How to Care for Rose Plants


Roses grow well in many types of climates and conditions. However, they will grow bigger and fuller if you devote some time and attention to them. Most of the work has to be done after transplanting or planting new rose bushes. That's when they are the most vulnerable and need water, mulch and fertilization. With the proper care, roses will give you long-lasting, gorgeous blooms.

Step 1

Plant rose bushes in a location that gets six hours of direct sunlight daily. Shade tolerant roses need four to six hours of sunlight daily.

Step 2

Test the soil pH with a kit obtained from a nursery. Roses do best in neutral to slightly acidic soil with an ideal pH of 6.5. They develop chlorosis when planted in soil that is too alkaline. The ideal medium is somewhat heavy, containing a mixture of sand, clay and silt.

Step 3

Put roses into the ground when it's moist and cool, which is usually early in the season. Early spring is the right time in most USDA zones.

Step 4

Put a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around rose bushes. It keeps the roots cool, retains moisture and limits the amount of watering you need to do. Mulch also helps keep weeds away. Place the mulch 6 inches away from the bottom of the plant so that a basin forms, which helps with watering.

Step 5

Water roses every other day in the first three to four months of planting. This will help the plant develop its feeder roots. In the first year, the plants should get 1 inch of water weekly. Touch the soil to make sure it is damp but not soaking wet. If the top 2 inches is dry, add more water.

Step 6

Apply a fertilizer that is made for roses. It should contain the ideal combination of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium for foliage, bloom and root development. Follow the application instructions on the label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use a strong stream of water on roses. It will cause erosion, harden the soil and spread disease. Do not apply too much fertilizer. It will increase pest infestations or kill the rose bush.

Things You'll Need

  • pH test kit
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Water


  • Rose File: Rose Care
  • University of Missouri Extension: Roses--Care After Planting
Keywords: care for roses, rose care, water roses

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.