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Summer Newsletter – December 2020



Rose field at Knights Roses

In a year like no other, 2020 has been simply devastating for many people and businesses. We will remember these times for many years to come. Due to increased consumer demand for roses and renewed interest in gardening, Knight’s Roses experienced unprecedented rose sales in 2020. During the year many people spent more time in their gardens, helping them both mentally and physically. 

We thank our loyal customers for their continued support and eagerly look forward to 2021. We wish you all Season’s Greetings.


Summer proofing your garden mainly relies on your watering regime. High temperatures generally mean lots of sunshine and high Ultra-violet light readings and low humidity. This creates high evaporation rates – hence the need to water. 

We know we will quickly dehydrate without drinking lots of water. The rose plant is similar. If the plant looses its foliage which, like clothes, protect its branches, its limbs will burn. Once burnt, the stems never recover. They will either die completely or only deliver part of the food/water the new foliage requires. They should therefore be removed in winter.

Young standard roses and weeping roses have green ‘standards’ (or stems), that is the root stock onto which the roses has been grafted. It is important that supporting stakes are located on the north west side of the ‘standard’ to shade the stem in its first two years of development. Once the standard goes grey-brown and develops bark as it matures, it no longer needs sun protection. If your stake is already on the south side of the plant, wrap some shade cloth or old Terylene curtain loosely around the new standard to protect it.


Due to low rainfall, low humidity and high temperatures, both the transpiration rate of the rose and the evaporation rate from the soil are very high. Ensure you water deeply and if you’ve not already done so, apply an organic-based mulch. The Rose Society recommends Neutrog’s ‘Whoflungdung‘ super mulch. This product helps to keep the ground cooler, reduce evaporation, helps control weeds and improves the soil. A good layer, up to 10cm, can reduce your water usage by 40-50%


Assuming the roses are mulched, a rose plant required 20 to 30 litres of water, in one application, per week (for each rose) if the average maximum temperature for the next 7 days is 20°C – 30°C. If the average maximum temperature for the next 7 days is in the rage 30°C to 40°C, the rose will require at least 30 litres of water in one application that week. Finally, is the average maximum temperature is 40°C or above, the rose will require 40 litres of water, in two applications of 20 litres for the week. the extreme heatwave conditions with an average weekly maximum over 40°C is rare but does occur in warmer regions of the state. Roses in their first year may require supplementary water in addition to that described above as young plants can dry out more quickly.


A feed of Neutrog’s Sudden Impact for Roses will ensure that your roses have sufficient nutrients to flower throughout summer. the timing will generally be around late December. Apply GOGO Juice monthly to help increase the microbial population in your soil, and make more nutrients available to plants.

Apart from watering and mulching, the rose requires little other maintenance in summer as the air is too dry for fungal problems and generally too hot for insects. If these do occur, use organic solutions such as Eco-oil


Finally, regularly remove spent blooms by cutting the old flower and short stem down to the second five-leaflet to ensure continuous flowering. Simply plucking the old bloom without some of the stem can result in weak growth. We can have continuous, disease free and flourishing roses if you follow these simple steps. 

Deheading a Rose
Deheading a Rose


Why were standard roses invented? That’s a good question and there’s a very interesting answer. 

‘Standard’ roses were developed in the late 18th century in Europe, possibly Germany. By the early 19th century there were several nurseries in Germany that specialised in providing the root stock to propagate standard roses. 

Standard roses were extensively grown in France and England, gaining popularity in the Victorian era where they were featured in the gardens of stately homes. The name “rose standards” originated there, and later became the”standard” rose. It is thought that standard roses were introduced to allow ladies wearing fashionable crinoline dresses to move more easily around the formal rose garden.

Queen Louise's Teahouse in Denmark, circa mid-1800s, showing renovated rose garden. The Queen was passionate about her roses.

Standard roses are useful as architectural or structural plants and the most popular of these is the tall (90cm) standard rose. These are grafted onto stems of understock. They add height to the garden, define pathways and their straight single stem and circular crown suit formal gardens. Smaller plants with light surface roots (such as annuals) can be grown underneath. There are many standard roses available and they come in a fantastic range of colours and many have beautiful perfume. 

Some of the most famous Standard Roses are the all-time favourtie Iceberg, Angel Face, Bonica, Seduction, Friesia and Gold Bunny. These make ideal standards, as the canopy is compact with prolific flowering. 

New releases such as Hot Pink Bonica, Brilliant Pink Iceberg and Ebb Tide also come as (90cm) Standards and are highly recommended. Our top selling Patio Standard (70cm) are Black Caviar, Firestar, Ebb Tide and Aussie Magic.

‘Iceberg’ thought to be the worlds best rose, simply because it performs beautifully. ‘Iceberg’ has dainty white blooms with a pleasant fragrance. It has two main flower flushes in spring and autumn, but also flowers throughout the year, even in winter. The foliage is healthy and hardy. When grown as a standard, ‘Iceberg’ looks great, forming a substantial and well-shaped crown.

Tall (90cm) Iceberg Standards in Spring

‘Seduction’ is a very pretty rose with wavy ivory petals gently deepening to pale pink on the edges. The medium-sized blooms last exceptionally well when cut.

‘Gold Bunny’ flowers almost continuously. It has medium-sized, clear yellow blooms, and  soft green, disease resistant foliage.

‘Friesia’ is one of the best floribundas with clusters of deep yellow blooms and a sweet fragrance. A compact and bushy growth habit with healthy bright green foliage. 

‘Bonica’ has pastel pink blooms produced in large clusters. The foliage is dark green ad healthy. Prolific flowering creates a great display throughout the growing season.

'Bonica' Bred by Meilland in France
'Bonica' Bred by Meilland in France


Do you have a question for our experts?

Please send us your questions for our experts to provide advice. We will select one or two of the best questions and answer it in each newsletter. If yours is selected, you will receive a free rose from Knight’s Roses.

Contact Knight’s Roses for more information – phone 08 8523 1311 or email: or visit our website