Beautiful Gardens of Doon-56
“Roses do not bloom hurriedly; for beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom.” Matshona Dhliwayo
By SUNITA VIJAY
Rainy season is the best time for plant growth, repotting, replacement, pruning, shifting of plants. However, it has its own woes. Plentiful water falling from the skies rejuvenates most of the plants but there are some that may need little extra care during this season. Over watering remains the biggest plant killer and if proper drainage in pots, beds, or grass is not maintained, it may damage the roots and the plant may die.
Rose is a royal flower and requires a royal treatment. No overhanging branches to obstruct the sun and little extra pampering is needed for a robust bloom. Roses love sunshine and hate wet feet. If the water is not drained properly it may invite many problems and the plant may not do well and could even die.
Some important tips to help the rose plant in a pot or a rose bed during this aqueous weather:
1. Weed the bed or pot regularly during this time. If there is overgrowth of weeds or wild grass, it will invite other insects and will not let the roots dry. Clear it of weed completely. Turn the soil.
2. Cut the dead ends and any rotten or dried branch at an angle of 45 degrees so that the water doesn’t stay on the cut part. Apply a fungicide paste at all the cut points (raw wound) so that no further damage happens due to rotting. If not removed, the disease may spread to the other branches. Before removing the dead ends make sure that the tool used is properly sterilized.
3. Remove all the spent buds one by one. Let the nutrient of the plant be utilized by the news branches and sprouts.
4. Insects and pests are very active during monsoon season and invade the garden. To keep a check on them, spray with neem oil solution (one ml neem oil in one liter of water). Repeat it every week. If any pests are visible, remove them manually.
5. Spray with a good fungicide once a week. Rose bush is more prone to fungal infection during monsoon. Spray the fungicide two days after the pesticide spray. Over medication may harm the plant.
6. If the rose bed has water-logging issues, address them during this time as early as possible, or they may damage the plant. Either raise the bed by adding more soil mixture (rose mixture mixed with soil and manure) or make a workable drainage system.
7. Water only during the dry periods when the soil is completely dry.
8. As soon as monsoons are over, add loads and loads of manure. Make sure to spread and dry the organic manure in the sun before adding to the plant to get rid of fungus or any other disease.
9. Always water a rose bush in the morning, never in the evening. Roses love a dry, sunny spot for abundant bloom. It will prevent the plant from attracting fungus and other infections naturally.
10. Roses love well-drained and organically rich soil. As soon as rains deplete, dig near the roots, remove few inches of soil (about 6-8 inches) and fill it with at least 4-5 inches of composted steer manure. Water it generously to let the nutrients seep into the soil. The first flush of flowers in October-November and the second in February-March will be rich and robust.
The above tips are easy yet fruitful in raising and caring for a rose bush at home.