Ask a Gardening Expert: How to Grow Roses

Rose care is easier than you think—anyone can grow them successfully.

Wondering how to grow your roses this season? Apply our expert gardening tips to help your garden flourish.

Plant your roses in a sunny location with good drainage. Fertilize them regularly for impressive flowers. Water them evenly early in the day to keep the soil moist. Prune established rose bushes in early spring. And watch for diseases like powdery mildew or black spot.
If you’ve been afraid to start a rose garden, the truth is, roses are no more difficult to care for than other flowering shrubs. Modern rose bushes are both beautiful and tough in a wide range of growing conditions, so they are easier to grow than ever before.

Follow these 10 essential rules on how to grow your own beautiful roses:

Don’t overdo it

There are numerous classes of roses, ranging from micro-miniatures to grandifloras and from groundcovers to climbing roses, with some classes containing hundreds of varieties. While it may be tempting to fill your rose garden with a wide assortment, you are likely to end up with a disorderly array and too many plants for the space. A few well-chosen varieties will give you far more satisfaction than dozens of mismatched plants that don’t work in harmony.

Find the right site

For the best show of flowers and the healthiest plants, rose bushes should receive six to eight hours of sunlight daily. In cold climates, planting a rose bush next to a south- or west-facing fence or wall can help minimize winter freeze damage. Proper soil balance is essential as well.

Time it right

The best time to plant roses is in the spring, after the last frost, or in the fall at least six weeks before the average first frost in your area. This gives the roots enough time to burrow into the soil before the plants go dormant over the winter. Container grown roses give you more flexibility in planting time & can go into the ground whenever climate conditions are agreeable.

Fertilize often

To produce an impressive show of flowers, a rose bush needs to be fertilized regularly. Monthly applications of compost, composted manure or  other organic fertilizers help to encourage beneficial soil microbes and a well-balanced soil pH.

Water wisely

Roses do best when soil moisture is kept uniform throughout the season. The amount & frequency of watering will depend on your soil type & climate. A soaker hose is recommended so you deliver water directly to the roots and avoid the leaves. This is an important consideration.

Prune like a pro

It’s almost impossible to kill a rose bush by over pruning, but if you follow a few simple rules, the results will look more professional and result in a healthier plant. Modern roses don’t need as much pruning, but an established rose bush appreciates a basic pruning in early spring.

Keep them healthy

The best way to prevent rose diseases is to choose disease-resistant varieties. Glen Echo stocks a wide variety of these roses. They are bred and selected to resist the most common rose afflictions, including ⦁ powdery mildew and black spot. The other key point would be to water early in the day to allow the leaves to dry off.

Show them off

Of course, one of the greatest pleasures of planting garden roses is the harvest. Roses have long been prized for their beautiful and fragrant cut flowers, but no roses are lovelier than those gathered fresh from your own garden.

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