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11 Feb 2019

Tips to grow beautiful roses

The Rose Garden at Centennial Parklands has hundreds of gorgeous roses making it a popular spot for weddings and picnics. But the heat and humidity of February pose many challenges in Sydney’s gardens.

Humid weather encourages the growth of mildew and fungus on plants plus many pests enjoy this time of year.  We asked our horticultural expert, David Laughlin, for some tips and tricks that you can apply to your own garden this summer so you can have Instagram-worthy blooms too.

Tips from the Rose Garden at Centennial Park

The horticulturists at Centennial Parklands are keeping on top of black spot and powdery mildew in the Rose Garden so that it continues to look it's best throughout summer. With these diseases, we find that good cultural practice is always the best option whch means we start preparing well before summer.

In winter after the main prune, we rake all the old fallen leaves and spray our roses with lime sulphur. This ensures we have greatly reduced the number of fungal spores in the garden.

As soon as we see powdery mildew appear we remove the affected leaf and dispose of it in the rubbish bin, these are not for composting. The first indication of powdery mildew is a white powder on the new growth of the plants and bud stems. 
rose garden, centennial park
A blooming beauty in the Rose Garden at Centennial Park. 

Best roses for Sydney conditions

In Sydney black spot on roses is something we can’t avoid but again good practice help to reduce it. A good practice is to grow roses which show good black spot and general disease resistance. At Centennial Park we have great success with Peter Frankenfeld, Kardinal, Sundance, Pope John Paul Il and Queen Elisabeth.

Summer gardening tips

There are a few jobs that can be done on the lawn this time of year. Look out for African black beetle larvae which eat the roots of turf. Ensure lawns are adequately watered as these and other pest are less likely to cause damage to healthy turf. It can be a good idea to apply wetting agent to lawns now to help any issues with water repellent soil.

To check if your soil is water repellent try adding water for a few minutes then check the soil about 10 mm below the surface. If the soil is wet, you are good but if its powdery and dry its most likely water repellent. February is also a good time to lay new warm season lawns such as buffalo and couch grass.

What to watch for

February is when we keep an eye on pests and diseases which enjoy the hot humid conditions. We need to ensure our plants are as healthy as possible to give them the best chance to cope with pests and diseases. This is a great time to plan and start thinking about the bulbs you want to plant in autumn or even a bare rooted rose to plant in winter.

Planning what to plant

This is the time when we start planning. We are looking at rose, bulbs and seed catalogues. We are ordering our annuals for the Autumn and Winter displays at the Parklands.

If you have any gardening questions or tips of your own leave a comment below.

Did you know? On one Sunday in 1917 an estimated 20,000 people traversed thruogh the fragrant rows of the Rose Garden.

sundance flower, yellow flower, rose, centennial park, sydney, rose garden
Sundance roses are popular in the Park.
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