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Beware the hungry caterpillar

Courtesy of Yates.

The fabulous rose blooms that you’ve been waiting patiently for are also being eagerly anticipated by some very hungry caterpillars. Caterpillars can chew through and into rose buds as well as eating leaves.

It's no surprise that roses are one of the world's favourite flowers. Their beautiful fragrance and stunning blooms are sure to bring delight to any gardener. Whether planted into pots, billowing over the fence, climbing over arches or lined along the driveway, there is a rose to suit every spot in your garden.

Unfortunately, they are also loved by caterpillars. You can control these destructive pests by spraying roses thoroughly every two weeks, including the undersides of foliage where caterpillars often hide, with Yates Rose Gun Spray Ready to Use.

Other common insect pests of roses such as aphids, thrips, whitefly and two-spotted mites will also be controlled with this product, together with dreaded rose black spot disease.

Feed in-ground roses in spring and summer with Yates Thrive Rose Flower Granular Food. Spread the granules around the root zone and water in well.

For potted roses, apply Yates Thrive Roses Flowers Liquid Plant Food each week from spring through to autumn.

Thrive contains a special combination of nutrients to encourage healthy green leaf growth and lots of beautiful blooms.

Also take the opportunity to refresh or apply mulch around the base of rose bushes. Mulching has several benefits:

• It helps reduce the amount of water splashing up from the soil onto the leaves, which decreases the risk of leaf diseases.

• Mulch helps to keep the soil moist and protect the delicate top soil from baking hot sun.

• Organic mulches, such as bark chips and Lucerne straw, will break down over time and add valuable organic matter to the soil.

Types of roses

Hybrid tea roses

Hybrid teas produce large, well-formed flowers in a wide range of colours on upright stems. They make a good garden display and are beautiful cut flowers.

Floribunda roses

Floribunda roses produce an abundance of flowers in a wide variety of colours. Borne in clusters or trusses, the flowers are less suitable for picking than those of the hybrid teas but they provide a greater display of long-lasting garden colour.

Climbers and ramblers

There is a vast range of climbing and rambling roses. Ramblers have long, pliable stems and bear large trusses of small flowers. They produce several strong stems from their base each year.

Climbers make strong stems from any part of the plant and their height potential is far greater than that of ramblers.

Shrub roses

Shrub rose is a general term used to describe hybrids between wild species, hybrid tea roses and floribundas. They are extremely varied in habit, leaf shape and flower form.

Species roses

Species roses are those which are grown in their original wild form. They produce single, fine-petalled flowers, mainly in spring, followed by a display of decorative berry-like hips in autumn. They are particularly resistant to pests and diseases and require little pruning apart from the removal of soft tips and straggly growth.

Old roses

Old roses encompass a broad group including species, old European, tea and China roses. In recent years there has been a great upsurge in interest in them, due to their good garden qualities.

They are particularly fragrant and hardy, and have a delightful, informal character. Also called heritage roses, they are growing in popularity and there are specialist growers.

Miniature roses

Miniature roses look like tiny floribundas, but have miniature leaves and flowers in perfect proportion. They normally grow between 20–50cm high and are almost thornless.

They can be used for edging, grown in containers, rockeries, window boxes or indoors as temporary houseplants.

Roses for pots

'Rosa ‘Bonica'

Arching canes smothered with pastel-pink, double blooms on a small-growing bush make this a good choice for a wide pot.

'Rosa ‘Friesia'

The most yellow of yellows on a neat, mid-sized bush — what more could you want!

'Rosa ‘Satchmo'

An old favourite with clusters of vibrant red blooms.

— Courtesy of Yates

A beautiful pink hybrid tea rose.