Jenny Wright of Durban writes: I would like to plant the new ‘Willy Wonka’ rose but how do I select a strong growing plant from a closely packed batch at the garden centre?
Ludwig replies: There is still the perception that a quality rose plant needs to have three good stems from the base. With container-grown roses, it is actually best to have one or two nice stems, branched at the top with good leaves – when planted out, the roots are able to expand quickly into the new well-prepared soil around the root ball.
With this extra strength and light falling onto the leaves and stems all the way down, strong sprouting takes place from the base upwards. In no time at all, you will have an established bush with super blooms.