Growing Roses For Beginners

growing roses

Roses are a beautiful flowery plant. They enhance your garden and make it colorful. Are you a novice at gardening and growing roses? If your answer is yes, read ahead to know detailed information about roses.

Before you grow them, you need to know the rose varieties available in the market. There are different varieties of roses to be found, each with unique characteristics. It is also crucial for you to know the best season, suitable soil, and the perfect location to plant your bushes.

Choose Your Roses

There are about 300 species of the Rosa genus, each with its distinct features, planting instructions, and care required. The rose species are classified into categories that follow a common system determined by the American Rose Society.

1. Hybrid Tea Roses

This is an extremely popular variety of roses. The Hybrid Tea roses are a long-stemmed plant and come with 30 to 50 petals. They spring into beautiful blooms and are popular cut flowers. Roses like these are not disease resistant, so take care. Multicolored Peace and Red Lincoln are some examples.

2. Grandiflora Roses

A perfumed sub-category of the Hybrid Teas, the Grandiflora rose is long-stemmed. These are roses used as landscaping flowers because of their showy nature. The blooms of this flower grow and spring in clusters instead of a single stem. A bi-colored orange flower called About Face is a beautiful Grandiflora rose.

3. Floribunda Roses

Continuously blooming roses are much easier to care for compared to the Hybrid Tea rose and Grandiflora rose. The Floribunda roses grow in clusters as well and are ideal for a large planting bed. Typically, these are not fragrant roses, but modern versions of this rose have added scent. Some pink roses, shades of purple, and pastel shades fall in this category.

At 3 to 4 feet in height, the Cherry Parfait is a gorgeous two-toned petal floribunda rose flower.

4. Polyantha Roses

Used for edgings and hedges, the Polyantha Roses also bloom in clusters. These roses bushes are smaller in size; to be precise, they have 1-inch blooms. Polyantha roses are covered in blooms from spring to fall. They are low-maintenance, hardy plants that can be grown in containers too.

One of the first rose bushes named Parquette originated in France. It is a white bloom rose flower that is a hybrid of wild roses.

5. Miniature Roses/Miniflora

As the name suggests, these are small-sized roses. The Miniature rose bushes reach up to a height of a maximum of 10 inches. They are propagated on their own roots and have petite flowers. These grow quickly and are perfect for edgings and hedges of your garden. They are also specimen flowers in containers.

Sun Sprinkles is a miniature rose that has continuous growth from spring to fall. It is a sweet and spicy scented miniature flower.

6. Shrub Roses

Shrub roses are typically categorized as such due to their sprawling growth nature. These roses bloom in clusters and form a typical rose bush that grows 5 to 15 feet in all directions. Shrub roses are easy to maintain and have a pleasant fragrance. Bonica is a popular light pink flower that grows 2 to 3 inches in all directions and is a fragrant shrub rose.

7. Climber/Creeper Roses

Climbers or climbing roses are upward-growing roses that need to be tied to their vertical supports. To plant roses of this kind, you need to have support like trellises, fences, or arbor. They may not be their own class apart but can be Hybrid Teas or Grandiflora with long arching stems or canes that can be trained on to their vertical supports.

These roses climbing on the arbor, fences, or trellises produce large-sized flowers that often rebloom. Cupid’s Kisses is a climbing rose that can grow up to 4 feet in height against a wall. These are small plants with petite foliage and clusters of flowers that bloom profusely. Rosa Eden is another climbing rose with carmine-pink petals and dark green foliage. They have great growth and are excellent repeat bloomers.

Note that each of these plants has its specific care instructions. It is best to read up or consult a rose garden specialist for the same.

Choose The Best Location And Season

Once you buy your rose plant, after deciding the type and category, you need to choose the best location and season to plant it in. Keep in mind that your roses do not come in full bloom. Rather, they come as bare root or as container roses and need utmost care despite their hardy nature.

While planting your bare root roses or container roses, ensure you are choosing a site that has full sun for a minimum of 6 hours. Make sure that they are planted in drained soil rich in organic matter. Avoid planting your rose in a spot where it will face the extremities of the weather.

The best time to plant your rose is in spring, after the last frost. Or, you can plant your rose bushes in the fall, at least 6 weeks after the first frost. Planting your rose in late fall can cause it to go dormant in winters. Ensure you plant roses in temperatures between 40 and 60 degrees to grow healthy plants.

Note that bare-root roses are typically available only in early spring and need to be planted immediately after being bought home to grow best. The container-grown roses, on the other hand, are more flexible considering the planting times. They are easier to be established, prune, and water for their growth.

So, be sure that the growth of your rose bush takes place in the best site at the right season. Take care of the temperatures with proper pruning, water, fertilizer feeding, and soil for its optimum growth.

