Ask the Expert

If you’re new to roses and planting, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are answers to popular questions about growing, planting and caring for roses. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, fill out a brief enquiry form on our Contact page and we’ll get back to you.

Q: What are the best conditions for planting roses?
A:  Roses do best in a well-drained area that gets at least 5-6 hours a day of direct sunlight.  The soil should be pH neutral and have plenty of organic matter. It’s best to plant roses away from trees and other shrubs that have extensive, establishedroot systems.

Q: I think my rose bushes may have spider mites. What should I do?
A: Signs of spider mites include yellowing, very fine webs and small dark spots under the underside of leaves. If you see these signs, mites may be the cause. Fortunately, spider mites are usually only a problem during the heat of summer, so check under the leaves regularly. If you see signs of mites, spray under all the leaves in the early morning every day for several days and thoroughly wet the ground under the roses to create humidity, which discourages mites. A miticide can be used in severe cases, but this is usually expensive and should not be used more than twice in one year.

Q: When is the best time to prune my rosebushes?
A: July is the best time to prune roses in Australia (or in August if your area receives frost).

Q:  What are some guidelines for pruning?
A: When pruning a rosebush, you’ll want to cut the bush back by at least half of its height. If there are any sections that did not produce good growth in the past season, trim these areas back. Thin any crowded areas and trim any branches smaller than 1 cm in diameter. It’s also a good idea to spray after pruning to prevent fungal spores such as blackspot, mildew and rust.