Getting Started With Roses

It would be easy to think that roses are just too much trouble. All that pruning (which looks difficult), special fertilizers, talk of blackspot and diseases… it’s enough to put the novice gardener off roses forever. But the truth is, roses are easy to grow. Provide a few essentials like good sunlight, decent drainage, and feed them every so often, and they will reward you with flowers.

When choosing roses, always consider the time and amount of work you can devote to your roses, to ensure beautiful and healthy plants. Also, think about whether you want to do organic rose gardening or not. Roses are a great value as plants, flowering for several months and lasting easily 10-15 years with proper care. they don’t need a LOT of attention, in fact many of mine seem to thrive on neglect! But a prune each year, occasional feeding, and deadheading during the flowering season will work wonders. You should also consider rose fertilizer as a way to keep your flowers vibrant.

Cote D'Azure rose
Latest addition to our standard roses, the Cote D'Azure

It helps if while buying them, you are careful to choose healthy plants, whether you are buying bare-rooted plants or plants in pots. Look for signs of fungal diseases on bare-roots and check that leafs of plants in pots are a brilliant dark green.

My personal choice is to buy my roses in pots. They generally seem to get a quicker start in the garden, whereas bare root roses will take a bit longer to get established.

Where To Plant Your Rose

Take into consideration your site conditions while choosing roses. There are many roses to choose from and even if you have a windy or shady site, there is always one that will grow happily in your site. The wrong rose for the site conditions, will mean extra care of roses and not so good results. Sometimes it’s better to just move a plant that is not on a good location and plant it in another spot of the garden. You also need to keep the soil in mind as well.

A good spot should have good air circulation, which helps prevent fungal diseases and soil that retains moisture. It should also allow easy access to the plant and receive enough sunlight. 6 hours a day is recommended. If there is a tree or shrub nearby, check that it will not cover the plant in shade most of the time. Read more about planting roses


Growing roses in containers is easy, if you are careful with watering and feed the plants with rose fertilizer. Containers can make care of roses easier. Patio roses and rose miniatures are great for busy people, because at the end of the flowering season, you just let them stay in their containers or pots for next year, contrary to other plants, that will die off or need special care.

Common pest and diseases, like the blackspot and mildew can be prevented or at least treated. Rust is the most serious disease and it can be fatal. Planting roses with companion plants, for instance, will help protect them from pests.

Pruning Your Roses

Care of roses and especially climbers always involves pruning, though other rose types also need some pruning. The key to prune is to do it at the right time and always remember that the plant will grow back, if you find that you end up pruning more then you wanted to. With the right techniques and tools, pruning is not difficult, even for beginners and the benefits will be more flowers, healthy plants and achieving your purpose, whether it’s a rose arch or flowers to cut and take inside. You can learn more about pruning roses on this page.

Worn out plants that have few flowers and lots of dead wood may still last years with a good hard pruning and feeding. If the plant is dead, then dig it out and plant another rose in another spot of your garden. Never plant a rose on the exact spot where there was another one that died, because that will increase the chances of rose diseases on the new plant.