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A Guide to Rose Care

instagram icon20 MIN Read

29 Jun 2022

By Michael Jacobson

Roses are some of the most beautiful and recognizable flowers in the world. Known to symbolize love and romance, they’re the perfect addition to a flower arrangement, and a stunning feature in your garden. 

While taking care of roses may sound complicated to new gardeners, achieving and maintaining rose shrubs doesn’t need to be hard work. With the right preparation and care, you can grow stunning roses in your garden, whether you’re new to gardening or an expert. Here, we share our top tips on how to care for roses, so your flowers thrive in your garden year after year.

Types of roses

There are several types of roses, which can confuse both new and experienced gardeners. But with several varieties come different benefits, so you’ll find different types of rose to grow in different areas of your garden. Here, are a few different types of roses for you to get to grips with:

Climbing and rambling roses

While both climbing and rambling roses are similar in height, they have their differences. Climbing roses are more structured than ramblers, grow less vigorously and are more fragranced. They also grow fewer but larger flowers. 

Rambling roses are much more vigorous than climbing roses, usually growing smaller flowers. If you’re looking to grow more flowers, go for a repeat-flowering rambler. Ramblers flower on the previous year’s growth, so will need pruning straight after flowering with the old stems cut back.

Hybrid tea

First created by crossing hybrid perpetuals with long-flowering tea roses, hybrid tea roses have large flowers held on straight stems. Most hybrid teas are fragranced and come in all colors except blue. They make beautiful cut flowers, ideal for flower arrangements and bouquets.


Polyantha are a type of small shrub rose, made up of small clusters of flowers. They make for a perfect addition to a flower border with their relatively compact shape.

How to care for roses

While any type of gardening can leave a newbie feeling nervous, rose care is easier than you would think. Here, we explain how to care for roses depending on their location and type. 

Caring for roses in a vase

If you’ve received a beautiful rose bouquet, you’ll want to keep them looking their best for as long as possible. Here is how to care for your cut roses step by step:

  1. Choose a location: To keep your roses thriving, choose a shaded spot in your house, away from direct sunlight.
  2. Water: Make sure you change the vase water regularly, ideally everyday - stale water can cause bacteria to grow which will damage your roses.
  3. Feed: When you receive a delivery from us, your roses will arrive in water, with flower food already given to them. When you change their water, add more flower food to keep them healthy.

Caring for roses in a pot

Not all roses will thrive in containers or pots, so it’s important to choose the right type of rose, such as patio or miniature roses. Here’s how to care for potted roses:

  • Types of rose: You should choose a patio or miniature types, which can be grown in small but deep pots.
  • Feeding: Roses use up food reserves quickly, so grow best when top-dressed each spring with a granular rose fertilizer. Avoid feeding your roses after the summer, as soft growth may be damaged in cold weather
  • Mulching: Mulch is used to provide frost protection and improve plant growth by adding nutrients and suppressing weeds. You can use well-rotted garden compost, chipped bark, manure, and slate chippings. Mulch your roses with a two-inch top dressing of well-rotted garden compost or manure to help retain moisture.

Caring for rose bushes

Looking to start a rose garden but nervous about their maintenance? Follow these tips to keep your rose bushes blooming.

    • Positioning: While some roses will grow in partial shade, choosing a sunny spot is generally best. Avoid planting your roses under trees as this can cause root dryness.
  • Watering: Newly planted roses need more water than established ones, so water your rose bushes well and often. Newly planted roses should be watered every other day. For established roses, water once a week
  • Feeding: You can choose between liquid feed that you spray onto the leaves of the rose, which strengthens the leaves and offers disease resistance, or granule feed. Sprinkle, then mix the granules into the soil around the base of the rose for the nutrients to be taken down into the roots. Feed your roses at the beginning of the season, then again every few weeks to ensure they flower well into fall. Avoid feeding your roses in late summer or in fall, as this will encourage new softer growth, which will be killed by frost.
  • Mulching: Mulch helps the soil stay moist in hot weather and can help to eliminate diseases and weeds. Make sure the ground is clear of old leaves and that you have fed and watered your roses before applying mulch. Mulching is usually done in spring to protect your roses during the summer heat.
  • Pruning: Knowing how to prune roses correctly is often a worry for gardeners. But roses are resilient flowers and will survive however you prune them - so don’t worry too much about pruning your roses the “right way”. The best way to prune your roses will depend on the type of rose. For example, bush roses should be pruned to half their height in the spring, while English shrub roses shouldn’t be pruned too much in the first couple of years to let their stems strengthen. For more information on pruning your roses, take a look at our guide on how to prune roses.
  • Deadheading: Deadheading simply means removing the dead flowers from your plants. Once your roses have finished flowering, you should remove any spent blooms. If you deadhead them regularly, the rose bush should continue to grow blooms well into late summer. Remove the old blooms off to the first leaf to encourage the rose to bloom again faster and produce more flowers.

Caring for miniature roses

Most miniature roses have smaller flowers than standard rose bushes, but come in the same variety of types and colors. Despite their smaller size, miniature roses are hardy flowers. Here’s how to take good care of miniature roses:

  • Soil: Like all roses, miniature roses thrive in well-drained and rich soil. Miniature roses are a favorite plant for patio containers and pots. If you’re looking to plant miniature roses in pots, use bags of potting soil, not garden soil. Garden soil is too heavy for miniature roses and can compact with the amount of watering needed for potted plants. Light potting soil drains well and helps your roses to avoid root rot.
  • Watering: Miniature roses have smaller roots than standard roses, so may need more frequent watering during extreme heat. When watering, avoid spraying the delicate blooms directly - instead, aim your hose at the base of the plant.
  • Feeding: Miniature roses bloom all season, so regular fertilizing is important. You can use any commercial rose food, or a general all-purpose fertilizer. Feed your roses when the bush first leaves out and again when more blooms have grown.. Stop feeding your roses about six to eight weeks before the first expected frost to avoid new growth that could be killed during the winter months.

Buy beautiful roses online with French Florist for same-day local delivery

Not much of a gardener? This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty and color and scent of roses in your home. French Florist can craft you a tailor-made rose bouquet for delivery nationwide and same-day local delivery. Our local team of flower experts design every arrangement with time and care, ensuring they pass strict quality control every time. Order roses online today to bring joy to a loved one, or as a gift to yourself.


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