Growing David Austin roses

David Austin Roses:
The challenge of growing them in a humid climate.
Jackie Hamilton & Mary Ellen Newton

Author’s Note. This essay was written in the early 2000’s. Much water has flowed under the bridge since then and the modern Austins are by and large very disease resistant now. We concentrate on the early Austins, which we have labelled the “Classic David Austins”, many of which are no longer commercially available.

Furthermore we have many more years experience so some of the statements are probably pretty stupid!

David Austin roses - ChaucerDavid Austin is the most influential rose breeder of the past 50 years. He has produced a huge range of loved roses. Unfortunately, many of his roses are tricky to grow in New Zealand conditions as they are susceptible to a range of problems. Based on our experience of twenty plus years rose growing them, this is brief guide to growing David Austin roses in the humid climate of northern New Zealand.


Are you sure you want to grow roses?

Buying roses: Where, when, why?

The bare essentials of rose care

To spray or not to spray roses?

Getting on with the job of spraying roses

Pest and Diseases

Downy Mildew

Spider Mites

Black Spot


Possums and other pests

Other problems pertaining to high rainfall


Wet feet

Spraying difficulties

Pruning & cuttings

How & why to prune, and taking rose cuttings