"Can you tell me what is causing brown markings and illformed buds on my roses?" - Michael

Around Australia, there's hardy a rose bush that needs water yet!  However, when you water, are you OVERHEAD watering?  That will cause grief for the flowers - it's inevitable when we get rain but you can avoid it by NOT overhead watering!

You'll see flowers with those ugly outer markings after very hot / windy weather when thrip are carried on the wind ... thrips are miniscule insects which bury deep into the rose petals - they make a particular mess of pale coloured blooms just like in the picture!

In cases where the flowers look as yours do, I generally recommend cutting them off and wait for the next round of flowers in 40-45 days!


"This amazing Charles de Gaulle has around 12 buds on this stem- I find if I pick them too early the buds don't open- should I de bud?" - Pat

Hello Pat .... yes, I suppose you could dis-bud or de-bud the central flower but I rather leave them all so that I can always see a perfect bloom.  Once that bloom is finished, remove it and wait for the others to open.

Although CHARLES DE GAULLE is a HYBRID TEA rose,it has the flowering characteristics of a FLORIBUNDA (cluster flowering) rose with large heads of perfectly-formed, large HT shaped blooms.

It’s no wonder rose gardeners/enthusiasts are so frequently confused about the classification of roses and why we here at Silkies Rose Farm, prefer to call them BUSH ROSES or MODERN SHRUB ROSES as this prevents confusion!


"My climbing roses are climbing great. But not too many roses.  They have reached the top.  I did pinch the buds out as you said in September, and give them all the seasol etc every two weeks plus I water, mulch etc.  The bush roses are treated the same and are great flowerers.  Am I doing something wrong?  They are very healthy, but not flowering Perplexed" - Anne

Don’t be too perplexed as some climbers will set all their growth in the first year and forget about flowering while they’re growing so rampantly.  It can also be a reflection of really good conditions  - we have had great rains which releases stored nutrients from the soil.

Tie the canes – please don’t cut them!  Ease back perhaps on any high nitrogen fertilizer like Dynamic Lifter perhaps?  Up the application of a flower boosting fertilizer like PHOSTROGEN ... (chemical fert but if you’re worried, it might promote flowering).  I would prefer to just let them do their thing!