Roses light up any garden- the flower of quintessential English summertime. The beauty and scent of roses have firmly planted (!) them on many UK gardeners’ ‘favourites’ lists. We love to see them blooming, big, bright & bursting with colour, on our borders. But as well as being stunning, they’re famously difficult to grow. Getting the perfect rose bloom can be a challenge that stumps even experiences gardeners. Knowing what soil your roses need can help produce the best possible results.
Do you need ericaceous compost for roses?
Depending on where you live in the UK, you might need to use ericaceous compost & acidic soil improvers to boost the nutritional profile of your soil. Roses favour neutral to slightly acidic soil- between 6 and 7. This means while many places in the UK have acceptable soil acidity for roses, many more of us will need to take steps to alter the soil profile and create an optimal growing environment for roses. Using a home pH soil testing kit is the best way to accurately understand when adjustments you may need to make. It’s important to recognise that for a lot (but not all) gardeners the aim will be to slowly tweak the soil acidity, raising it by just a few bars on the scale, rather than totally overhauling your borders’ natural state. For more information on the soils of England and Wales, check out this useful map from Cranfield University.
Using ericaceous compost for roses and similar flowers
As with many areas of gardening, patience, experience and method are vital when adjusting your soil structure. Adding small doses of soil improvers and testing over a period of months will be a better use of time and money than simply emptying lime into the soil. Be prepared for your roses to struggle at first and learn from any mistakes. You’ll also need to control pests, weeds and moisture, the same as any other plant, while mastering the regular feeding roses require, without overfeeding, is a knack many veteran gardeners struggle with.
For more information on ericaceous compost, including some of the other plants this amazing, soil-modifying compost can bring to your garden, visit our page on ericaceous compost. We stock high quality ericaceous compost for roses, azaleas, acers and many of the other beautiful, acid-loving plants that will brighten your garden!