talking roses in March ’17

Talking Roses with Ludwig Taschner
  • In the rose garden with Ludwig
  • Rose Care for March
  • Autumn Rose Festival
  • Rose of the Month
  • News from our Rose centres
“I think rain is as necessary to the mind as to vegetation. My very thoughts become thirsty, and crave the moisture.” John Burroughs
In the Rose Garden with Ludwig
Our roses certainly responded to the 167mm of rain in January and 186mm of rain so far in February. Obviously, we irrigated regularly before the rains, but we did apply a water wise approach.
Now, I see 2m high water shoots on ‘Greensleeves’ and meter-long stems on hybrid teas, but also found that several of the heritage roses decided it is the time to flower again this season.
Greensleeves with 2.5 long basals bearing huge candelabras
‘Greensleeves’ with 2.5 long basals bearing huge candelabras.
a not yet named hybrid tea that produced meter long stems with perfectly shaped large bloom
A not yet named hybrid tea, that produced meter long stems with perfectly shaped, large blooms.
 a cluster of Celine Forrestier a Noisette variety from 1858 has come into bloom now
A cluster of ‘Celine Forrestier’ a Noisette variety from 1858 has come into bloom after the good rain.
'Afrikaans' first bush was winter pruned the others  has not stopped flowering not have they lost a leaf
‘Afrikaans’ – bushes on the left were winter pruned. Note how much taller the unpruned ones on the right are. They have not stopped flowering, nor have they lost a leaf.
Anne Lorentz greets with these perfect blooms whenever I walk or ide passed this bed
‘Anne Lorentz’ greets with these perfect blooms, whenever I walk or ride passed this bed.
I have not seen such colouring of the  oldie 'Gruss an Aachen'  (1909)  before now
I have never seen such intense colouring of the oldie ‘Gruss an Aachen’ (1909) before. The overcast light…
our new Carmine GrandiRosa is showing off
Our new ‘Carmine GrandiRosa’ showing off!
R moaschata nana has pink sheen in rainy weather
Rosa Moschata Nana buds have a pink sheen in the rainy weather.
Red Ayoba just just keeps on flowering.
‘Red Ayoba’ just keeps on flowering…
Grandmother Wiggill looking fresh in our present cool weather
‘Grandmother Wiggill’ looking fresh in our present cool weather.
On February 21, we received 60mm of rain during the night and the run-off, which included water from the highway, flowed into our earth dams. Once all dams are full we have reserves for a year.
Our dams are filling with water.
Our dams are filling with rain water 🙂
However, we are just as grateful for the filling of the country’s storage dams as well as the deep drenching of the soil for farming, gardens and the replenishment of the underground water.
I was asked for advice about what to do with caterpillars on the rose blooms and then I noticed their activity on some of our blooms in the unsprayed test roses as well. It is not the boll worm that bores tiny holes through the petals but big caterpillars, chewing off the blooms. Let’s hope this is not a relative of the Fall Army worm that is destroying the maize crops up north. In this cool, wet weather, it seems that more moths hatch from their pupae and fly at night to find the best spots to lay eggs, so that the hatching caterpillars have an immediate source of food.
By spraying regularly, the eggs or hatching larvae should be killed. However, once they have burrowed into the closed bud it is more difficult to get the spray to them. Any of the insecticides available would do, Rose Protector, Ludwig’s Cocktail, Plant Care or Cyper. Greenfly or aphids too are enjoying the sudden lush sprouting on our roses. They are but a nuisance and easily controlled with any of the above.
huge caterpillars are especially active this time after the rain
Huge caterpillars are especially active after the rain.
noticed quite a few of these Flower Assasin bugs recently. This one had caught a bee and was sucking it out
For the first time I also noticed Flower Assasin bugs on some of the open blooms. This one caught a bee and is sucking it out. They kill aphids and even ladybirds.
The roses at our Star Roses in Assagay surprised me once again in their vigour. The rain obviously helped, but the local climate just lets the roses grow bigger and taller than on the Highveld. Judging from what I saw there, ‘St Andrews’ and other “hip high” varieties grow to shoulder height. One of the reasons is that our staff members are very kind when dead heading and don’t cut the stems down by half their length when the flowers have faded.
The roses in our show garden at Star Roses.
About 18 months ago Magda planted a row of ‘Guelilah’ on a slope to hide a shed. They have become a huge screen. The ingenious water holding rings around each plant have helped to prevent irrigation water run-off.
Magda our manageress at Star Roses comes up with practical innovations.  For roses planted on slopes etc purchase plastic bolls cujt out the bottom and place over the newly planted rose to retain water
Magda our manageress at Star Roses came up with this practical innovation. For roses planted on slopes, the bottom of a plastic bowl is cut out and placed over the newly planted rose to retain water.
Autumn Rose Festival at Ludwig’s Rose Farm – 21 March 2017
The autumn roses are always more intense in colour and larger in size than in summer, We will have special arrangements on display and our tractor will be touring through the rose fields on the farm.
