How to grow English Roses in Mumbai! Yes, straight to the point in the very first line (I’ve been told this is SEO 😉 ) and can I tell you that I am ecstatic!
Oh, me and English roses and my extreme, biased, never-ending love for them is just too much to handle sometimes, and perhaps the yearning within; the unavailability and impossible-ness of it blooming here in a hot and humid weather made this love all the more strong and almost overwhelming. With these, I am almost Lamb in “Dream Children: A reverie”.
Charles Lamb is who I am referring to. Essays of Elia, Dream Children: A reverie. His dreams for his love, his imaginary children from his marriage to Alice W. was so intense that for once he was actually fooled into believing that he was living the life he always wanted. Unfortunately, it was just a reverie. For all these years, I was lamb and these English Roses my Alice. I used to sigh and yearn and wonder and search (like real search, the computer search) and then wonder again as where can I get my hands on, on a couple of English Rose shrubs and will they ever grow! After a month of finding and planting them, they bloomed. Let me tell you, I invested 6 long months in simply trying to get my hands on them.
I almost lost all hope seeing no blooms where Sarah from abeachcottage.com gave me a simple advice on her instagram feed: “Water, water and more water”. Honestly, I didn’t think only watering them twice a day (and lots of water) could actually make a flower, suitable for colder climes bloom here in Mumbai. Mumbai is hot, humid and hot at the moment! But then she said she made it in Sydney 😉 That girl I tell you is my favorite. Ballsy and beautiful and with the courage to grow English Roses in Sydney heat.
So here’s my personal guide to How to grow English Roses in Mumbai and methinks this will work pretty much everywhere here in India. If you are living up north, life is fair to you. You don’t really need so much watering. But for the west folks who enjoy a very humid coastal weather, this is for you. You can be Charles Lamb in another life
How To grow English Roses In Mumbai
1. Start from a cutting or a small bush. You can start from seeds but I prefer going ahead from cuttings. While picking, make sure you choose one with healthy leaves and a thick stalk. A good plant nursery will be able to tell you which stock is good. Have some bone meal thrown in when you plant.
2. Feed them with NPK fertilizer, 1 tbsp to one liter water, once a week
3. Water them twice a day, heavy. Spray them in between with water if need be.
4. You should have your blooms in about 4-5 weeks. Once the flower has bloomed completely, snip it 5 leaves down. This is from where new branches would come. This pruning is necessary for constant blooms. This also gives the rose bush a shape and a structure.
5. Once in 15 days, give a good neem based fertilizer to the soil.
6. Keep watering!
That’s me on How to grow English Roses in Mumbai or hot climates this evening (okay, this is also SEO. I am not getting enogh of this joke) and I’ll see you with more when they bloom. meanwhile, what’s your favorite flower? Mine was lavender…now they are English Roses.