Information On Growing Roses

As a first-time rose gardener, knowledge of the type and categories of roses is crucial. It is also important to know when to grow roses and where to grow them. You need to be aware of how to grow various roses like climbing roses, bare root roses, and container roses.

A key piece of information on growing roses is to understand the difference between Bare Root roses and Container Roses.

  • Bare Root Roses – It is an economical kind of rose to plant that needs to be soaked overnight in water before planting. These roses need to be in moist soil for the first few months after planting. Make sure that you prune the roots and the established plants to ensure growth and circulation.
  • Container Roses-A safe choice for a first-time rose gardener like you, container roses are typically grown in containers or pots. They are easy to grow, maintain and are disease resistant. Their roots are already planted in the soil that comes in containers directly from the nurseries.

To ensure you have a great rose bush with an amazing bloom, you must plant it properly and follow these steps.

  • Make sure that your rose bush has more than a 4-inch wide and deep planting hole. The soil around the plant should be well-drained and rich in organic matter.
  • When planting roses, your soil mixture should have a generous mixture of garden compost, peat moss, and other organic matter at the root and ground level. This should be used in the planting hole before place your rose bush plants.
  • The crown of roses needs to be at least 2 to 4 inches below ground level in a cold climate, with adequate water and pruning.
  • Make sure to fill the hole with more than an inch of the soil mix layer and water thoroughly.
  • Once you do these steps, you can cover up the planting hole completely with the rest of the soil. Add some loose mounds of soil around the canes and around the base to protect it and help in pruning.
  • If you are growing several rose bushes together, make sure there is at least a gap of 3 feet between each bush. This gives them breathing space to prune and for their roots to grow.

Once you plant your rose bushes, make sure you water the roses continuously and consistently throughout the growing season. Your roses need moist soil throughout their growing season. Add mulch around the root of your plant.

Also, while you water roses, check that you don’t wet the foliage as it could deter the health of your roses. Watering roses is especially crucial in a dry climate where the soil is sandy or clayey.

Know About The Fungal Diseases That Can Hinder The Growth Of Your Rose Plants

Your roses are prone to powdery mildew in the summer season. It causes the leaves to twist and curl and leaves a white powder on them. To avoid powdery mildew, make sure to water roses at ground levels, and wet the leaves only at night. Pruning roses to allow air to circulate around the leaves will also help in reducing powdery mildew.

Another fungal disease is the black spot. This disease is characterized by brown or black spots on the leaves. To prevent a black spot on the leaves of roses, make sure to water the plant and give them space. Prune the rose foliage for circulation and growth.

Some Planting Tips

While you grow roses in your garden, you need to have all the information in hand. The important things you have read till now are crucial for the welfare of your rose bushes. Your plants and their roots need water, sun, pruning, fertilizers, and love. Below are some detailed tips for the general welfare of your plants and roses.

1. General Care

You can grow healthy bushes of roses by keeping a few simple tips in mind.

  1. Roses should be planted at sites that receive at least 6 hours of sunshine in a day.
  2. Using soil that is rich in organic matter is important. It should also be drained well.
  3. The ideal time to plant roses is either during the spring, after the last frost, or during the fall, at least 6 weeks before the first frost.
  4. In mild climates, the crown of the plant should be at ground level. In colder climates, the crown should be about 2 or 3 inches below ground level.
  5. See that your planting hole is adequately wide and deep to accommodate the roots of your plant.
  6. As soon as you notice that your blooms have started fading, deadhead them. If you do not do this, they will end up producing seeds instead of more bushes.
  7. Water your roses judiciously. Underwatering, as well as overwatering, are bad for the plants.
  8. Dead foliage is dangerous for your plants as it makes your roses vulnerable to diseases. Using scissors to cut off dead foliage is a healthy practice.
  9. If you notice weeds on your bush, simply pull them out. Use a shovel or a spade to remove them from their roots.
  10. Cover your rose bush with mulch. Mulch has many nutritional benefits for the plant. It also keeps weeds from cropping up and ruining your plants. The best time to apply mulch is the winter season.

Following these tips will help you in growing healthy and beautiful bushes.

2. Watering

Roses need to be watered diligently. During the summers, the root zone should be soaked at least twice a week.

Frequently sprinkling water is not recommended as it does not quite reach the roots. Instead, it leads to fungal growth.

During the fall, you can reduce the amount of water you feed your roses. However, do not leave them high and dry.

Just because roses love water, it is not an excuse to drown them. They are not meant to sit in water for very long and will likely die if the soil gets too wet during winters. Providing adequate drainage is of utmost importance.

3. Soil

Ideally, the soil for growing roses should be rich and loose. It must also be well-drained. Adding organic matter like ground bark or compost into excavated soil is ideal for your plants.