We are offering a -15% discount on all rose plants on Human Rights Day, the 21st of March at the farm.
Step by Step Rose Care for March
To start off with – in the Western Cape the drought and non-availability of water for the gardens makes rose growing difficult. Grey water helps. Rather water less often but soak them well. Do not fertilise or cut dead blooms. The rose bushes will hang on, hopefully, until the good traditional rains arrive.
Water restrictions in Gauteng have been lifted!
The good rains experienced in most parts of the country will have given impetus to the semi dormant roses to make new roots, absorb water and get the bushes to sprout again. Normal rose care needs to kick in.
When the rain has stopped, one needs to attend to the watering and give the required amount at least once a week.
With new sprouts appearing, the nutrients in the soil, which would have been partially washed out by the rain, need to be replenished. Fertilise now and again in April.
A fertiliser application will not only boost new growth, but it brings about an active, strong sap flow into and out of the leaves. Without this, even with regular spraying, it is virtually impossible to prevent black spot infection.
When under nourished, the leaves on some varieties, but especially of ‘Iceberg’ are easily subjected to bacterial leaf spot (Septoria). It does not cause leaf drop and once fertiliser is applied and absorbed the new growth is clean again.
Roses that for one or other reason that do not grow well are much more suceptible to black spot.
Roses that for one or other reason,  do not grow well are much more susceptible to black spot.
Bacterial leaf spots appear on under nourished leaves especially on Iceberg.
Bacterial leaf spots appear on under nourished leaves, especially on ‘Iceberg’.
Black Spot looks different and results in leaf drop.
Black Spot looks different and results in leaf drop. Almost like someone has spilled paint blotches on the leaves and then they become yellow around the blotch.
Cooler weather and wet leaves are bound to bring about black spot infection leading to defoliation. Spraying with Chronos or rather the Ludwig’s Cocktail that contains Chronos is essential.
The incredible effectiveness of Chronos has been evident at our rose farm with no black spot on our saleable plants and very little in the older bushes in our show garden. Compared to severe defoliation by black spot on susceptible varieties in our test rose plot, where we do not spray at all.
Rose Protector is an excellent alternative all-round spray, but should not be used more often than once a month.
In some regions, mostly in KZN and the Eastern Cape, DOWNY MILDEW could become a problem. Chronos does control it to a degree. In favourable “downy weather” (cool and high humidity) it is advisable to spray in-between with a combination of Benomyl and Propamocarb which, unfortunately, is not freely available.
Rose bushes that only put on very little growth during the drought period are now sprouting well. Carrying out a light summer pruning by cutting back to the new lush shoots is advantageous. It re-directs the upward flow of water and fertiliser to the main growth, allowing the stems to stretch even more. This allows for better air flow through the bush, which dries off the leaves from rain or dew and reduces black spot infection.
Before a light summer prune is carried out.
After a light summer prune has been carried out.
Roses of the Month: ‘Red GrandiRosaKORroleotu(P)
Red GrandiRosa
A powerful rose! Unfading, large and full, glowing red blooms adorn the tall bush all season long. Ideal for planting against fences, for screening and providing colour in narrow spaces.
News from our Rose Centres
We have opened a NEW branch at the Big Red Barn!
We stock a wide range of our rose varieties, all our rose care, edible and body range products, as well as our world famous planting mix compost, here.
It is an exciting venue. Our neighbours at the Clay Café serve good food and also offer unfired bisque items, that one can decorate to ones own liking and then have fired and glazed. A whole lot of fun!
The Olifants Café is famous for their good food! The Acro Branch makes for an awesome adventure for kids to climb and balance in the beautiful Blue Gum trees. Besides that, the cycle park is renowned for fun rides.
The Irene Village Market happens here every first and last Saturday of the month. So there are many reasons to pay us a visit 🙂
Ludwig's Roses Big Red Barn
Ludwig’s Roses Big Red Barn is situated just off the M18 between Irene and Clayville.
Phillimon and Emily our friendly rose enthusiast!
Phillimon and Emily, our friendly rose enthusiasts are looking forward to welcoming you!
Ludwig’s Rose Farm ~ Autumn Rose Festival ~ 21 March 2017
The autumn roses are always more intense in colour and larger in size than in summer, We will have special arrangements on display and our tractor will be touring through the rose fields on the farm.
We are offering a -15% discount on all rose plants on Human Rights Day, the 21st of March at the farm.
Ludwig’s Roses Winelands
My youngest daughter, Anja, has moved down to the Western Cape and we are very proud to announce that her husband Talhat has taken over the management of our nursery in the Winelands. You might even see our grandchildren, Gabriel and Sophia, playing amongst the roses with your next visit.
Alhabal family
We look forward to seeing you on Human Right’s day!
Rose greetings,
Ludwig Taschner

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