How do I Go About Growing Roses?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 January 2019
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Growing roses is often thought of as a difficult task, but with a little preparation, thought and work, most people can grow beautiful roses that add considerable attractiveness to a garden. There are some main elements of having success with roses and these include selecting the right ones, finding good locations to grow them, care when planting roses, and rose maintenance.

Most people need to take into account not just the type, fragrance or color of rose, but also how to choose the best roses for their geographical area. Areas may be called zones, and lots of plants are rated by zone. Principally what needs to be understood about plant zones is that colder climates may make it difficult for some plants to survive. The best ways to find rose plants suitable for the area in which a person lives is to look at recommendations in rose catalogs or to speak to a knowledgeable person at a local nursery. Many cities have rose societies too, and these can be a great source of information for advice on growing roses.

Gardeners will also want to consider what type of roses to grow from the list of those that grow best in their area. There are rose trees, shrub roses, mini roses, bush roses and climbing varieties. Color and fragrance are important considerations too, and again, there are usually many choices available.


In general, roses require sunlight, about six hours a day during the summer months. There are a few varieties that may grow in part sunlight/part shade, but most of these flowers prosper better when they get full sun. Find locations in the garden where sunlight is most generous before planting. It’s wise to consider the season, especially if sunny areas change by season. In late winter, for instance, an area under a tree may be getting a lot of sun, but once leaves sprout on the tree, the area will be in full or partial shade.

Season is valuable when it comes to planting roses too. It’s usually recommended that people plant roses in very late winter or early spring. Some of the most common types to plant at this point are bare root roses, which may have a few leaves, but often look like unpromising bare wood. Nevertheless, a bare root rose plant can quickly start to bud, grow lots of leaves and provide a few blooms during the first year. Later, in summer, it may be better not to choose bare root plants, but to plant bushes with full leaves and some blooms.

It’s true that size and maturity of plant can matter when growing roses. Starting out with tiny bare root bushes or very small rose starts means it will take a couple of years for these roses to fully establish in a garden and to grow to desired size. Planting a larger bush usually means getting more roses sooner, though sometimes transplanting a bush puts it into shock for a season.

There are many instructions for preparing the soil for roses and for care and maintenance. It’s a good idea to do some reading on this subject, especially as regards to planting and soil care. A few basic tips for planting include choosing soil that is well drained and has a pH of 5.5-7. Roses need to be watered often after planting and should be given a very good soaking every two weeks. Most gardeners recommend using plant feed designed for roses starting at about three months after a bush has been planted.

Many roses will require yearly pruning, and part of growing roses that will give beautiful blooms for years is knowing how and when to prune. Gardening guides are great sources for this information, and tend to recommend that gardeners do a heavy pruning in late winter or early spring (though usually not the first year of planting), and a mild pruning in early to mid summer.

Those interested in growing roses should also have some knowledge about common diseases and pests that can afflict them. There are a number of ways to keep roses disease and pest-free. These include using chemicals that may kill pests or diseases. There are more natural methods too, that will appeal to those who want to maintain organic gardens.

Growing roses can take work. Yet with a little thought, time, and some reading, most gardeners can have great success with them. Numerous books on roses are quite pricey in book stores, but those interested in researching growing methods shouldn’t feel this is their only option. Libraries often have great selections of gardening books that people can check out and read prior to starting their rose gardens.



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