Guide how to grow your own beautiful roses

Roses charm with their beauty and wonderful smell. A walk between rose rebates is a feast for our senses. Although they do not belong to plants that are easy to grow, every garden fan would like to have them.

However, you need to learn the basic secrets of growing them, to enjoy the whole season with beautiful blooming. This work pays off. I checked it during my long-term cultivation of roses, mainly English Climbing Roses, and Park Roses.

Ready to plant and grow roses in your garden? My Growing Guide for Roses will get you started!

Choosing a spot

Choosing a spot is extremely important because it can ruin our later efforts. Generally, the roses love the sun, and the partial shade only tolerates. In half shade shrubs, climbing and park roses will grow well, while the rest will bloom best in the sun. However, it can not place that is too hot, near a wall or the eaves of a building, because in such conditions the roses will be attacked by powdery mildew and spider mites. It’s best if the place for roses is sunny but airy.

The best time to plant

The time of planting depends on how they are prepared for sale. In spring and autumn, we plant bushes with bare roots. They can be found in gardening stores on special beds with wet peat. After purchasing, they should be planted as soon as possible, because they dry up quickly. Such roses are the cheapest, but the risk of poor plant acclimates to its new site is the greatest.

The last type of roses for sale are roses in containers. They can be planted for the whole season because they have whole roots and so they acclimate easily. Such roses are the most expensive. When buying, pay attention to whether they have well-developed roots and healthy, strong shoots, without cracked bark, discoloration and damage. The best date for planting roses is definitely autumn.


  1. In the area where the rose or roses are to be planted, mix in at least one bucket of well-rotted organic matter per square meter, forking it into the top 20-30cm (8in-1ft) of soil. Farmyard manure is ideal for this.
  2. Apply general fertilizer, at 100g per sqm (3oz per sq yd) over the surface of the planting area and fork it into the same depth as the organic matter. Note: if you are using a mycorrhizal fungus (e.g. Rootgrow) then it is best not to apply fertilizer at all as phosphorus (found in general fertilizers and superphosphate) can suppress the fungus.
  3. For each rose dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plant’s roots and the depth of a spade’s blade.
  4. Carefully tease out the roots of container plants because, if this is not done, the roots may be very slow to extend outwards, leaving the young plant more susceptible to drought in summer.
  5. Place the rose in the centre of the hole and, using a small cane to identify the top of the planting hole, ensure the graft union (i.e. where the cultivar joins the rootstock and the point from which the branches originate) is at soil level (not below as this is reported to increase the risk of rose dieback).
  6. Back-fill gently with the excavated soil and organic matter mixture.
  7. Spacing depends on type and habit. Check catalog or label details.

If you are replacing old roses with new roses, ensure that you dig out the soil to a depth and width of 45cm (18in) and exchange it with soil from a different part of the garden, as roses are at risk from replant disease, also known as soil sickness.

Soils and Fertilizer: Roses need good drainage and rich, moisture-retentive soil, with a pH between 6.5 and 7. If your soil is heavy and wet, you may want to consider planting your roses in raised beds. Compost should be added to create a loose texture with high organic content.

Roses are heavy feeders and will benefit from a steady supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can provide these nutrients with either liquid or granular fertilizers, at a ratio of approximately 5-8-5. In most cases, regular applications of compost, rotted manure, fish emulsion, and seaweed extracts will provide roses with all the nutrients they need. These organic amendments also help to moderate pH imbalances and stimulate beneficial soil life. Other organic amendments favored by rose growers include greensand, black rock phosphate, and alfalfa meal.

A successful start in the new season depends on the planting method.

General care

Feeding: Apply a dressing of a general or rose fertilizer at 100g per sqm (1½oz per sq yd), every spring. If growth slows, repeat the fertilizer application in mid-summer

Mulching: Follow feeding immediately with mulching, ideally with well-rotted stable manure, in a layer of up to 8cm (3in) deep. Alternatively, use well-rotted compost or chipped bark. Keep the mulch clear of the rose stems, leaving a 10cm (4in) gap between the mulch and stems

Watering: Water well in dry spells for at least two summers after planting
In subsequent years this program of feeding and mulching can be repeated annually. Apply the fertilizer over the existing mulch, from where it will quickly find its way down to the roots, and then top up the mulch to maintain it at the original level.



Prune back in the first winter after planting. Do this in late winter or early spring. With all roses, first remove dead, damaged and weak growths, then:

  1. Hybrid tea (large-flowered): Prune the remaining strong stems hard back to 10-15cm (4-6in) from ground level
  2. Floribunda (cluster-flowered): Prune the remaining strong stems moderately hard back to about 15cm (6in) from ground level
  3. Ramblers and climbers: Prune remaining strong stems back to 30-40cm (1ft-15in) from ground level if not already pruned at the nursery (climbing sports of bush varieties may revert to bush type if pruned back hard)
  4. Shrub and species roses: Leave remaining strong stems unpruned