Growing roses is a piece of cake if you pay attention to five things: the right soil, the right watering, good air circulation, fertilizer, and yes, you should also learn how to prune roses.

You can grow all kinds of roses, from floribunda roses to miniature roses and your favorite rose bushes; see my Top Five Tips below.


  • Soil: Successful rose cultivation depends on suitable planting soil. All types of roses need rich planting soil, so mix compost or other organic materials into the soil. If you are growing roses in containers, add this material to a good quality potting soil. You can also add water crystal gels and time release fertilizer if you wish. And remember, if you are growing roses in containers, they will dry out faster and deplete the nutrients in the soil much faster in garden pots than in the ground. That’s why it’s a good idea to replace the potting soil every few years, rather than keep fertilizing. But since you’ll likely be moving the rose plants in this time frame, replacing the planting soil won’t be much of a problem.
  • Watering: Water thoroughly and allow your rose bush to dry out, rather than watering frequently and lightly. Also avoid water on plant leaves as this can contribute to fungal disease. To guard against wet leaves, try to water in the morning so that the heat of the day evaporates any water left on the leaves.
  • Air circulation: Many types of roses these days are disease resistant. But they still need good air circulation to flower well and thrive. Be sure to note the final width your rose plant will reach, and plant so that the mature rose bush has plenty of room around it. If you use pots, be prepared to move your containers accordingly. Air circulation is crucial to a good rose care culture.
  • Fertilization: A light application the first year will allow the rose to establish itself without undoing pressure to produce a profusion of flowers. After the first year, use a good rose fertilizer regularly throughout the growing season. It’s also important to water your rose plant the day before you fertilize it, as especially when growing roses in containers, hitting dry roots with fertilizer can badly burn them.
  • Rose pruning: Roses do need pruning, but the procedure differs depending on the type of rose you have planted. In general, as with other pruning methods, growing roses in beds or containers always means pruning down to as few as two leaves (after the growing season) and one outward-facing bud (just before flowering). season). The best time to prune floribunda roses, miniature roses, and hybrid teas is early spring. In fact, you can prune them twice. First to about 18 inches late in the growing season, then in early spring before the season starts, prune back just above the living stem, leaving about eight inches. Groundcover and rose bushes are quite forgiving and can be shaped to your height and width needs quite easily. For all of your roses, be sure to remove dead wood. And if your roses seem too “full” in terms of branch clusters, prune back some older canes. This is important for two reasons. It encourages basal growth and provides that essential air circulation for healthy rose plants. To let your rose plant rest, stop pruning at the end of the growing season so that the entire plant is not affected by weather changes.

For more information on floribundas, hybrid tea roses, and groundcover roses, including many rose images
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