Thursday, 12 April 2018

Roses and Carnivorous Plants

The images for this outing can be seen in the April Newsletter.

Written by Sue:
The April 2018 outing was a pretty exclusive event, only five of us went - you'll be sorry you missed it but because we are nice, we will gladly share what we learnt. We went to Benefield's Rose Farm at Halfway Creek and then on to Wendy's and Gary's Carnivorous Plants at Kungala.

image Benefield's

I did not realize that behind the potted roses there are acres of rose bushes and chrysanthemums and gypsophila (baby's breath) all grown to supply the local fresh flower market. Patrick Benefield gave us the grand tour and it is very impressive to see the rows and rows of roses. It looks as if he has aimed to collect as many different varieties as possible. Patrick originally established an orchard on the site but changed to a rose farm around 1990. He hails from a long line of rose growers and his knowledge of roses is amazing. He generously shared many rose growing secrets.

This is what he told us:

Spray every 10-14 days with a mix of Phosphoric acid (3.8 ml/l), Eco Oil (5 ml/l), Mancozeb (2g/l), Seasol (as per bottle). All can be mixed together. Aim for every 10 days and push out to 14 if it is rainy. If there is a problem pest, increase the frequency of spraying rather than the strength of the mix. In addition to the regular spray routine, lime sulphur for scale at the rate of 20/1 once a year and petroleum pest oil one month later. 

I asked Patrick why petroleum pest oil rather than homemade white oil and he said it is because the petroleum pest oil has ammonia which burns the fungus and the oil part makes it stick.

He also said that in Coffs, prune in July because there is not really a winter and if you prune too early the plant will try to grow before it is really warm enough.  He recommends poultry manure once a year and says it is best because it contains calcium.  Don't dig in, leave on top of the mulch.  Roses need humus, so always mulch, mulch, mulch.   

image M. Bell
After the rose farm we moved down the road to Wendy & Gary's Carnivorous Plants.  Again there were surprises.  I found out that there are some  carnivorous plants that will live happily in the sun so long as it's pot is sitting in water.  Perfect for the pond!  Wendy & Gary won a first prize at the Royal Easter Show for their amazing Pitcher plant.  

If you would like to buy one of their plants they regularly attend Bellingen markets on the 3rd Saturday of the month. 

Webmaster's note: Garry Stewart & Wendy must have been stoked at their success at the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show. These were their placings:

1st Nepenthes, single species, with a minimum of 3 pitchers in a pot not exceeding 350mm

3rd Nepenthes, single hybrid plant, with a minimum of 3 pitchers in a pot not exceeding 350mm

Highly Commended, Sarracenia, multiple crown single hybrid plant, with a minimum of 3 pitchers in a pot not exceeding 200mm

Well done team Wendy & Garry!

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