How to Grow Roses

Q. How do I grow roses?

A. 

  • Select a rose that is cold-hardy for your region.
  • Provide a site with full sunlight (six hours or more), good air circulation, and well-drained soil that is high in organic matter.
  • Roses are best planted in the spring, although they can be successfully planted in the fall if done early enough for their roots to become established before the onset of freezing temperatures.
  • Ensure that the planting site does not dry out while the rose is becoming established. Once established, the plant should receive about one inch of water per week. (Do not over-water.)
  • Apply a fertilizer specifically formulated for roses three times per year beginning in early spring when they are first pruned, again after setting buds, making the third application no later than August 1.
  • Mulch to a depth of approximately two to three inches to help maintain soil moisture and control weed growth. After temperatures drop to the teens for a few days, mulch the rose bush with about ten inches of soil for winter protection.
  • Roses are best pruned in early spring, just as they begin to break dormancy. All dead and diseased wood should be removed. Healthy canes should be cut ¼ inch above an outward facing, healthy bud. Faded flowers should be removed regularly during the growing season to encourage further bloom.