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Action as Rose Season Starts

This article was first published on 27 Nov 2014.

Rose Garden

Rose Garden

The rose season starts this weekend with the Otago Rose Society annual rose show, to be held at Forbury Park Raceway. This offers an opportunity to see many named roses on display in one location which may tempt you to select a new rose for your garden. There will be a section of perfumed roses; you may be able to sniff one out that you like.

The beginning of the rose flowering season brings the enjoyment of the first flowers of the season, and the results remind us how important it is to prune roses over the winter months.

Growth on the rose this season is particularly healthy with nice lush foliage and strong canes. Mixed weather lately has slowed the flowering down a little bit but going into December we should have a great display to enjoy.

Keeping roses healthy over summer:


Remove spent blooms to encourage more and prolong the flowering season, by cutting to just above a five-leaved branchlet.

Good garden hygiene

Remove any fallen leaves and spent flowers.
Keep the weeds under control.


Give a good long soak, early in the morning a couple of times a week.


Apply a small handful of rose fertiliser a little and often over the flowering season.


Many options are available whether it’s chemical or organic; refer to the sellers of these products for advice.

Companion planting

Have a go at companion planting around roses to help with pest control - try marigolds for colour.

Linda Hellyer is curator of the rose garden at Dunedin Botanic Garden.