A living rose – the gift of love for Valentine’s Day

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Presenting a bunch of cut roses is the traditional way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, but a potted rose plant that’s will live for many years is a far more appropriate way to acknowledge a long-lasting commitment.

Which rose to choose?

Red roses are always the number one choice for Valentine’s Day. Old-fashioned favourites like Papa Meilland, Mr Lincoln, Avon and Kentucky Derby have beautiful, fragrant, red flowers. Sir Donald Bradman is a relatively new red rose that’s sure to appeal to any cricket lover.

Other roses can be chosen because they have Valentine-friendly names. Some good Valentine’s Day suggestions are: Angel Face, Best Friend, My Hero, Seduction (pictured) or Sentimental.

Specific rose varieties may be in short supply at this time of year (winter’s the season for the greatest choice) but you’re bound to find some potted roses on sale.

Where to plant?

Bush roses are best planted in an open spot in the garden. Lots of sun and plenty of air movement will reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Before planting, dig in heaps of rich, old organic matter.

Smaller roses will grow happily in pots. Yates Tuscan pots, with their good drainage and portability, are available up to a 500mm size so they’re perfect for potted roses. A top quality potting mix (such as Yates Premium) is always the best potting medium.

If you decide that a Valentine’s Day rose should work for its keep in the garden, then the ground-covering Flower Carpet Red, or the old-fashioned-looking climber, Pierre de Ronsard (now available in three colours) can be planted to perform a useful function in the landscape.

Keeping roses healthy

Modern roses grow so quickly and produce so many flowers that they need far more fertiliser than their wild forebears ever did. Feed the plants regularly, especially during the months of active growth (September-April). This growth period can be shorter in cooler climates, so adjust accordingly.

Dynamic Lifter Plus Flower Food, which is perfectly balanced to enrich the soil and promote strong, healthy growth. Occasionally give the rose a boost with a liquid feed of Yates Thrive Concentrate Rose & Flower Food. This provides your flowering plants with the balanced nutrients they require for healthy growth and flower production.


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