Friday, 23 April 2021

How to: get Rosa mundi to flower spectacularly

People visiting one of "my" gardens, often used to ask me how I got this Rosa mundi 'Versicolor' to flower so magnificently: 

Gorgeous, isn't it? Often described as "The oldest and best known striped rose" and I would agree with that, although I'd probably add "and the best looking!" as well.

Sometimes this rose is known as Rosa gallica 'Versicolor' but it's the same thing: it is what's known as an Old Rose: this means it only flowers once, it doesn't go on re-flowering all summer long: but it's worth waiting for. and enjoying it, when it does.

So, in answer to the question "how do I get it to flower..." I have to say, it's that old, old, principle of "you have to be cruel to be kind", which applies to so many aspects of gardening.

I could give a long description of how I mulch it every winter, how I feed it every spring and summer, etc: but really, the main thing I do is this - every winter:

There! Simple!

I chop it down without mercy. 

First I apply the usual RHS "3-Ds" by which I mean that I remove anything dead, diseased, or damaged/dying.

Then I take out any crossing, rubbing branches. 

Next I remove any weak, spindly growth, and any that I simply don't like the look of. Then I chop what's left down in height, quite drastically, and that leaves me with this - left.

I do this every winter, and once it is flowering, I do deadhead it every week.

And that's all!

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