Although loved by most, some gardeners give-up on roses because they think they're difficult to grow, and care for and because of problems with diseases. But with a little TLC and attention, your roses can be strong and healthy. The secret of success is to make an early start - tending to and protecting the plants before problems occur - and keeping up the vigilance throughout the year.

Disease spores overwinter in the soil and in nooks and crannies on the rose stems. As temperatures rise in spring, the spores become active and are borne on the wind or splashed onto the plants by rain hitting the soil. The disease cycle starts again and the new leaves are attacked. Always make sure you remove and dispose of all diseased and fallen leaves whenever they're seen, but especially in the autumn.

Pruning stems in the autumn, by up to half will remove spores overwintering on the stems. And it will reduce the risk of wind rock, which can damage the roots making plants more prone to disease. Correct pruning in late February/early March - removing dead, dying, diseased, damaged, rubbing and crossing stems will remove more sources of infection. Removing stems growing throughout the centre of the plants will ensure air can move through them, helping to keep the plant even healthier. Even so-called resistant varieties will benefit from this treatment.

Always ensure your roses are growing well; a strong, healthy plant is more likely to fend off pests and diseases than one that is struggling. So make sure you plant in a sunny position, preferably in heavy, well-fed acidic soil. As roses are hungry feeders, make sure you feed them with a specific rose fertiliser that contains all the nutrients they need.

Posted on Categories : Rose Care