A Beginners Guide to Caring for Roses

Roses are one of the most popular flowers on Earth. They are a symbol of love, adored for their beauty and aroma. When purchased, they generally do not come cheap.  There are different types of roses, as well as a variety of stunning colors.  A wonderful advantage is that the average person does not have to know a lot about gardening or landscaping in order to plant a rose bush.  In fact, they can be on their way to growing their own rose garden, just like a professional, by only following a few simple tips.organic roses


Rose bushes generally bloom during the spring, summer and fall seasons. Depending on what type of rose they have, will determine what season they should be planted.


  • Bare Root Roses (without soil): Latter part of winter.
  • Container Roses (with soil): Early spring.


Select a location.  Choose a spot where the rose bush will receive a minimum of five to six hours of sunlight.  It is preferred that morning sun is used; however, it is not required.  If rose bushes do not see the minimum amount of direct sunlight, they will eventually weaken.


Provide enough water.  Watering rose bushes often are essential to their survival.   About two to four mornings a week, water the soil around the rose thoroughly (this helps prevent mildew or decay).  Make sure the soil is soaked.  Do not splatter water on the leaves of the rose bush as this could spread disease. Watering the rose bushes in the afternoon or later can also boost disease.  On the other hand, it is acceptable to give roses a shower once a week, so as to wash away any dirt, dust and insects off the plant.  If the rose bush soil is dry, it is time to water. If the soil is muddy, it is getting too much water. The best soil is moist and loose, with decent drainage. Providing good drainage is also a key to the rose bush’s survival.


Offer them food.  Most rose bushes will benefit from a sporadic feeding of fertilizer.  Once the rose bush develops leaves and after each round of blooming roses are the best times to feed.  Feeding should end before the first frost.  We recommend Seafert organic fertilizer.


Give them mulch.  When using mulch, it should be applied in the spring.  This ensures that weeds are not yet growing.   The mulch holds the moisture in the topsoil and keeps it loose, includes necessary nutrients and reduces the possibility of weeds. It should be spread two to three inches around the bush, leaving a small opening around the base of each rose.  Organic mulch is recommended and comes in many forms: wood chips and shavings, shredded bark, pine needles, shredded leaves or grass trimmings. The mulch will deteriorate, so it is best to replace it throughout the year.


Prune them.  Roses need to be pruned!   This helps control the size and shape of the bush.  A lot of pruning generates bigger bushes and more roses. Less pruning may produce better-quality roses, but in lesser quantities.  Pruning allows the roses to bloom frequently throughout summer.  It is recommended to prune roses every spring.   Do not prune roses in the fall.


Moving or transporting the rose bush. Roses can be moved in spring or fall.  However, do not move them during summer because the heat could cause them to die. When it is time to move or transport a rose bush, it is recommended to dig a hole approximately 15 to 18 inches wide.  Place the rose bush in the hole.  Add a sufficient amount of organic material, such as fertilizer in the hole.  Finish it off with an addition of topsoil.


Winterize.  In order to winterize rose bushes, make sure to cut off any dead leaves and clean up the rose bush to prevent diseases.  Fertilizing should end approximately six weeks before the first frost.  Watering should be continued during the fall season. Mulching can be sustained after the first few frosts; but once the ground freezes, it is no longer needed. When the outdoor temperature gets below freezing, make sure the plant is covered.  It is also best to add fertilizer, mulch, dry wood chips, pine needles, chopped leaves, oak leaves, pine needles or straw to the rose bed under the covering.



About.com. (2013). Growing Roses. Retrieved July 25, 2013, from About: landscaping.about.com/od/rosebushes/a/growing-roses.htm

All-America Rose Selections. (2013). Caring For Roses. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from Roses: rose.org/rose-care/

All-America Rose Selections. (2013). Growing Roses. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from Rose: rose.org/growing-roses/

All-America Rose Selections. (2013). Watering Roses. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from Roses: rose.org/watering-roses/

Yankee Publishing, Inc. (2013). Roses. Retrieved July 25, 2013, from Almanac: almanac.com/plant/roses