Rosemary North of Durbanville writes My ‘Sue Gush’ roses bloom beautifully in October but after that they don’t seem to grow or flower as prolifically. Is that normal?
Ludwig replies The October rose flush is always spectacular, but there is no reason why your roses shouldn’t flower well for the rest of summer. To do that, each bush needs at least 10L of water per week that goes down to the roots. Make sure the soil around the roses is not compacted, as this prevents water from penetrating. Fertilise with Vigorosa once a month. Roses use up nutrients to flower and these need to be regularly replenished. Cut off faded blooms as this encourages the plant to produce new flowers.
Watch out for aphids or rose beetles that damage the flowers and spray with a ‘cocktail’ of Ludwig’s Insect Spray mixed with Rose Protector alternated with Chronos once a month. Alternatively, apply Koinor as a drench around the base of the roses as a way of controlling insects for up to four or even six months.