How to Maintain a Rosebush


Gardeners prize their rosebushes for the beautiful blooms and scents. Though rosebushes traditionally have been high-maintenance plants, there are many new hybrids that require a bit less care and will survive in less than perfect settings. Roses are hardy in most U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones and will survive cold winters with proper care. However, to really thrive, rosebushes need plenty of sun and water as well as daily attention.


Step 1

Select a sunny spot for your roses, as they will do best with a minimum of six hours of sun per day. In the Deep South, where it is very humid, you may plant roses in partial sun rather than full sun.

Step 2

Mix some rose-specific plant food into the soil where you will plant your rosebush. You'll want rich soil and a well-draining area for your roses.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball and deep enough to cover the root ball. Set the plant into the hole and cover it with soil. Tamp down the soil and water well immediately after planting.

Step 4

Water daily for a few minutes for two weeks after planting to help establish the root system. The soil should be wet, but avoid leaving puddles of water.

General Care

Step 1

Water established roses daily in very hot areas and every other day in most other areas. The soil around the rosebush should be moist at all times.

Step 2

Spray rosebushes with rose-specific insecticides to prevent aphids, powdery mildew and other diseases. You will find a wide variety of rose sprays at your local garden shop, and you may select from organic and nonorganic varieties.

Step 3

Prune rosebushes regularly. Stems should be pruned below an offshoot of five leaves to help promote growth. Remove any yellowing leaves immediately.

Step 4

Deadhead rosebushes after blooming to promote more blooms. You may deadhead each bloom by grasping the stem between your thumb and index finger and either pulling or snapping the bloom off. You may also snip below the bloom with gardening shears.

Step 5

Fertilize rosebushes in the spring to encourage growth. You may use a rose-specific fertilizer or an organic mixture of Epsom salt and alfalfa meal.

Step 6

Cut back roses completely in midfall to early winter in colder climates. You should also add extra mulch or dirt around the base of the plant to protect the roots through the winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water the leaves of your rosebush, as this encourages disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose plant food
  • Garden hose
  • Gardening shears
  • Rose insecticide
  • Epsom salts
  • Alfalfa meal


  • Monthly Rose Care Schedule
  • Rose Bush Care
  • Sunset; National Garden Book; 1997

Who Can Help

  • USDA Growing Zones Interactive Map
Keywords: Rosebush care, Maintain rose bush, Care for roses

About this Author

J.D. Chi is a professional journalist who has covered sports for more than 20 years at newspapers all over the United States. She has covered major golf tournaments and the NFL as well as travel and health topics. Chi received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is working toward a master's degree in journalism.