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Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to Keep Roses in Your Tropical Garden

I wouldn't recommend any new beginners
 to start their garden with roses. 
They are really tricky to start with, 
unless you got the hardy ones but those are not sold in nursery nor supermarkets.
I'm pretty sure most gardeners would have those heart wrenching moment to see their whole plant wither and die within those few weeks of purchase.
And as everyone's guess - they are from Cameron Highland
 (which are not yet adapted to lowland climate)
 But all is not loss.

These are the rose plant which are actually came from a pruned material, bundled and thrown out along the street side. I didn't have the heart to see them go to total waste and manage to get few branches to propagate them. From all of the branches only one survived and its been always blooming ever since.
(This is now like 3 years ago)

I had other varieties too but I had given all of them away but kept this one. Seemed to me that this is quite hardy & strong even after a lot of pest and fungus attack. And I love the formation of this shrub where I can prune it in an umbrella shape and it fills it with many blooms.

A lot of my friends & family often purchase their roses from nurseries or supermarket and they somehow do not last more than a month. I had experience it few times myself even after some tender loving care - after the bloomed spend the plant shivered and dies.

It was a terrible experience actually - my mum bought for me a rose plant with many blooms and passed it to me on my birthday. I insisted that it was too much for me, knowing the fact that roses were not much of my garden plant to begin with. Anyway I took it as a challenge and failed miserably at it.
Regardless, I pay back the favour by presenting another rose plant to my mum for Mother's Day and that plant too sadly died..

I begin to investigate and found few of the matters that it needed to be rectified. These are my tips to begin with - nothing personal to refute others who are more experienced than me. What I'm suggesting is that these are my personal experience and you might want to try it - that is if you find that roses don't survive in your garden.

When you purchase Roses from a nursery and you find that the rose flower bloom is beautifully compacted and formed - understand that chances are those roses are actually grown on highlands (chances are from Cameron Highlands)
Highland Roses may face a shock when suddenly introduced to a hot lowland climate - that's why you will find that the flowers appear to be exploded, leaves falling apart and the plant eventually die from fungus or root problems.

What to do?

Most of these roses are laced with chemicals to protect them from pest. Do not consume them as they are poisoned with pesticide and fungicide. Also remember that the soil medium is actually cocopeat which will cause root rot when they are planted in hot lowland climate. They don't so well when the rose is overwatered as the normal lowland counterparts do.

a) Keep the plant in shade for a week.
b) Water lightly and remove all the dying, yellow leaves.
c) Trim off all the spend rose blooms.
d) Enjoy the flowers until all of them are finish it prime blooms.
e) When you notice the newly formed buds turning into flowers - you will find that they are not so beautiful as they are first purchased. You can if you wish trim off those flower buds and keep the whole plant in leaf formation first.

1) Change the soil medium
Carefully remove the plant from the pot and slowly break of the chunks of the cocopeat from the root ball.
They will be slightly moist and you can slowly break them off from the root base.

Mix 50% of the cocopeat medium with another soil mix.
This is the soil mix that I often use - 30% red soil & 30% black soil. & 30% sand.
I use one third of each portion and mix well and together mix with the current cocopeat medium that was used for the rose.
Plant the Rose plant in slightly a bigger pot from the current one.

2) Plant back the Rose using this Soil mix and keep the plant in shade for another few days (3-4 days)
And slowly introduce it to a bright shaded plant of the garden within 2 weeks.
Increase the watering as you notice new growth appearing from the rose shrub.

3) Start putting organic fertiliser after 3 weeks.
Too soon can cause burns on new shoots and leaves.

This variety is very much like a miniature rose. It begins with pink and turns red when fully matured after few days old. I had once put the petals in ice cube and served them & it certainly taste refreshing. (Most of my family members didn't like the bitter taste of the rose petals)
I guess it is an acquired taste.


Anonymous said...

As always, your articles are well-researched and tested. It's amazing that you share so easily. Reading your posts saves me time from browing for answers elsewhere. Once again, do keep up the good work and on behalf of bloggers out there who benefited from your articles, a big thank you....btw, you do have lots of plants...amazing

Mystic Dreamer said...

I love roses but most cultivars don't do well in the Tropics. I am currently experimenting with Belinda's Dream and the Sunrosa series (soft pink, red and yellow).

Rosie, Perthshire Gardener and Photographer said...

I never realised that you would struggle so much with roses in your climate James. You've done well with you research and experimentation.

James David said...

Most welcome.
May I know your name and where are you from?

James David said...

Great that you are experimenting on them...

James David said...

There are some cultivars that does well in the tropics but most majority don't.
Thanks for dropping by and comments.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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