How to Care for Tea Roses


Double Delight, Fourth of July, Mr. Lincoln, Ingrid Bergman---these are just a few of the popular choices among tea roses. With their long, straight stems, dark green foliage, full blossoms and heady perfumes, these hybrids are a popular choice for cut flowers. Like other roses, tea roses require food, water and protection from pests and diseases. Deadheading and pruning shapes the bush, removes old or diseased wood and opens it up for more airflow.

Step 1

Enrich the soil around the tea rose each spring. Use a garden trowel to dig around the rose---being careful not to damage the roots---and incorporate compost or well-rotted manure into the soil.

Step 2

Water the rose once a week with 4 to 5 gallons of water. During times of drought, water the rose twice a week with 2 to 3 gallons of water. Direct the water towards the roots to avoid getting the leaves wet.

Step 3

Deadhead faded flowers on the tea rose. Use cleaned and sharpened gardening shears to cut directly above a leaf set to encourage repeat blooming. Clean up all rose cuttings and debris from under the plant and discard.

Step 4

Feed the rose with a complete rose food in the spring. Repeat the feeding again in the late summer.

Step 5

Watch for insect infestation such as aphids, mites or Japanese beetles. Remove by hand, wash away with water or use either an organic or chemical pesticide.

Step 6

Remove any part of the tea rose that has signs of black spot or mildew. Spray the bush with a fungicide.

Step 7

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch or compost around the rose in the fall to prepare the plant for winter. Alternately, you can rake fallen leaves around the rose.

Step 8

Prune the rose in early spring. Remove any dead canes and any stems that are thinner than a pencil. Remove a third of the oldest canes and trim the remaining canes 1/3 of their length. Smear white household glue over the cuts to seal and prevent insect attack or disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden trowel
  • Compost or well-rotted manure
  • Mulch
  • Plant food
  • Pesticide
  • Fungicide
  • Gardening gloves
  • Gardening shears
  • White household glue
  • Bleach


  • Ortho's All About Roses: Dr. Tommy Cairns; 1999
  • Hybrid Tea Rose

Who Can Help

  • All American Rose Selections
Keywords: hybrid tea roses, rose pests, tea rose care

About this Author

Since 1995, H.B. Dean has written more than 2,000 articles for publications including “PB&J,” Disney’s “Family Fun,” “ParentLife,” Living With Teenagers,” and Thomas Nelson’s NYTimes Best-selling “Resolve.” After 17 years of homeschooling her five children, Dean discovered that motherhood doesn’t stop with an empty nest.