Unforgettable autumn roses

Autumn roses love the cooler conditions, rewarding us with bigger, more colourful blooms.

When autumn comes around, the roses that really show off are those with blooms in shades of creamy white, apricot/ peach, brown, pink, and lilac and old gold as well as softer petalled pastel varieties as well as those that seem to treble in size.

From March onwards the shorter days and cooler temperatures intensify the colours of the blooms and without the heat and harsh, high light the growth slows down resulting in the production of much, much bigger blooms. They last longer on the bush and also in the vase.

Planting a mixed bed of roses is to have the best of all worlds. Mixing up the October showstoppers with the cool season roses means there will always be something to appreciate.  

How to keep your roses looking good  
  • Water deeply at least once a week. Roses don’t mind grey water as long as it alternates with potable water.
  • Fertilise for the last time this month with Vigorosa fertiliser. Give bush roses 30g and larger shrub roses and climbers 60g of fertiliser.
  • Keep grooming the bushes by removing dead blooms, disbud hybrid teas and remove the centre bud from a candelabrum.
  • Should basal shoots be produced break off the tip so that they harden before winter.
  • Roses that are still covered in healthy leaves can be sprayed every two weeks with Chronos or Rose Protector to prevent Black spot.
  • Do not replenish mulch because the sun must warm the soil at root level.

Good to know: when fertilising sprinkle the granules over and around the bush. Don’t put it in a heap at the base of the stem because this will burn the leaves. Water well afterwards.  

Autumn planting

Although roses grown in bags can be planted at any time of the year, autumn is an excellent time to do so.  

With shorter days, plants concentrate first on root development and then only on new growth.  

Prune lightly in July. By spring, the plant will have had four months to settle in and will outperform any rose planted out in September or October.  

The other advantage of selecting new plants in autumn is that one can immediately see the strong growers, the quality of their blooms and their disease resistance.  

Replacing old roses

New roses don’t grow well if planted in the same place where a rose previously grew for longer than four years. That is because the roots emit a chemical that has a toxic effect on new plants.  

Instead of replacing all the soil, make the hole big enough to accommodate a cardboard box. Fill the box with fresh soil and plant the rose. By the time the box has rotted the toxic effect of the previous rose will have dissipated.

Best autumn beauties

  • ‘Beauty from Within’ produces brilliantly coloured blooms, from deep gold to orange pink. The healthy bush grows to shoulder height.

  • ‘Frohsinn ’82 ‘produces blooms in glowing colours, a blend of deep apricot in the centre to orange red on the outer petals. The fragrant, full petalled blooms stand out against dark green leaves. The bush grows to shoulder height.
  • ‘Five Roses’ has super-sized, perfectly shaped red blooms ideal for picking. The bush grows to shoulder height.
  • ‘Garden Queen’ has huge, very fragrant deep pink blooms. The foliage is disease resistant and it grows to hip height.

  • ‘Pearl of Bedfordview’ has frilly pink-blushed, creamy white blooms. This is one of the best floribunda roses for flower power, vigour, and health.
  • ‘South Africa’ is a floribunda rose with golden yellow blooms that become more intense as the season progresses. It is disease resistant, and a top performer.

  • ‘Warm Wishes’ has shapely, well perfumed soft peach-coloured blooms that last for a long time. The bush is vigorous and healthy. The rose has won seven international awards.



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