How to Care for Roses


Roses are popular perennial garden plants commonly grown for their large, ornamental and fragrant flowers that bloom during late spring. There are many different species of roses, including climbing and vining varieties. Roses can be easily grown in temperate regions around the world and require only basic care to thrive in the home garden. Most varieties of rose are hardy and can withstand low winter temperatures without additional protection.

Step 1

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around roses to suppress the growth of weeds and to increase moisture retention. Start the layer at least 3 inches from the base of the rose plants to allow air circulation and plenty of room for growth.

Step 2

Water roses once per week during the morning so excess moisture can evaporate before temperatures drop in the evening. Soak the soil surrounding roses to a depth of 1 inch at each watering to ensure the roots receive adequate moisture.

Step 3

Feed rose bushes twice per year, once in March and again in July, using a 12-6-6 NPK fertilizer formulated for roses. Water both before and after applying to prevent root burn from the high levels of nitrogen. Follow the instructions provided for proper dosage and application.

Step 4

Prune roses in the spring as soon as the danger of frost is over. Cut off all dead, damaged or weak canes to force the plant to focus nutrients on flowering and root development. Allow at least three canes to remain untouched so growth will continue.

Tips and Warnings

  • Roses have sharp thorns that grow along their canes. Always wear gloves when handling to prevent injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves


  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Growing Roses
  • University of California Garden Information Series: Roses
  • University of Minnesota Ask a Master Gardener: Rose Care
Keywords: roses, rose plants, rose bushes

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including