they stood proud amongst the pruned stems.

In the meantime our unpruned roses just kept on flowering and we delayed pruning until last week.

Coral Spire and Albertina Sisulu in July

‘Coral Spire’ and ‘Albertina Sisulu’ competing for centre stage in July.

Gold Reef

‘Gold Reef’ carrying blooms deep into winter.


‘Nona’ full of impeccable blooms in July.

Durban July

‘Durban July’ simply performs all year round!

My rose highlight in July was a visit to Germany and the Netherlands.The peak rose flowering time in the Northern parts of the country is supposedly later than in the South.

The yearling standard roses at Kordes Rosen close to Hamburg were in peak flush as they flower a little later than bush roses.

However they experienced an early hot summer and the peak flush of many varieties was over even in Hamburg.

That is exactly what I needed to see – varieties that stand up to the heat. It was crucial for me to observe the top performing varieties in that region.

Thomas Proll, head of R&D at Kordes Rosen, proudly looking across the fields of seedlings.

This is where the most beautiful roses in the world stem from.

We then select the most promising candidates and propagate them and trial them for at least four years in our South African climate. They often behave completely differently here. A compact Hybrid Tea in Europe can turn out to be a Panarosa here.

‘The Ridge School’ growing in Sangerhausen, Germany. A compact bedding variety.

‘The Ridge School’ towering above head height in Johannesburg.

‘The Ridge School’ espaliered as a pillar.

Never mind if many blooms were already spoilt by the rain.

Visitors to Sangerhausen, a famous rose park, still avidly photographed the fresh blooms.

This is what can happen to softer petalled roses after two weeks of non stop rain.

It is important that a variety re-sprouts with new growth and buds quickly.

That is what separates the 5 Star performers from the rest.

Rosa gallica versicolor, the first striped rose, already grown around 1580 AD, growing in a street of my home town, Osterwieck.

Most houses in the town are over 1000 years old and have been beautifully restored.

‘Deseo’ growing at the trials in Westbroekpark, The Hague, Netherlands.

It was nice saying hello to the rose breeders from across the world that came together at Westbroekpark in The Hague. It was no surprise to me to learn that the marketing of roses has changed and with it, the kind of varieties that are sought. The sales of bare root plants are maybe a third of the quantities that were sold 15 to 20 years ago.

Now, the major sales are of roses in containers, brought into flower in plastic-covered greenhouses well before normal flowering time and sold via garden centres, at their own nurseries and in builder’s warehouses. This of course means that only those varieties that look good in a container have a chance to become popular.

This cuts out many of the hybrid tea varieties. Nonetheless, the “old favourites” are most definitely still available on-line and are still planted.

‘Eden Rose’ a fabulous climber is SA, grows into a neat shrub in Europe.

Container roses are placed in greenhouses to force early flowering,

so that they show colour long before the roses in parks and gardens start blooming.

Due to my travels this July, some of the Pruning Demonstrations were hosted by my son, Halmar, and daughter, Anja. Reports from those who attended are that they have been taught well and that the future is in good hands. No wonder, I have been dragging them to demos all over the country since they were young children.

We are busy replanting sections of our mother plants which have become exhausted from being stripped of leaves and stems in summer for propagation over 15 and more years.

We dug out the beds and filled them up with peanut shells and our renowned planting mixture. The soil is almost spongy when you walk on it. Perfectly ready for planting.

And we are still busy with the pruning…

A motorised hedge trimmer helps speed up the process.


Join us on the farm for a relaxed day on Woman’s Day, Wednesday the 9 August. The Rose Kitchen looks forward to treating your taste buds to any one of their delightful dishes or snacks.

If you haven’t had the time to go and get compost, mulch or fertiliser to spruce up your roses for the season, then the public holiday is a good chance. All our rose centres are open and look forward to welcoming you.

Spring rose care and finger pruning demonstrations

I will be demonstrating how to coax your roses into developing top quality blooms, but also into a prolonged and continuous flowering cycle on the following days.

  • STAR | Sat 2 14h00 & Sun 3 Sept 10h30
  • EGOLI | Sat 9 Sept 10h30
  • FARM | Sun 10 Sept 10h30
  • PETORIA EAST | Sun 10 14h00
  • WINELANDS | Sat 16 10h00 & Sun 17 Sept 10h30
  • CAPE TOWN | Sat 16 Sept 14h00

The demos are free and there is no need to book.

Step by Step Rose Care for August

If the roses haven’t yet been pruned it is not too late to do so now. Delaying it much further in most of the regions of South Africa will delay flowering – that’s all. Gardeners in very cold regions will hold back with the pruning even longer, so that the sprouting is delayed until after the last frosts in September.

