The In's & Out's of Rose Gardening

Roses are the quintessential flowers, embodying beauty, elegance, and a touch of romance. This guide from our Green Team will walk you through everything you need to know about growing and caring for roses:


Choosing the Right Roses

Types of Roses

Before you start planting, it’s important to know the different types of roses available. Here are a few popular ones:

  1. Hybrid Tea Roses: Known for their large, elegant blooms and long stems, these are perfect for cutting and displaying in vases.
  2. Floribunda Roses: These produce clusters of blooms and are great for adding vibrant color to your garden.
  3. Grandiflora Roses: A cross between hybrid teas and floribundas, they combine the best of both worlds with large blooms in clusters.
  4. Climbing Roses: Ideal for arbors, trellises, and fences, these roses can create stunning vertical displays.
  5. Miniature Roses: Perfect for containers and small gardens, these little beauties offer all the charm of larger roses in a compact size.

Selecting Healthy Plants

When choosing rose plants, look for healthy, robust specimens. Here are some tips:

  • Bare-root roses: These should have moist, plump roots and several strong canes (stems). These are only carried early in the year around late February or early March.

Potted roses: Ensure the foliage is green and free from spots or pests. The plant should look vigorous and well-cared for. We carry potted roses all year-round. 

Planting Your Roses

Site Selection

Roses love sunlight, so pick a spot that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure good air circulation to help prevent disease, and choose a location with well-draining soil.

Soil Preparation

Roses thrive in well-draining, fertile soil. Here's how to prepare the perfect rose bed:

  1. Test the soil pH: Roses prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0-7.0).
  2. Enrich the soil: Mix in plenty of organic matter like compost or aged manure to improve soil fertility and drainage.
  3. Dig a hole: Make it wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots comfortably. Typically, a hole about 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep is ideal.

Planting Steps

  1. Water the roots: If planting bare-root roses, soak the roots in water for a few hours before planting.
  2. Planting depth: Position the rose so that the graft union (the knobby part where the stems meet the roots) is just above the soil line in mild climates and 2-3 inches below the soil in colder climates.
  3. Backfill: Fill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots. Water thoroughly to settle the soil.

Caring for Your Roses


Roses need consistent moisture, especially during their first growing season. Water deeply and regularly, aiming for about 1-2 inches of water per week. Morning watering is best to reduce the risk of disease.


Feed your roses to keep them blooming beautifully:

  • Spring: Apply a balanced fertilizer when new growth appears.
  • Summer: Feed with a high-potassium fertilizer to encourage flowering.
  • Fall: Stop fertilizing about 6 weeks before the first frost to help the plants harden off.


Pruning is crucial for the health and vitality of your roses. Here's how to do it:

  • Timing: Prune in early spring when the buds start to swell but before new growth appears.
  • Tools: Use sharp, clean pruning shears to make clean cuts.
  • Method: Remove any dead or damaged wood, and cut back canes to about 1/4 inch above an outward-facing bud to encourage an open growth habit.

Disease and Pest Control

Roses can be susceptible to pests and diseases. Here’s how to keep them healthy:

  • Common pests: Look out for aphids, spider mites, and Japanese beetles. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat infestations.
  • Common diseases: Watch for black spot, powdery mildew, and rust. Remove affected leaves and treat with a fungicide if necessary.
  • Good practices: Water at the base of the plant to keep foliage dry, and ensure good air circulation by spacing plants appropriately.

Enjoying Your Roses

Cutting Roses

For beautiful bouquets:

  • Cut in the morning when the flowers are the freshest.
  • Use a sharp knife or shears to make a clean cut just above a five-leaflet leaf.
  • Immediately place the cut stems in water.

Winter Care

In colder climates, protect your roses from winter damage:

  • Mulch: Apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plants.
  • Cover: Use rose cones or burlap to protect the canes from harsh winds and cold.

Long-Term Maintenance

Keep your roses thriving for years:

  • Renew mulch yearly: This helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Rejuvenate old plants: Prune back old, woody canes to encourage new growth.
  • Monitor soil health: Periodically test soil pH and adjust as needed.

Rose gardening can be incredibly rewarding, offering not only stunning blooms but also the satisfaction of nurturing such iconic flowers. With the right care and attention, your roses will flourish, filling your garden with color, fragrance, and beauty. To stay inspired and grow with us, follow us on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!