Friday, July 23, 2010

My true and tested method: Skip the ‘hardening process’ altogether?

I don’t mean to confuse you.  Hardening process is a must to ensure your high land roses survive in the garden. But there is a little secret of mine about hardening process that I don’t often share - that is skipping the hardening process altogether! Confuse? Don’t be. Learn how it’s done!

You think I must be crazy.

Months ago I preached about the hardening process; that is the only way to go about successfully growing high land roses in your garden which without it, your high land roses will have less survival chance. Now, I am preaching completely a different story!

Through years of growing roses and countless time of buying high land roses, I have had a fair share of the processes myself – enduring the daily and weekly schedule of shifting the pots to ensure my roses get their portion of sunshine and shade, etc. But being a busy person, there were times I wished I could skip these crazy ordeal altogether and spent more time with what matters most to me in the very beginning - enjoying roses!

I managed to skip the hardening process and here are my secrets:

Begin with having done some hardening process

That’s right. To skip the hardening process, one must experience what hardening process really is!

What the processes do besides hardening your roses is training your eyes and mind with what's going on with your roses. Go through at least 2 processes of hardening just to learn the deal. Later, it is all about using this experience and trusting your gardener’s instinct.

So, if you are first timer. No skipping for you. If you've done some hardening process, read on!

Locate that right spot

When it comes to skipping the hardening process, you now no longer required to shift your roses but keep them at one place permanently throughout the duration so they harden on their own. So, how to identify which spot is the right spot to leave the roses alone?

This is where your gardener instinct and experience you had on hardening process come to play.

I’ve mentioned earlier in my post (on hardening process) about shifting your roses around to different places of your garden. It was then meant to hasten the hardening process that is making your roses accustomed to the different parts and micro climates of your garden.

But the main underlying reason is so you would know how well your roses behave in each and every spots of your garden and for you to take note of the behavior and the best sites. This is the BIG BOON you don't want to miss!

Since it’s your garden, I can’t tell you your garden's best spot, you got to find this on your own.  

But here are some clues:
  • If the plants look malnourished and yellowing within two – three weeks in a spot (given all else the same; water, food, etc), then your roses hate the site. If they thrive and greening and even flowering profusely, they are on the money. 
  • Roses love 100% direct sunlight, but it doesn’t mean they can’t tolerate some shade. In fact, some shade is good. Best spot is always when roses receive morning and afternoon sun in abundance but shaded and cooled from direct scorching evening sun. As long as they receive 6-8 hours of our Malaysia sunlight, they are fine. 
  • Roses love being occasionally showered too, thus adore some rain. They are plants anyway, not cats! So, roofs and complete coverings are a no-no. So discard the belief that highland roses belong under a patio. If you ever decided for a light roofing, shower them with water early morning once in a while is a great way to go.
  • Wind is good. It dries roses when wet; it gives good air circulation and keeps pests and diseases away. Avoid facing neighboring fields where you know they house pests which easily can be transferred over. 
  • This may sound strange, but a fish pond or the like, is a great companion to roses. Why? The humidity level. I personally discovered that when there’s a water source nearby, roses tend to thrive better and the flowers are extra beautiful and supple.

Keep shifting the pots until you find the ideal spot 

      When you find it, the roses can be left there to harden. Now that the ideal spot is identified, your next rose purchases will be simply placed there.

In fact, if the spot is good, you may want to keep out all other junks and permanently make the spot as your official ‘rose garden’!

Now, you are in the know of my secret. And I can't reiterate enough - we all can grow roses, we just need to know how. Allow me to end this post with a little claptrap of mine. 

It’s called My Two Thumbs:

 “I have two thumbs and they are no greener than yours. Count them not but the many times they’ve been soil-dirtied so you see their true colors. And twisted not in their wrestles, but journey further for what’s under my sleeves...” – Rough Rosa

Copyright and author: Rough Rosa


James Missier said...

Im very much aware about the hardening process but actually its just not applied for roses only.
Most of my garden plants often go through this process.
But because of my location - my garden is very much a shaded area and so, roses are the most challenging ones to cultivate compared to other plants.

Right now, my roses are going through a virus infection where the leaves tend to shrink and shrivel.
I have not tried pruning the plant into half the length - probably its a good idea since my plant is quite leggy but without much bloom.

James Missier said...

I find it very difficult to view or comment in you blog. Often times it gets hanged and brings in spam in my PC. See if you could do something about it - like removeing some of your gadegets for better speed & viewing.
Just my suggestion.
Beein sitting on this comment box for a long time. Not sure how others are experiencing.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Wow, you must have a great collection of plants! Those require hardening are often beautiful plants and not so common.

Yes, roses love sunshine thus too shaded may post a challenge.

The shriveling is caused by thrips. Cut roses back to half the heights can be a good idea because it rids damaged leaves and flowers, and take away some of the thrips eggs. But be careful not to defoliage too much as it can stunt the growth and makes rose weaker. Roses can die this way. Make sure you keep the balance leaves proportionate to the bush size. Spray with organic insecticide twice a week for now.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Thanks for highlighting James, I wouldn't know if you hadn't mention. I'll look into what's been causing the problem. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Roses are always beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Excellent observation! Will find the right spot in my garden as you mentioned. Pray hard!!!! Arghhh!

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Thanks..and good luck on finding the right spot!

Anonymous said...

I am reading the articles about hardening roses, if bought from cameron highlands... 5 of my roses were purchased bareroot from Texas spring this year. All are doing well. I did not go through a "hardening process". Are cameronian roses different?

My Details:

Peter C Goh
Subang Jaya, Sel

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Hi Peter, I've made the answer to your question as a post. You may wanna read from:

Nice knowing ya!