How to Grow Roses

rose bush

by Jennifer Poindexter

Did you know one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to brighten up your home is to plant flowers or flowering shrubs?

Most flowers and shrubs cost very little, in comparison to other home projects, and most only require small amounts of maintenance.

If you’re home could use a little color around it, consider planting roses. There are many varieties, and they’re effortless to care for.

I’m going to provide a general guide on caring for most roses. Here’s what you should know.

Growing Conditions for Roses

Roses come in many classes. Those classes are then divided into numerous varieties of the class. What this boils down to is you can plant roses that climb, sprawl, become bushy, are large, or even small roses.

Take your pick of what works best in your grow space. The biggest difference between classes and varieties of roses is the amount of maintenance.

Regardless of the class or variety you purchase, they all require most of the same things when choosing an adequate grow space.

Roses require full sun and well-draining soil. Ensure the soil is also full of nutrients because roses feed on what’s available in the dirt surrounding them.

Your plants will also require shade during the hotter portions of the day. By providing sun, the right soil conditions, and shade, your roses should be off to a great start.

How to Plant Roses

When planting roses, gardeners can choose from two styles of plants. You can purchase potted roses from a nursery or bare root rose plants.

Regardless of the type of plant you purchase, make sure roses are planted in the spring, after frost has ended, or in the fall, two months prior to frost setting in. This allows the plants time to establish their roots before falling dormant.

If you choose bare root roses to plant, be sure to soak them overnight before planting them. You’ll also need to keep the soil consistently moist for three or four months after planting to help the plant establish its root system.

Soaker hoses could prove invaluable when providing necessary moisture for bare root plants in their initial grow stages.

Whether planting a potted rose or a bare root rose plant, dig a hole large enough that the rose plant can fit inside it and there’s room for the plant’s root system to fit comfortably as well.

Place compost and slow-release fertilizer into the hole during the planting process. When planting roses, it’s a good idea to fill the hole halfway with water.

Mound the soil around the plant and press down on the soil around the base of the rose plant. This will pack the dirt in tightly, blocking air from getting to the roots.

Be prepared, your shoe will get muddy in the process because of the amount of water in the hole. Place three feet of space between each rose plant.

The planting process, for roses, is straightforward. Once complete, it’s time to learn how to care for the roses you’ve planted.

yellow rose bush

Caring for Roses

When I first began gardening, I had anything but a green thumb. It was mainly out of my own ignorance because I had never had a garden before and didn’t know how to properly care for most plants.

If this is you, don’t give up because the internet makes it so easy to learn the rules of caring for plants. In my earliest days, rose bushes were my go-to because they’re difficult to kill.

They need only a few basic things from their gardener. Gardeners should provide fertilizer, water, pruning, and possibly deadhead the plants, depending upon variety.

Let’s start with watering. Everything needs water to survive. Roses are no different. It’s a good idea to use the deep watering method when caring for rose bushes.

Water a couple of times per week, for longer periods, after the first three to four months from planting.

After this point, the plants should be established. Deep watering will ensure the plants receive one inch of water per week, but it also allows the water to reach the roots.

Watering this way will encourage stronger root systems. After you’ve got watering under control, it’s time to discuss fertilizing.

You added a slow-release fertilizer to the hole when planting your roses initially. You should fertilize your rose bushes once per month outside of their dormant periods.

Pruning and deadheading are the next steps in caring for roses properly. Rose bushes should be pruned in early spring.

You won’t prune to shape. Instead, you’ll remove the dead parts of your rose plants and any damaged canes of the plant.

After you’ve removed the unsightly parts of the plant, cut it back by 1/3 of its original size. This will encourage new growth in the plant and allow its energy to go towards its healthy parts.

Some varieties of roses do require deadheading. Do some research on the specific variety you choose to know whether your plants require this of you or not.

By performing these few basic tasks, your rose plants should thrive under your care.

Garden Pests and Diseases for Roses

When growing roses, there are a few pests and diseases you must be aware of. The pests which frequently attack roses are aphids, Japanese beetles, and spider mites.

Aphids are a common pest in most gardens. They come in a variety of colors and live on the sap of your plants.

The best way to get rid of these pests is to treat your roses with an insecticide. You can also spray them forcefully with soapy water. This will remove them from your plants.

Be prepared to treat your roses multiple times as aphids can be quite persistent. Japanese beetles can be a difficult problem to deal with as well.

They arrive in the early to middle part of summer. These pests will devour your blooms, so it’s vital to treat your roses with an insecticide as soon as you see them appearing.

You can also purchase traps which will attract the beetles and draw them away from your roses. Again, these pests are persistent. Therefore, you must be prepared to treat your roses regularly.

The final pest which might impact your roses are spider mites. These tiny creatures are hard to spot in a grow space.

Instead, you may notice their webs stringing about your plants. They may be treated with an insecticide, or you can spray the plants with soapy water. It will break the spider mites’ housing apart and dislodge them from your roses.

There are a few diseases you must be aware of as well. Roses are frequently impacted by powdery mildew and black spot.

Powdery mildew is a fungus and will cause white splotches on your plant. This disease can be treated with a fungicide.

You should also take steps to prevent it. Try to avoid watering your roses overhead, as this will deter soil from getting on your plant which is where most fungal diseases reside.

Also, be sure to prune your roses and plant them with proper spacing. Allowing better airflow around the plants will be helpful in deterring fungal issues on your roses.

Black spot is our last disease to discuss. This is another fungal disease which frequently attacks roses. It won’t kill them, but it can make the plants extremely weak which opens them up to other hardships which might kill your roses.

You’ll notice black spot because black spots will appear on the foliage of your plant, and black spots may also appear on the stems of your roses.

When you see the signs of black spot, begin treating the plant with a fungicide immediately. This disease can spread throughout your grow area and attack multiple rose plants and other plants growing in the same vicinity.

These are the pests and diseases which might stand in the way of you successfully growing roses in your garden or around your home.

By staying aware of potential problems, you have a greater chance at catching them early and stopping the problem before it grows.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to grow roses with confidence even if you’re new to gardening. 

Roses are a wonderful way to add beauty to your home without breaking the bank. Take this information and try your hand at raising a variety of these gorgeous plants.

Learn More About Growing Roses

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