4. Nutrients Required

While artificial liquid fertilizers are great for promoting soft and tender plant growth, they end up attracting aphids and various other pests. Natural composts and fertilizers are better for your plants. They suit the plant well before and during the blooming cycle.

Between April and July, apply balanced granular fertilizer once a month. Sprinkle almost one cup around the drip line of each bush. During May and June, you can mix a tablespoon of Epsom salts in your fertilizer to encourage new growth.

Using mulch around roses is also a common practice. Mulch promotes the healthy growth of the roses and helps in conserving water. Simply apply a 2 to 4-inch layer of grass clippings, chopped foliage, or shredded bark around the base of the rose bush at least twice a week. There should be a gap of almost 1 inch between the mulch and the base stem of your roses.

Roses love calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and phosphates. All of these nutrients can be found in banana peels. However, roses may take some time in reaping benefits from bananas.

Ways to feed bananas to roses

Banana peel can be served in different ways to roses.

  1. At the base of each bush, lay down a strip of banana peel.
  2. Add chopped-up banana peel to a jar of water and seal for two weeks. Pour this mix under each bush.
  3. Next to each bush, bury a black and mushy banana.

Even though banana peel shows results pretty slowly, it is an effective and inexpensive way of getting nutrients to your roses.

5. Pruning

Pruning roses can be a tricky affair. If you are not careful enough, you may damage your plants. The best time to prune roses is the spring season. When the roses begin to show their leaf buds, prune above that level.

If you prune too hard in the autumn season, you will end up ruining your roses. You should also not prune roses in summers, as the heat may cause them to die.

While pruning, take proper safety measures. Wear thick gloves that stretch up to your elbows, protecting your hands from thorns. Do not forget to put on your safety goggles.

Insect And Pest Control 

You may encounter a variety of pests and insects while planting roses. Removing dead leaves and canes prevents pests to a great extent. However, they may still show up. Using horticultural oil and insecticidal soap can help control pests and insects.

1. Black Spot

Sometimes, you may notice black spots on the leaves of the rose. These spots eventually turn yellow. This often happens due to the splashing of water on the leaves, mostly during the rainy season. A good way to prevent such spots is the application of fungicide coating. In the fall, clean up the debris properly and cut out any diseased canes.

2. Powdery Mildew

You may notice a white powdery coating on the leaves, buds, and stems at times. They usually develop in warm and humid weather. The best way to prevent mildew is by pruning out all dead or diseased canes during the spring season.

3. Botrytis Blight

Botrytis Blight is a gray-colored fungus that develops on the flower. As a consequence, flower buds become droopy, turn brown, or remain closed. You should prune off all the infected blossoms and remove all the dead matter.

These are just a few of the pests may that pop up while you plant a beautiful rose garden. A few other examples are spider sites, thrips, aphids, or Japanese beetles. Avoid using chemical killers if you find any of these on your roses. Instead, use herbicides and other natural remedies.

Showing Off Your Roses

Planting roses in your garden is a meticulous task. When the canes, rose flowers, and foliage bloom, they form picturesque imagery. What good is growing climbing roses or Hybrid Tea rose, or any other roses in your garden if you don’t show them off?

After planting your roses in your garden in early spring or fall, they go through their growing season. As they grow from their roots, these plants start coming out of the soil with foliage and small buds. When the roses complete the bud stage, you should cut them out so that you have roses that last long.

Some handy tips to show off your beautifully fragrant rose flowers and plants are listed below.

  • Make sure to use sharp scissors or pruners to cut the canes or stems of the roses to avoid damaging their water intake.
  • Cut the roses when they are fresh. This helps prevent stressing the roses from heat.
  • Cut back the rose canes or stems at a 45-degree angle before putting them in a vase.
  • Make sure to cut back the leaves that go below the water line to prevent the plant from rotting. Let there be many leaves on the canes or stem well above the water line to increase water intake.
  • Ensure you change the water in your vase frequently to keep your rose healthy.
  • Your flowers will last longer if you cut back the canes or stems every few days. This also helps in pruning your plants to improve circulation.

Final Words 

Rose flowers are beautiful and gorgeous. Caring for them is easy once you know what to do. Make sure you have drained, moist soil for your rose plants. Make certain you are feeding the roses correctly and pruning your plants in early spring.

As a first-timer, keeping all these tips in mind shall help you have a beautiful rose garden with amazing canes, leaves, petals, and healthy roots. Your gardening skills will be sharpened. You can get fresh and beautiful blooms that can make you feel immense satisfaction.

Of course, if you have any doubts, read up more on roses and their care or consult an expert to guide you. Have a happy rose garden, always.