roses

Lazy Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Roses (Infographic)

Roses (Rosa) are one of the most popular flowering shrubs in the world. There are so many varieties of roses that there is bound to be one that is perfect for your climate and garden. Roses are not as low maintenance as other flowering shrubs but I will share with you easy-to-grow roses that can work for the lazy gardener. Here are tips on how to grow roses in your garden.

roses Infographic
Roses Infographic

Tips on How to Grow Roses

1. Your Roses are Happiest in Full Sun 

Roses thrive in full sun locations. Plant your roses in a location that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight. However, if you can get 8-10 hours that is even better because you will have more abundant blooms. 

2. Get the Soil Right for Your Roses

Roses need to be planted in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. If you have clay or sandy soil, amend it by mixing in compost and manure before you plant your roses.

3. Get the Watering Frequency Right for Your Roses

Your roses will need to be watered once or twice a week so they get an inch of water every week. If you don’t have time to water your roses, set up an automatic sprinkler system.

Don’t water your roses from above and it’s best to water your roses in the morning to prevent fungal diseases.

4. Fertilize Your Roses

Fertilize your roses in the early Spring when the first leaves appear with Rose-tone and Epsom salt. Then every 2 weeks, fertilize your rose with fish emulsion and liquid seaweed fertilizer. Then in the Fall, add Epsom salt again around your roses.

5. Don’t forget to Prune Your Roses After They Bloom

After your roses have bloomed, you should deadhead your roses. You deadhead your roses by simply snapping off the old bloom with your hands or you can cut off the dead flower by cutting the first 5 leaflets on the stem below the bloom. Deadheading will help your roses that bloom all season long to continue producing abundant flowers. Or if your roses only bloom once, it will help clean up the look of your rose bush. 

6. Your Roses are Irresistible to Deer

According to Colorado State University Extension, roses are classified under plants that are ‘Often browsed by Deer’. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have roses in your garden if deer is an issue. You can try planting thornier rose varieties that are more deer resistant. If deer is an issue in your garden, plant more deer-resistant rose varieties such as Rosa rugosa and Knockout Roses (Rosa ‘Radrazz’).

Facts About Roses 

NameRoses
Botanical NameRosa
Zones2-10 (zone depends on the rose variety)
Sun or ShadeFull Sun
SoilWell-drained, organic soil
Bloom TimeVaries- Spring to Summer 
Flower ColorMany Colors- Red, Pink, Yellow, Peach
Height1-12 feet tall (height depends on the variety)
Deer Resistant?No
Toxic to Pets?No
Rose Facts

Tips for Planting Your Roses

Where is the Best Place to Plant Roses?

Plant your roses in full sun locations with at least 6 hours of sunlight but preferably 8-10 hours of sunlight.  

How to Plant Roses?

To plant bare-root roses, dig a hole around 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Add rose food in the hole (follow the package instruction) and then plant your rose. Make sure the bud union of your rose (the knobby part at the base of the rose) is planted at or just above the soil level if you are in a warmer climate and if you are in a colder climate, make sure the bud union is 1-2 inches below the soil level. Water your rose plant thoroughly.  

When is the Best Time to Plant Roses?

Roses are best planted in the Spring or in the Fall.

Roses: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Easy to Grow Rose Varieties? 

Here are rose varieties that are easy to grow:

Easy to Grow ground cover rose varieties are Apricot Drift Roses (Rosa ‘Meimirrote’), Flower Carpet Scarlet Rose (Rosa ‘NOA8300B’), Oso Easy Paprika Roses (Rosa ‘Chewmaytime’), Rainbow Happy Trails Roses (Rosa ‘Weksurdicla’), White Meidiland (Rosa ‘Meicoublan’). 

Easy to Grow shrub rose varieties are Abraham Darby (Rosa ‘Auscot’), Beach Rose (Rosa rugosa), Bonica (Rosa ‘Meidomonac’), Carefree Wonder (Rosa ‘Meipitac’), Cecile Brunner Roses (Rosa ‘Cecile Bruner’), Charlotte Rose (Rosa ‘Auspoly’), Frau Dagmar Hartopp (Rosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’), Golden Celebration (Rosa ‘Ausgold’), Knock Out Roses (Rosa ‘Radrazz’), Mary Rose (Rosa ‘Ausmary’).

Are Roses Toxic to Pets?

Roses are not toxic to pets. However, your roses have thorns which may not be the best for your pets.  

What Fertilizer Should You Use on Your Roses?

Use Rose-tone and Epsom salt at the beginning of the Spring season. Then every 2 weeks, fertilize your rose with fish emulsion and liquid seaweed fertilizer. Then in the Fall, add Epsom salt again around your roses.

How Big Do Your Roses Get?

Depending on the rose variety, roses can grow to 1-12 feet tall.

How Do You Propagate Your Roses?

You can propagate roses from stem cuttings. Simply cut off a 12-inch long stem from a newly bloomed rose stem. Avoid cutting from old wood since the rooting success is lower. Dip the rose stem in the rooting hormone. Prepare a pot with potting mix for roses, poke a hole with your finger and then insert the rose stem cutting in (try not to disperse the rooting hormones). Keep the stem cutting well-watered. You can also loosely wrap a plastic bag around the pot. Wait for the roots to develop. You can check occasionally by gently tugging on the cutting, if there is resistance, then you know there are roots. 

How to Choose Healthy Roses to Plant?

When choosing bare root roses, get the one that feels heavy. Light bare root roses have dried out so don’t buy them. Also, select roses that have brownish-green stems (not tan) and make sure the stems are thick and smooth. 

What are the common problems that afflict Roses?

Roses are often afflicted by fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, black spot, and rust. 

If you are looking for a non-chemical, natural way to treat your rose try this. You can spray with 1 tsp horticultural oil and 4 tsp baking soda to treat your roses. Spray your roses in the morning so the leaves will not burn. Spray every 5-10 days.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

What’s the Best Way to Prepare Your Roses for Winter?

You need to protect your roses in the winter. Roses are susceptible to the winter cold and drying out. You can do this by covering the rose cane (trunk) with mulch. Mulch your rose 4-5 inches deep. You can also wrap burlap over your roses if you live in a very cold climate.

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