How to Plant & Care for Roses

Overview

Roses bloom under average growing conditions as long as their basic needs for sun, water and nutrients are met. When you acquire new rose bushes, open the packaging and examine the plants for damage. Prune off broken canes or roots. Place the roses in a pail of water to rehydrate them while you prepare the planting site.

How to Plant Roses

Step 1

Select a suitable site. Roses need at least six hours per day of full sun, and fertile, well drained soil. Plant roses away from buildings to permit sufficient air circulation.

Step 2

Till or dig the soil deep enough so the union graft will be just below the soil surface. The union graft is the large bump in the main trunk of the rose between the roots and the canes. Tailor the planting depth to the individual rose bush. Allow enough depth and circumference so you can spread the roots out underground without crowding them.

Step 3

Open the tarp out next to the planting hole. Shovel the loose soil out of the planting hole, placing it on the tarp. Add compost to the soil, mixing it with the shovel. Half compost and half soil is a suitable ratio. Add one heaping tablespoon of bonemeal to the soil mix for each plant.

Step 4

Place two or three shovelfuls of the mixed soil into the bottom of the planting hole, creating a mound in the center. Set the rose bush on top of the mound, with the roots separated and trailing down the sides of the mound.

Step 5

Backfill the hole using the mixed soil to cover the roots, firming soil layers as you fill the hole. When the hole is about 2/3 filled, water the deep roots of the rose. Allow the water to soak in completely. Finish filling the planting hole and firm the soil around the rose. Check the depth of the union graft, and adjust it now if it is not correct. Water the rose again.

How to Care for Roses

Step 1

Use organic mulch 2 to 3 inches deep around rose plants, keeping the mulch at least 6 inches away from the trunk of the bush.

Step 2

Fertilize roses regularly. Organic liquid fish fertilizer provides balanced nutrients for roses. Feed when the bush first leafs out, and after every flush of flowers during the summer. Follow the manufacturer's application instructions.

Step 3

Prune spent flowers and dead canes regularly. Remove them from the area to reduce the risk of disease.

Step 4

Inspect your roses daily for signs of insect damage or disease. Treat immediately.

Step 5

Water roses in the morning so the foliage will dry before dusk. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses help prevent fungal diseases--these methods water at ground level, which keeps the foliage dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose bushes
  • Shovel
  • Tiller, optional
  • Compost
  • Tarp
  • Bone meal
  • Organic mulch
  • Organic fertilizer

References

  • Ohio State University Extension: Planting Roses
  • University of Missouri Extension: Roses, Care After Planting
  • GardenTimeOnline: Rose Planting, Pruning and Growing

Who Can Help

  • All-America Rose Selections: Rose Care
Keywords: planting roses, growing roses, care of roses, feed roses, fertilize roses, plant rose bush

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.