Growing and Caring for Roses: All You Need to Know

A beautiful rose garden is super easy to start and maintain, even if you are a novice gardener or enthusiast. The secret to success in growing and caring for roses is to provide the shrubs with everything they need.

If you are ready to enjoy the blossoms in your garden, keep on reading. In this article, we will share essential advice on how to master rose gardening.

How to Grow Roses?

Roses do not require any specific care to grow healthy. Simply plant them in a sunny location and assure sufficient drainage. Encourage growth by watering them evenly, fertilizing them regularly, and pruning them in springtime. 

There are two traditional ways you can plant and grow roses:

Growing Roses from Seeds

If you like to grow your own roses from seeds, note that before they sprout, rose seeds need to go through the process of stratification. It is a simple and classic gardening method to encourage sprouting and is basically seed isolation in cold and damp storage space. 

Roses are remarkably hardy once established!
Roses are remarkably hardy once established!


  • Prepare seedling trays of 10cm/4inches in-depth;
  • Prepare seed-planting mix (moist, not soaking);
  • Sort out the different rose groups if necessary;
  • Label the trays with rose type name and planting date;

Step-by-step guide on growing roses from seeds:

  1. Plant rose seeds 6mm/¼ inch deep in the trays with the planting mix;
  2. Seal the containers in a plastic bag;
  3. Place the trays in a refrigerator or a cold space for 10-12 week period;
  4. Take the trays out of cold storage and place them in a warm area;
  5. Wait for the seedlings to start sprouting (takes 2-3 weeks);
  6. After sprouting, transplant rose seedlings into new bigger pots (do not touch the roots, they are overly sensitive);
  7. Feed the seedlings with fertilizer (do not use a strong one);
  8. Provide enough lighting and air circulation, avoid over-watering.

Growing Roses from Cuttings 

In case you plan on growing roses from cuttings, the process is super easy but it might take years before a new plant could start flowering. In any case, for best results use fresh healthy stems for the rooting (spring roses are the best for cuttings).

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - Romeo and Juliet
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – Romeo and Juliet


  • Prepare a rooting hormone;
  • Prepare rose potting soil;

Step-by-step guide on growing roses from cuttings:

  1. Make a cutting from a new growth ‘mother’ rose bush (at least 30cm/12inches long);
  2. Remove buds, flowers, and leaves from the stem, except for the top two leaves;
  3. Make small cuts below all stem nodes;
  4. Make small slit ups along the stem (divide into quarters);
  5. Dip the stem end in rooting hormone;
  6. Plant the cuttings in individual containers/pots with rose potting soil;
  7. Water the newly planted rose bush (keep the soil moist, not soggy);
  8. Put a plastic bag cover over the pot to keep plant moisture (bag should not touch the leaves);
  9. Wait for roots to grow (takes 2-8 weeks);
  10. Transplant the cutting into a bigger pot;
  11. Feed with fertilizer (do not use a strong one);
  12. Provide enough lighting and air circulation, avoid over-watering.

The Rose Gardening Essentials

Not many tricky things when it comes to caring for roses. However, there is some essential information that can help you in your rose garden task. To assure your plants are healthy and growing strong, better have in mind and consider a few important factors we have listed below.

Find the right place

Make it a family activity as rose plants can last for generations!
Make it a family activity as rose plants can last for generations!

Caring for roses starts with finding a proper place to plant them. Rose bushes thrive in sunny locations and grow best when exposed to 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. 

Extra hot climates are not really appropriate for rose cultivation unless you can grant a shadow from the afternoon sun. If your farming ground or garden is located in a colder region, consider planting the roses by west or south-facing wall or fencing. This way, your rose bushes would be protected from excessive winter freezing.

Soil also plays an important role in the decision of where to situate your rose bushes. Before you proceed with planting, make sure the soil is rich in nutrients and well-drained. If you are not able to provide it naturally, mix your garden soil with organic matter (peat moss, ground bark, compost) to retain moisture, and improve water drainage.

Choose the right timing

Spring is the perfect time to plant your roses. Do not forget to proceed with the task after the last frost, otherwise, your rose bushes might be damaged. Another good time to start a rose garden is in Autumn. If you choose this season, be sure to start planting at least a month before the first winter frost.

Know your roots and roses

Novice rose gardeners usually choose an easy planting option. Most enthusiasts go with container roses (already potted in soil) because they can be planted and established with ease. All you need to do is transfer them from the pot to the ground. Container roses can be bought from any nursery or local garden center. 

However, if you choose to invest in dormant bare-roots, you need to be aware that before you plant them, you have to soak them in water overnight. Then keep the moisture of the roots high in the first few months after planting. You can purchase bare-root roses online, by mail or directly from a local nursery.

Dig deep

Roses are planted deep into the ground. It gives them a strong start and easy establishment. When you prepare your garden for container or bare-root roses, make certain the holes are big enough to handle the rose root system. 

The hole should allow sufficient drainage and accommodate the roots, so it has to be wide and deep enough. Room for growing and spacing between the bushes is also important. Thus upon planting, ensure you place the roses 90cm/3ft apart.

When you already dug up your holes, take some of the soil removed and mix it up with compost or peat moss. Put a thick layer of the mixture at the bottom and place the roses in. Fill them partially with the mixture and partially with the remaining soil until you fill the holes. 

Organic mulch is really beneficial addition for your garden, as it protects your plants, keeps soil moisture, and provides nutrients. For best results, add an 8cm/3inch mulch layer around the roses. Fertilize monthly with manure, fish emulsion, compost, or other organic matter for healthy blooming roses and balanced soil pH.

Water appropriately

Even though roses are not the most demanding plants, watering should not be an underestimated process. The basic water needs of roses are depending on the seasonal and climate conditions. Use your finger to check if the bushes need watering. Opt for constantly moist soil and dry foliage.

To successfully care for roses, apply water directly to the soil, and make sure it soaks deeply. Use a soaker hose or a dripping system. Keep the root moisture constant and follow a watering program depending on the climate of your region. Consult local specialists in your area about the best caring for roses water routine.

If you’d like to brush up on your gardening skills, you’ll find lots more tips and tricks on our gardening site here…



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