Planting Roses And Popular Types Of Roses

Learn how to plant and maintain beautiful, healthy, abundant blooming roses in your garden!


1. Purchase Roses native to your area if possible. Roses raised in your local climate will stand a much better chance of thriving than ones from mail order catalogs. If you don't have roses grown locally, that's fine. Move on to steps 2 and 3, and do your best to provide the best possible rooting environment for your roses. The best time for planting new roses is in the spring. Plant them in early spring (February/March) for warm, southern, or desert areas; plant in mid spring, once all chance of frost has passed, for cooler climates (April/May).

2. Choose your spot carefully. Roses require at least 6 hours of sunlight to bloom fully and reliably. If you plant next to a block or stucco wall, heat from the wall can encourage growth in cool climates or possibly give off too much heat in desert or warm climates. If you plant in an area that is shaded, the roses will continually struggle and produce few blooms. Be certain the spot you choose allows for plenty of sunlight and space for your roses to mature.

3. Make the soil a welcome home for your roses. Roses like a soil that is well drained and high in organic matter. The first step is digging a hole that is at least twice the size of the rose's rootball. If barerooted, make the hole at least 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. It may sound like a large hole, but you will be backfilling with loose, rich soil, which is imperative to starting off your roses right. Place the rose in the center of the hole, positioning it where the canes are growing in the direction most suitable to the area and space available. Roses are heavy feeders, and it's imperative for early, strong growth to backfill the hole with a well-aged mix of compost/humus and manure. It's not advisable to only use manure, as it can burn new roots. Mix the compost and manure three to one, and fill in the entire space around the root ball with this mixture.

4. After backfilling, leave about a ½ inch of room at the top of the hole. Sprinkle at the outside of the circle a chemical fertilizer of 15-10-10 or 10-10-10 (15 nitrogen, 10 phosphorous, 10 potash). Or, use organic fertilizers such as bonemeal (phosphorous), greensand (potassium), or bloodmeal (nitrogen). With the manure inside the planting hole, you already have one source of organic nitrogen. Your roses will require high doses of nitrogen during their initial growing stage for strong leaf and cane production. Fill in the rest of the hole with native soil, and tamp down lightly.

5. Water your newly planted roses deeply with a steady, low stream of water. You will need to do this at least once a week to encourage a healthy root system. You want the roots to grow down and out. If you don't water deeply enough, the roots will become shallow, reaching for water nearer to the surface of your plant, which leaves the rose vulnerable to root burning and insects and makes for an overall weak and susceptible plant. You always want to water your roses at the base of the planting hole; never overhead. The leaves should stay dry to discourage fungus and mildew on the leaves.

6. As the plant grows, be certain to prune off suckers that are growing in directions you'd rather they not (that is, into pathways or other plants). Doing this helps prevent unwanted breakage and damage to the plant, which can then become areas vulnerable to disease or rot. Pruning suckers also causes the plant to focus its growing energy into more focused areas, making for a stronger overall plant.

7. To encourage big, beautiful blooms, fertilize the established plant once every six weeks. The best fertilizing method for roses is sidedressing at the base of the rose. Use a fertilizer with a higher phosphorous content then when planting, as this will help boost flower production. Gently dig up approximately an inch of soil in a circle about 3 to 4 inches from the base, sprinkle in your fertilizer, and then back fill it with soil. Be certain to water right away.

8. To combat fungal disease, spray the leaves (make certain to spray on the underside of each leaf) with a mix of dish soap and baking soda. Or, you can use a chemical fungicide purchased at your local nursery. Follow directions closely, and wear gloves. You should always spray in the early morning to avoid burning the leaves. Some fungicides come in a powder form, which is sprinkled on the leaves. Aphids are insect pests that plague roses. You can use a spray of dish soap and water on the aphids to help knock down their numbers.

9. Pinch off, cut, or prune dead roses to continue to encourage energy going into new blossom production. As fall approaches, stop fertilizing in cold climates, thus allowing the roses to go naturally dormant for the long winter months.

10. At or before the first frost, prune back the roses to a few strong canes. Cover the base with thick mulch, and bring it right up to the base of the rose plant. For added protection in very harsh climates, cover the roses with burlap draped over wire.


Hybrid Tea Roses are nice cutting roses with long petals, rich colors, and large blooms.

Floribunda Roses have multiple, abundant blooms and are fairly compact plants with medium-size flowers.

Grandiflora: This is a combination of the Hybrid Tea and the Floribunda rose. These are long-stemmed and hardy and have multiple clusters of blooms.

Old-Fashioned or Heirloom Roses are roses that have existed before 1867. These roses have various sizes and shapes and usually have strong, sweet scents and rich colors.

Climbing Roses are long caned roses with clusters of loose-petaled blooms. These roses don't actually "vine out." Growers need to tie or weave the long canes onto a trellis.

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