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Brian Minter's gardening tips for growing roses this season

05/02/2015 12:00 EDT | Updated 05/02/2016 05:12 EDT
English poet Christina Rossetti once wrote,

There's sweetness in an apple tree,

And profit in the corn;

But lady of all beauty

Is a rose upon a thorn.

The iconic flowers are the centrepiece for many gardens, but gardeners can have a tricky (and prickly) problem when planting roses.

BC Almanac's gardening expert Brian Minter dropped by to share three of his tips to grow roses this season.

1. Propagate a rose

While tricky, propagating a rose is important for any gardener who wants to spread the growth of the flower.

"What you need to do is wait until the new growth comes along and becomes a bit turgid," Minter says.

"When it's five inches long, pinch out the soft, wilting tip and you'll be left with a semi-hard wood. Take a good potting soil that has perlite in it, add about a third of sand and that's the media which roses love."

He adds that one of the most important tasks is to keep the rose in a cool area and to cover it with a bag to keep the humidity in.

2. To use coffee grounds or not?

Coffee grounds have become a staple for some gardeners when using natural nutrients. Minter says if it works it works, but don't get carried away.

"I'm of the philosophy of 'if that works, fine,' but everything in moderation. Too much of one thing is never a good thing."
 

3. Don't let the wild one gets too high

While beautiful, wild roses can and will get too high if not properly pruned.

This can often be the case for rugosa roses which are often accompanied by unwanted blackberries. Minter says this is where to start.

"Try and pull the blackberries out first and get them out of the way. Leave them about two-feet long because it's easy to pry it out of the ground."

"You can prune rugosa roses as hard as you like. Now is a great time to do it because the growth is beginning in earnest right now."

He adds that once they're all cleaned up and at the right size, it's time to add the right nutrients from soil to maintain the flower.

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Gardening expert Brian Minter on roses.

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