Roses reign supreme as one of the most stunning additions to the home landscape. These majestic plants come in such a wide variety of sizes, colors and forms that choosing one can be difficult. Despite the many varieties, most roses used in the home landscape require similar care and maintenance. All require full sun, good soil and proper drainage to prevent root damage. Learning how to care for a rose garden begins with realizing that the rose requires monitoring and maintenance year-round.
Choose the optimal location for your rose garden in full sun. Avoid sunken flower beds with poor drainage or areas with early morning shade. Roses need at least six hours of sunlight each day to encourage flower production. Some shade works fine if it occurs in the late afternoon.
Prepare the rose garden soil by adding organic soil additives such as peat moss, humus or compost. Turn over the top 12 inches of soil using a spade shovel. Break up clods and add a 4- to 5-inch layer of organic matter. Mix the amendments into the soil. Organic matter improves aeration, drainage and adds vital nutrients to the soil. Loosening the top levels of garden soil also help plant roots spread easier after transplant.
Allow the soil to settle for a few weeks if planting in the summer. The best practice involves preparing the rose garden bed in the fall and allowing the organic additives to decompose over the winter.
Cut away the plastic pot from the root ball of the plant using a sharp utility knife or garden shears. Cut carefully to avoid damage to roots.
Plant roses at the recommended depth based on the growing label provided with the plant. In general, plant roses with the top of the root ball no more than 1 inch below the garden surface. You'll be adding a mulch layer above the soil and deep planting may inhibit growth. Pay particular attention to spacing between plants in the rose garden. Roses require adequate air circulation for optimum health, so consider mature growth during initial planting.
Fill in around the plant with amended soil and water generously at the base of the bush. Avoid getting the leaves overly wet. The best practice involves deeply watering the plant so moisture travels well into the soil. Soaker hoses work well to encourage deep moisture.
Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch to the entire rose garden bed. Mulch controls soil temperature to prevent overheating of rose plant roots and assists in moisture retention around the plants.
Fertilize each plant in the spring based on requirements for each particular variety of rose. Additional fertilizing throughout the growing season may be needed for some types of rose plants.