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How to Plant, Grow and Care for Roses

General rose uses

Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras are upright and well-branched, ideal for the back of mixed perennial beds.

Floribundas are rounded and full, great for providing season-long color on an attractive landscape plant.

Climbers grow up to 20' tall and are ideal for adding height and dramatic interest to landscapes.

Shrubs are hardy, trouble-free roses, great in group plantings for providing easy landscape color.

Ground Covers can grow up to six feet in width, and are ideal for slopes, rock gardens, hanging baskets, and mixed containers.

Miniatures are usually less than three feet in height, and are great as a mini border, as accents or in containers.

Planting Roses (in the garden)

Soak roots for 1-4 hours before planting. There are five basic steps for planting trees, shrubs and hedges:

  1. Choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day and ample space to allow plenty of air circulation. Any sun-loving perennials and annuals make great companions for roses, as they can complement the blossom color and plant shape, as well as extend the bloom season.

  2. Before your roses arrive, prepare your site. Roses thrive in well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. To test the drainage, dig a hole about 12" deep and fill it with water. In welldrained soil, the water will drain out within 15 minutes. If the water drains more slowly, amend the soil with organic matter, such as pine bark, peat moss, or compost.

  3. When your roses arrive, remove them from their box and soak the roots in a bucket of water for a least an hour or two (but no more than 12 hours). If you will not be planting right away, cover the roots with damp newspaper to keep them moist and store them in a closed plastic bag in a cool, sheltered area.

  4. To plant your roses, dig a hole at least 12" deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Build a small mound in the center of your hole and spread the roots out around it. The plant's crown (where the roots meet the canes) should be at ground level for mild climates and 2-3" below ground level for cold climates. Fill the hole with amended soil. Water again thoroughly.

  5. Top dress your rose plants with mulch. This will help with water retention and weed control, while giving your roses a finished look.


Most roses require about one inch of rainfall weekly during the growing season. If you need to provide supplemental irrigation, it is best to do so in the morning to give the sun a chance to dry out any moisture on the foliage. When possible, hand water or use drip irrigation to target the base of the plant. Do not overhead water, as this can encourage disease.


You can begin feeding your roses when new growth is about six inches in length. For best results, spread the fertilizer around the plant at the drip line.

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