Fully foliaged bushes remain dormant for much longer in winter.

The middle ‘Lioness GrandiRosa’ has been pruned appropriately and stripped of all its leaves.

The relatively warm temperatures in July will have forced the roses that were pruned earlier into sprouting and a black frost in August could cause frost burning of these newly sprouted shoots. If it does happen, don’t worry, they will re-sprout.

Do not be in a rush to cut off burned leaves. The rose will sort itself out.

If their are signs that black frost might be evident, the roses can be covered with a very light frost guard cloth or alternatively one can put a sprinkler on over the iced new shoots very early in the morning until the frost is gone. The water over the leaves slows down the melting of the iced-up water within the leaves.

If you have not checked the stakes of standard roses, do so now. Check the ties that hold the stems to the stakes and renew them if there is any chance of strangulation, especially on younger stems that are still expanding.

The stake needs to go into the crown, which will protect the crown from wind damage or from snapping off below the bud grafting. A T bar or a round support on top of the stake is the most effective.

A good method is to “bandage” the stem, securing it to the stake with a shade cloth strip. This also keeps the water, flowing up and down the stem cool. When using the bandage method on youngish standard roses it is advisable to wedge Styrofoam pieces between stem and stake to allow expansion.

Cable ties or wires easily strangle the standard stem and hamper growth.

Unstaked standards become top heavy and develop a skew trunk, straigthening them improves growth.

Roses growing in pots need a little attention now.

Potting soil containing lots of organics is bound to settle over time and then the plant sinks in the pot, tub or container.

With it, the aerated structure of the potting soil becomes limited. If this happens, it is a good time to lever out the plant with soil as indicated in the images below, add fresh potting soil underneath the root ball. Raise the plant to the appropriate level of the edge of the container, fill in more potting soil and water it well. It is advantageous to mix in VIGOLONGER fertiliser in the soil during the process. Water very well after re-potting.

Sunken soil level in a pot indicates compaction.

Push the spade down all around the plant, lift it and work potting soil in underneath the root ball.

The fresh potting soil under, around and above the root ball will make this rose burst with new growth!

Climbing roses are always the last to be pruned simply because it is quite a job to do well. It involves getting onto a ladder, cutting off the old ties, spreading the stems and branches, cutting out obvious old woody stems that do not re-sprout well and then selecting, spiraling or espaliering the remaining stems and long canes into positions where you want them to flower.

Since not all stems are cut back, delaying the task to August means they will still flower in October. On the other hand, huge old climbers that have not been pruned for years will still sprout and flower. With such climbers one is not really concerned with the quality of individual blooms, but rather the effect that they will provide.

David pruning, tying, espaliering, fanning and shaping climbers.

At the end of August, beginning of September, it is a very good idea to apply KOINOR as a drench. It will keep aphids and other chewing insects away from your roses for a prolonged period of time.

Watch this video on how easy it is to apply!

Roses of the Month: ‘Artista PanarosaTM’ DELstavo (N)

Panarosa Roses are a group of roses that have a climber or shrub like growth habit that creates a panorama of rose blooms. They are extremely versatile.

‘Artista Panarosa’ can be left as a free standing shrub that becomes a colour focal point, trained onto a wall or trellis, over a pergola or over an arch.

It is Eco-Chic, which means the leaves do not easily get infected with Black Spot.

The colour of the blooms, similar to an artist’s palette is a striped blend of carmine, pink, yellow and white.

A performer! Available from all our rose centres at a promotional rose of the month price.

Demos at our Rose Centres

Ludwig’s Rose Farm

Spring rose care & finger pruning demo – Sun 10 14h00

Ludwig’s Pretoria East

Spring rose care & finger pruning demo – Sun 10 14h00

Ludwig’s Roses EGOLI

Spring rose care & finger pruning demo – Sat 9 Sept 10h30

Ludwig’s Roses Winelands

Women’s Day talk with Anja – Pretty Pinks

9 August, 10h00

Spring rose care & finger pruning demo – Sat 16 10h00 & Sun 17 Sept 10h30

Ludwig’s Roses Cape Town

Spring rose care & finger pruning demo – Sat 16 10h00 & Sun 17 Sept 10h30

Ludwig’s STAR Roses

Spring rose care & finger pruning demo – Sat 2 14h00 & Sun 3 Sept 10h30

We hope that you enjoy the Women’s Day celebrations!

Rose greetings,

Ludwig Taschner