how to care for roses: everything we need to know
Learning how to care for roses is easy with
just a few simple guidelines.
Everyone can grow roses. The modern roses are easy to take care of.
Select the rose type you like,
plant your roses in an area with good sunlight and drainage. Give them regular water and fertilizer. Prune them and use pest control as needed.
Soon you will have America's national flower flourishing in
Rose care is very rewarding.
Choose modern rose bush types
Select your rose bush types depending on
how you intend to use them in the landscape. You may want to feature your
roses as specimen plants, climbing on an
arbor or feature them in containers on your patio.
colors, types and fragrances to suit your desires. Select roses that are blooming. They you get to see their colors, forms and enjoy
Hybrid Tea Rose
Hybrid Tea Roses have long stems
with one flower per stem. These are the cut flowers used in the
Their flowers are large with a high
center and many petals. More petals mean longer lasting blooms.
Many have a wonderful fragrance from
the original tea roses. They flower early in the summer and
then sparsely the rest of the season.
They are very effective as specimen
plants in the landscape. They may grow from 3 to 6 feet.
Generally, they are not as disease
resistant as many other rose bush types. So they require attentive care.
But they are gorgeous!
Floribundas have many loose-formed,
smaller flowers on the end of the stem.
The center flower blooms first. Then the side flowers open later giving an extended
They are more cold hardy than hybrid tea roses. They are continual blooming, from summer until
The abundance of flowers and lower
growing plants make them useful as hedges.
They are generally are 2 to 4 feet
tall and they are known to be easier to care for than the hybrid tea rose.
Grandiflora Roses were developed by
crossing the hybrid teas roses with the floribunda rose.
They have the larger
flowers of the hybrid tea rose. Some have a wonderful fragrance from the tea
They have the hardiness and
numerous flowers of the floribunda rose. Queen Elizabeth was the first
grandiflora to be registered in 1954. It's hard to find a more regal flower
with its shell pink color.
Today there are many wonderful
grandiflora rose bush types. They are an excellent choice for home rose growing
and they are very rewarding.
They grow from 3 to 5
feet, occasionally taller.
Knockout roses are easy care.
The popular Knockout Rose has
greatly simplified growing roses! They are practically a no-care rose.
They bloom all season long from spring
until frost in waves of flowers about 6 weeks apart.
Knockout roses are extremely disease
resistant, no pesticide applications required. They do not require deadheading
of their spent flowers.
They may be used in the landscape
like any other shrub and they have flushes of flowers all summer.
They grow to around 3 to 4
feet tall and wide.
other rose types
Miniature roses look much like a hybrid
tea or floribunda roses. Miniatures are great for low growing
hedges or growing in pots. Under most conditions they grow from
1 to 2 feet tall.
Climbing roses are popular for growing on
fences, arbors or a trellis. Their long arching canes may grow up
to 15 feet long.
They need to be tied up to their support.
In harsh winter climates, lay the canes on the ground and
cover them for winter protection. The next spring put them on their
where is the best place to plant a rose?
The correct location for our roses is one of the most important aspects of how to care for roses.
roses love the sun
- Roses need at least 5-6 hours of sunlight for
strong growth and good flowering.
- They are delighted with 8 hours of full sun.
- The most common reason roses don't
flower and grow well is because they don't have enough sunlight.
- There are some roses that will grow
in shady locations, but not many. Don't try planting a rose in the shade,
unless it is specially bred and labeled as a shade rose.
- The planting area should have good air circulation to
help prevent leaf diseases.
what is the best soil for a rose?
Roses need well drained soil.
Rose roots will grow down to 24" to 36". We want to make sure the roots are not rotting in water.
can check the soil drainage by digging a hole about a 12" wide and 18"
deep. Fill the hole with water and let it drain completely away. This
wets the dry soil.
Fill the hole with water a second time. Many
times, the hole will drain out in 10 to 30 minutes. Ideally the water
will drain within an hour, 3 to 4 hours at the most.
What if the soil doesn't drain well?
There several options for drainage situations. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Good air circulation is the key to preventing leaf diseases on our roses.
Plant roses at least three feet apart, four feet apart is best.
When we are planting roses against a building, plant them far enough away for
good air circulation. Plant the rose a minimum of 1/2 its mature diameter
away from the building.
We water our roses in the morning. Then
the air circulation has time to dry the leaves before night time. This
helps prevent leaf diseases.
how do we plant a rose?
Whether we are planting a rose from a container or bare root,
the steps are much the same.
We found a beautiful red rose.
when is the best time to plant a rose?
Spring is the best time to plant a
Wait until after the last frost and
then plant your roses. Roses planted from a container may
be planted all the way up into May. They need to get a good start before
the heat of the summer.
Bare root roses should be planted as
soon as we can comfortably work the soil, like February or March. They take
longer to establish. It's not safe to plant bare root roses in the late spring.
Roses may be planted in the
fall six weeks before the first frost. They need to establish before
cold weather. It depends on what plant zone we live in.
to plant a rose from a container
Dig the hole before taking the rose out of the
Before planting a rose make sure it is well watered in the container.
