Rose have been cultivated for more than 5,000 years, according to the University of Illinois. Fragrant and beautiful, it is easy to see why these flowers are a perennial favorite with home gardeners, florists, and landscapers throughout the world. Roses are also versatile. There are climbing roses, roses grown as hedges, and miniature roses. All have the same basic care needs, regardless of species or cultivar.
Growing roses successfully starts with choosing the right rose for your landscape. Climbing roses require support, and the long canes, which don't actually climb, need to be attached to the support structure. Hybrid tea roses are desirable for their beauty and hardy nature, and are an excellent choice for beginning gardeners. Hybrid tea roses are the most commonly grown type of roses, according to New Mexico State University. Miniature roses are often grown in containers and given as gifts.
Choose a location for your roses that receives full sunlight. Roses need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day to thrive, according to Ohio State University. Morning sunlight is best, as it will quickly dry any dew from the leaves. Water left to sit on the leaves of the plant can lead to leaf spot, a fungal disease that spreads on water. The soil should be well-draining. For this reason, raised planting beds work well for roses. Never plant roses in a location where standing water develops, such as in a depression. Roses do not like to get their roots wet.
Roses can be planted any time from early spring through the summer into fall. Most home gardeners choose early spring so that the roots can become well established before cold weather arrives. Plant both bare-root and container roses as soon as possible after purchase. Soak the roots of bare root roses for an hour before planting them. Roses prefer soil rich in organic nutrients, so work between 2 and 4 inches of organic compost into the soil before planting the rose.
To plant the rose, dig a hole about 18 inches wide, and 15 inches deep. If planting a bare root rose, create a mound of dirt in the hole, and spread the roots of the rose gently over the mound. Then, fill the hole with the removed dirt and tamp it down gently. The bud union (swollen area on the stem where grafting took place) should be just above the surface of the soil.
Roses prefer soil that is consistently moist, according to the University of Illinois. In general, these plants do best with 1 inch of water per week. If a week passes with no rain, supplemental watering is needed. Water at the soil level to avoid getting water on the leaves of the plant. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the rose to retain soil moisture and stifle weed growth. Remove flowers as they wilt to encourage re-blooming. Roses are heavy feeders, so fertilize with a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer in the spring and then again in the summer. Apply according to the instructions on the label and the size of your plant.
Roses can suffer from a number of fungal diseases and insect pests. Aphids, in particular, can plague roses. Minor amounts of bugs can be rinsed off with a strong stream of water. Severe infestations may require repeated applications of insecticide. Leave plenty of air around your rose bush and keep the foliage as dry as possible to prevent foliage fungal diseases from developing. If you see black spots on the leaves or a light gray fuzz developing on the buds, spray the plant with a fungicide.