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Cascade Culture

Here we have a guide for growing Cascades for the best possible results and effect at blooming time. As you can see from the pictures below they can be a wonderful feature in any garden.

Selection of Cultivar: We list under cascades those best suited to this form of training. They must be small free flowering cultivars with limber stems and good branching habit.

Potting Soil: Most any light well drained potting mixture can be used, or combine 2 parts fibrous loam, 2 parts leaf mould or aged fine pine bark, 1 part rotted manure, 1 part coarse sand and 1 part peat moss.

Planting Time and Containers: Cuttings should be rooted as soon as possible, generally September to October. Plant initially to a 4 pot, repot to a 6 pot after 4 to 5 weeks. Final container size will depend on the amount of growth achieved; usually 8 to 12 containers are sufficient. When planting to the final trellised container, plant the cascade on its side facing the trellis so it can immediately be tied into place. A horizontal growing position is maintained through most of the growing season.

Feeding and Watering: Apply a slow release fertiliser such as Osmocote 14-14-14 at each potting, plus a liquid feed with fish emulsion or other similar feed every 2 weeks during the entire growing season until the buds show colour. Top dressing with manure or fine pine bark will help conserve moisture. Do not feed or spray insecticide when plants are in wilted condition.

Wire Support: Proper training and tying to wire trellis is the secret of growing cascades. A length of 12 gauge wire approximately 7 feet long is bent to form a U shape with the ends inserted in the container on either side of the cascade plant. The ends of the wire frame to be inserted into the growing container should be bent like hooks to prevent the wire from working loose. The centre of the wire frame can be covered with 2 inch grid poultry wire. This will allow the maximum area for tying down the new growth.

Training and Pinching: All new growth except the leading growing tips are pinched when they have reached three or four leaf joints in length. All new growth should be tied down regularly to the wire trellis to present as flat appearance as possible. As buds form, pinching is stopped and you cascade placed in an elevated position where the wire trellis can be slowly bent downward until the desired cascading effect is reached. This usually takes about 1 week.

Insect Control: Establish a regular schedule of once a week spraying or dusting with a good general purpose spray or Rose dust until buds show colour. After this time dust lightly only, or flower injury may occur.