How to Grow Roses
27 Jul 2022
By Michael Jacobson
Roses are a
great way to bring big, colorful blooms into your life. If cared for correctly and planted in the right environment, roses should flower every year and be an eye-catching addition to your home or garden.
Believe it or not, growing roses is relatively simple. Despite their delicate appearance, they’re hardy flowers that can grow in a variety of conditions and climates. In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to grow roses, including the types of roses you can grow, where you can grow them, and how to plant them properly.
Types of roses to grow
There are many different types of roses available that you can plant in your garden or in a pot, with each of these falling into three distinct categories:
- Old Garden Roses - also known as “historic” and “antique” roses, they’re a mid-19th century flower known for a strong scent and double blooms.
- Modern Garden Roses - blooming throughout the year, modern roses are beautiful, hardy, and less susceptible to disease.
- Wild Roses - A single, five-petal flower, wild roses are usually always pink.
Within these three categories are many variations, each having unique characteristics that set them apart. While most roses can be grown and cared for using similar methods, advice and care can vary for certain types.
Types of roses include:
- Alba Roses
- Bourbon Roses
- Centifolia Roses
- China Roses
- Climbing Roses
- English Roses
- Floribunda Roses
- Groundcover Roses
- Hybrid tea Roses
- Miniature Roses
- Polyantha Roses
- Shrub Roses
Different ways of growing roses
While roses look great in any garden, they can thrive in many different conditions and be grown in several different ways.
Growing roses from cuttings
Rose cuttings are best taken in late spring or early summer, and should be softwood cuttings of new growth. These root much more easily than semi-hardwood or hardwood cuttings which are taken later in the year. Taking a cutting around six inches long will enable you to get the best results. You should take several cuttings to help maximize the success of growth.
Once cut, first dip the cutting into rooting hormone, then plant in compost if potting or a grit-filled trench if planting in the ground. Ensure the cutting is well watered and kept in a shaded spot until they’ve rooted, which may take up to a year. Once rooted, you can then plant individually in pots or in the ground.
Growing roses in a pot
Growing roses in a pot can be done year-round, however, it’s best to avoid planting your roses during the winter months when it’s likely to be cold. You should also avoid planting during periods of prolonged dry or wet weather. Although you can’t always guarantee the weather, the best time to plant roses in a pot is during the spring.
Ensure your pot has adequate drainage and is the right size for the plant - usually around 18 inches should be big enough. It should also be deep enough so the graft union can be buried and there is still plenty of room for the roots to spread.
Make sure you fill the pot with compost, avoiding air pockets. Sprinkle a thin layer of bone meal or superphosphate every couple of inches to add additional nutrients to the soil.
You should water your roses thoroughly every couple of days, and keep your pot in a spot where your roses will get plenty of sunlight - at least six hours per day ideally.
Growing a rose plant or bush
Rose plants are exceptionally hardy, so can grow in most soil types - including heavy clay. They also don’t require too much care. That makes them an ideal plant for new and experienced gardeners looking to bring a talking point into their garden.
It’s relatively easy to plant a new rose plant or replant an established bush.
Picking the right spot
As we’ve already highlighted, roses are hardy, and so can grow in a wide variety of climates and conditions. However, to ensure they establish well and bloom continuously year after year, they do prefer to grow in the right spot.
Roses need at least six hours of sunlight, so shouldn’t be planted beneath a tree or in spots that only get a couple of hours of sun. They also shouldn’t be planted too close to other roses. They need to be watered regularly, but also require well-drained soil - if the soil is too wet or too dry could kill your plant.
Finding the right time to grow a rose
Planting can be done in the spring or fall, so long as there is no threat of frost for at least four to six weeks. The ideal temperature is between 40 and 60 degrees.
Other than the time it takes to plant your rose, aftercare is relatively simple and not at all time-consuming.
Plant the rose properly
Growing roses is a reasonably simple process, and starts by properly planting the roses. This can be done in the following steps:
- Select the right time and place for your roses
- Correctly prepare the rose plant
- Prepare the soil and provide the right nutrients
- Plant the rose by burying it past the graft union
For more detailed information, check out our full guide to planting roses.
Fertilize your rose
Once you’ve planted your roses, caring for them isn’t at all intensive. Once the plant has started to leaf and has established itself, it's recommended that you feed with rose fertilizer approximately once every few weeks. This will help with continuous growth through the season.
Not all rose fertilizers are the same, so it’s important to read the information before feeding your plants. You will also want to stop feeding your plant around a month before the first frost.
When to water
Roses are thirsty flowers and require plenty of consistent watering. Thoroughly water your plant every other day, and don’t allow the soil to get too dry. This is especially true for roses you may have recently planted and are yet to establish themselves.
For more information, check out our guide to watering roses.
Know when to prune
While roses may survive without being pruned, it’s important for the health and future of your plant that you prune them once per year. This should be done either during late winter or early spring - usually around March to May when new growth begins. This helps shape the plant, encourage new growth, and prevent the spread of disease.
For more information read our guide to pruning.
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Roses are hardy but beautiful flowers and don’t require experienced green fingers to grow. Now that you know how to grow roses, why not give it a go yourself? If you don’t have the time or the space, you can still bring that beauty into your home with French Florist.
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