Tea roses grow up to 6 feet tall, becoming more like a tree than a bush. The tea rose produces a large single flower on each stem, making them suitable for cut long-stemmed roses. Unlike other rose varieties, tea roses bloom from early summer until fall, providing color to your landscape throughout the warm months. The bushes do not produce lush foliage, so they are grown primarily for their blooms. Proper care encourages the tea rose tree to produce more flowers throughout the season.
Prune tea rose back severely in fall once the plant goes dormant or in spring just before new growth starts. Cut all but the three strongest and healthiest canes to the ground with a pair of pruning clippers. Trim out any dead or damaged branches from each cane. Cut the remaining canes down to 12 inches tall.
Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch around the tea rose tree in spring once the soil begins to warm and after pruning. Leave a 3-inch space between the mulch and the canes.
Water tea roses once a week throughout spring, summer and fall when there is less than 1 inch of rainfall in that period. Water at the base of the plant until the top 12 inches of soil are moistened.
Cut roses for indoor displays from the rose tree throughout the summer months. Clip the stems right above a leaf set or bud, using garden shears. Tea roses look their best on long stems of at least 8 inches.
Deadhead the tea rose tree as the flowers wither and fade to keep up the appearance of the plant and to encourage further blooming. Snip off the spent flowers ¼ inch above the nearest leaf set or bud, using garden shears.
Place a wire cage or collar around the tea rose in fall after the first frost. Fill the collar with leaves or straw mulch, protecting the tea rose from winter temperature fluctuations and cold damage.