How to Grow English Roses


The English rose is also called the David Austin rose, or simply the Austin rose. It was introduced in 1969 by its namesake, who hybridized many roses. The flowers of the English rose are extremely large in comparison to other roses, and are often so large they will bend on their stems, especially after a heavy rain. These roses are very fragrant but are also prone to disease. They do best in a temperate climate and thrive with a lot of sunshine.

Step 1

Choose an area to grow your English roses that will receive at least six to eight hours of direct sun a day. The sun will help keep the leaves dry and also control disease in the flowers.

Step 2

Dig a hole 4 to 6 inches bigger around than the pot the roses were sold in. The hole should be a few inches deeper than the pot. This will allow the roots to spread out.

Step 3

Water the soil with several inches of water initially after planting. Begin watering the roses with a couple of inches of water every week. Keep the soil moist to allow for a deep root system, which will help sustain the roses when the plant is exposed to drought conditions. Use a soaker hose to keep the leaves dry to prevent disease while watering.

Step 4

Apply a 1-2-1 fertilizer to the base of the roses three times a year. The first time you fertilize should be six weeks after planting. Take care not to get fertilizer on the leaves and stems of the roses, or you could burn them. Apply fertilizer again in early spring and late summer.

Step 5

Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch, pine straw or bark at the base of the rose bushes. This will help the plants maintain a water balance and fight off weeds. The mulch should be replaced at least once a year to prevent disease and rot.

Step 6

Reduce the amount of water in the roses when the cooler months approach. The plants' soil should not be allowed to completely dry out, but should not be soaked.

Step 7

Prune your English roses in the early spring. Start at the base of the plant and thin out the inside to expose the flowers to more sunlight. Cuts should be made at a 45 degree angle about a quarter of an inch above the buds.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose bush
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Pine straw
  • Bark
  • Pruning sheers


  • Easy-to-Grow English Roses
  • Growing Roses
Keywords: David Austin rose, growing English roses, rose hybrids

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.