Select healthy, vigorous roses.
- Dig the hole two feet wide and about twice the depth of the container.
- Dig the sides of the hole
straight up and down.
- Make the hole the same width at the
bottom as it is at the top.
- A good hole is necessary for growing healthy roses.
- Amend the soil that will be going back into the hole. Mix the soil from the hole with plenty of organic matter.
Organic matter not only provides
nutrition, but it loosens the soil. It gives the roots room to breathe and get
the oxygen and moisture they need.
We may put a bit of time released fertilizer into the
bottom of the hole. Cover the fertilizer with a little soil, so the roots
don't contact the fertilizer directly. The roots will get the fertilizer
when they grow to it.
Take the rose out of the container after the hole is prepared.
If the small feeder roots are
exposed to the air for any length of time, they will dry up and die.
If there are roots going around in the bottom of the container,
gently straighten them out.
Firm the soil with your hands.
Set the rose plant into the hole at the same depth
it was in the container.
Fill around the rose about half way up with the amended
Then fill the hole to the top with water. Let the water soak away
and water it again.
Now, fill the planting hole
with soil and firm the soil down with your hands.
Water the rose again.
Apply some mulch around the rose for weed control and to maintain moisture.
how to plant a bare root rose
Dig the planting hole the same as for a container rose.
If we see dead or broken roots, they should be removed. Put the bare root rose into some
room temperature water for about an hour to make sure it is well hydrated.
The roots should look plump and healthy.
Make a mound of amended soil in the bottom of the planting hole.
the rose into the hole and spread the roots down over the mound of soil.
Add more amended soil about half-way up in the hole and
water the plant thoroughly.
Fill the hole the rest of the way up to the level the
rose was planted before.
Firm the soil down with our hands.
and apply mulch.
Do not fertilize the bare root plant until we see good
growth on the rose.
how to care for roses
The rose planting is finished, now we need to know how to care for roses for their long life.
Taking care of roses is easy.
often do we water roses?
Taking care of roses includes
regular watering. Once your roses are established, they are very drought
- Check them about once a week to see if the soil is dry.
Water deeply with about 1" of water.
- Apply the water at the base of the
plant. This is how to grow
roses with fewer leaf diseases.
- If you do water by sprinklers, do the sprinkling in the
The leaves need to dry off before
night. Because wet leaves at night encourage leaf diseases.
- If your roses flower all summer fertilize them about
three times during the growing season.
the last time around Labor Day to give the new growth time to harden off before
- Roses that bloom once a year are fertilized once a
year, early in their growing season.
- Apply the fertilizer at the leaf
drip-line. The feeder roots that pick-up water and nutrients are out at the
Use a rose food or a fertilizer such
as a 5-10-5. This is how to care for roses.
Systemic pesticides have simplified how to care for roses.
If you have a pest problem with either bugs or leaf
diseases, get a rose food that has a systemic pesticide and fungicide
included with the fertilizer.
The systemic pesticide is taken up
into the plant through the roots. It then works from the inside of the plant
out to control the pests and diseases.
This greatly simplifies rose care. It eliminates the necessity of spraying the top of the plant.
Follow the directions on the pesticide container.
how to prune roses
Pruning roses results in larger blooms and healthy new growth. Pruning rose bushes controls the
shape, size and health of the rose plant.
to deadhead roses
Deadheading is removing spent flowers that are withering and past
their peak appearance. It's done throughout the flowering season. It's how to care for roses and get more new flowers.
Cut above a five-leaflet.
Cut just above a five-leaflet leaf. Don't cut to a three-leaflet or the resulting growth will be weak and spindly.
Prune to an outward facing bud, so the new growth will go outward instead of toward the interior of the bush.
Cut about 1/4" above the leaf axial. Cutting too close to the leaf axial will injure the new bud.
If you leave too much stem above the axial, there is a chance the cane will die back.
The flower in the photo is not actually ready to be trimmed off. But it makes a nice picture.
Only deadhead the spent blossoms. This is how to care for roses.
When is the best time to prune roses?
Pruning is best done in the early spring when the buds
are swollen, but not leafed out.
Pruning keeps the roses healthy.
- Cut off all broken, diseased and
- Normally 1/3 to 1/2 half of their
height is removed to keep the rose a manageable size.
- Prune to outward facing buds.
- Prune to three to seven strong,
evenly spaced canes that will allow plenty of light and air into the center of
Shrub roses are pruned to keep them
in their allotted space, full and natural looking. Normally reduce their height
by about half each spring.
Knock Out roses are pruned in the
spring before they leaf out, cut back about one third to keep them at a nice
manageable size of 3 to 4 feet.
Miniature roses are pruned to about
half their height. Leave about six canes, while shaping the plant during the
Climbing roses are pruned after they
have bloomed. Many bloom on last year's growth. If they are pruned first thing
in the spring their flower buds would be cut off.
roses is so rewarding
When we know how to care for roses, we can enjoy the gift of beautiful roses every year.
Grow any type of roses, they
are all worth it!
Enjoy growing beautiful roses!