Choose a planting location that gets at least eight hours of sun per day, but the more hours the better. Some varieties of roses bloom with only six hours of sun per day, but they produce fewer flowers than those grown in full sun.
Add as much compost as possible and at least one 5-gallon bucket of peat moss to the soil for each rose bush you plant. Also use fish meal, bone meal and blood meal in the quantities recommended by the manufacturers. When setting out individual rose bushes, add granular fertilizer specially formulated for roses to the planting hole.
Plant roses in holes that are 2 to 3 times as large as their root ball. Make a mound of improved soil in the planting hole. Center the rose bush over the peak of the mounded soil, and spread the roots down the mound. Add a few shovelfuls of soil, and gently firm with your foot. Fill the hole twice with water, allowing it to drain before filling it the rest of the way with soil.
Because roses are the thirstiest plant in most gardens, water them with the equivalent of at least 2 inches of rainfall per week. Do not use an overhead sprinkler to water roses; this encourages fungal diseases. Thread a soaker hose among the rose bushes.
Mulch to control weeds and conserve moisture.
Once a month from early spring through August, feed your roses with granulated fertilizer formulated for roses. Apply the fertilizer directly to the soil about 8 to 12 inches from the base of the plant. Scratch it into the soil with a garden claw.
Watch roses carefully for pests and diseases. Black spots on the leaves or stems are a sign of black spot or other rose fungal diseases. Remove the affected leaves, and spray the entire plant with a commercial anti-fungal preparation. Control insects by spraying with an insecticide, following the manufacturer's recommendations.
If you live in USDA Zone 6 or colder, cover your roses during winter. Apply a 1- to 2-foot layer of fall leaves and place a Styrofoam rose cone on top. Secure with rocks so cones don't blow off.
Prune and trim in early spring when the leaf buds begin to swell. Cut off dead branches as well as those growing at an odd angle and rubbing against other branches. Then remove one or two of the oldest branches growing up from the base of the plant to give the rose plants good air circulation, which prevents disease.