Rose Gardening: Tips and Tricks for
Growing and Caring for Roses

Single-RoseWhen it comes to growing flowers, most enthusiasts come across one or two tricks that take their cultivation practice from ho-hum to amazing. The feeling of producing a beautiful bloom from a seedling or bulb can make even the most seasoned gardener feel proud about dedicating time and effort into nurturing a garden.

Roses are timeless, popular choices for flower gardens and can be cultivated in beds, along walkways, and trained to follow a trellis. Rose gardens have been admired for centuries for their brilliant colors and subtle perfume that brings back memories of warmer months.

Choosing Roses

Honey-Perfume-RoseCarefully consider the rose plant that will work for your space and climate. All roses do not look and smell like the dozen roses available on Valentine’s Day or in your local grocery store. Some varieties look more like regal carnations and have wide opening blooms. Others are small and feature petite petals and blooms, like the Cherokee rose.

If you primarily want to smell the fruits of your labor, choose a fragrant rose variety like the apricot colored Honey Perfume rose. If you have small children, consider finding a variety that does not grow thorns.

 Caring for Roses

Rose-PlantRoses thrive in environments that provide full sun and moisture filled soil that is pH balanced. Ideally, roses should be planted in areas that receive five to six hours of direct sun each day. If you’re transplanting a rose bush from a different location, always provide the plant more space than you think it will need. Apply fresh organic matter to the area. Some gardeners swear by the addition of a nail or small piece of gypsum board to provide nutrients that roses love.

Roses love water, and they need tons of it during the summer. They will likely need more water than any other plant in your landscaping or garden. High quality mulch is a must have for growing vibrant roses, and will cut back on your need to water so frequently during the heat of summer. Make the process simple by moving your grass clippings after each mowing or raking pine straw and dead leaves towards the base instead of hauling them off. If you have a compost pile, use the resulting organic matter to mulch your roses. The mulch will be incredibly nutrient rich and yield great results for your plant.

Pruning Roses

Many first time gardeners can become overwhelmed by the pruning necessities of individual plants. Roses must be pruned on a regular basis to discourage disease and keep your plant beautiful and healthy throughout the year. Early spring is the best time to prune your roses.

First, get rid of all the small suckers that are starting to peek their heads above the ground, unless you want to be overrun with baby rose bushes in the growing season. Getting rid of the small plants early on also frees up the nutrients in the soil to supply the primary plant with the nutrients it needs to survive.

Rose-BushNext, take some sharp pruning shears or small loppers and gear up. Rose thorns aren’t fun to handle, so wear scratch resistant clothing beforehand. Start cutting back until you see fresh, white flesh. This is the space where you’ll want to cut the entire plant. You can choose to do a hard pruning by cutting every extending cane back completely, leaving only three to five canes to carry on the lifecycle of the plant.

Always double check specific instructions for your variety of rose. Certain species may require slightly different pruning methods, and failing to follow specific recommendations may lead to the decline of your plant.

During the growing season, practice “deadheading.” Pinch or cut off any wilted or dead and dried out blooms so the nutrients in the plants will refocus towards the healthy blooms and keep your plant looking attractive all season long.

In winter, complete a winterization process by adding extra mulch to the area. Small plants or unusually harsh winters can threaten the life of a rose bush. Place a rose cone over the plant to prevent cold damage. Consider growing your roses in a container that can be placed indoors if you are concerned about the climate during winter.


  • The sharper your tools, the easier the pruning job will be. Invest in quality products that make your maintenance routine simpler.
  • Dead wood always has to go during the pruning process, regardless of rose variety.
  • Look up specific instructions for your rose species to ensure your care matches its needs.
  • Compost and mulch are must-haves that can save you time throughout the year.
  • Get rid of dead or dying blooms to maintain the health of the plant.
  • Consider investing in a soaker hose to make sure your roses receive the water they need.


Roses are beautiful additions to most gardens. They are available in so many varieties that there is a type of rose for almost every preference. Choose the perfect species for your area by following these tips and tricks. Enjoy the abundant blooms throughout the growing season.


Photo Credit:

Photographer cb1 offered the photograph of Rose Garden under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer EvolvingScenes offered the photograph of Rose Garden under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer irenne56 offered the photograph of Roses under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Photoman offered the photograph of Yellow Rose under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Mhy offered the photograph of Rose Bush under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay