How to Cultivate Rose Bushes


Roses symbolize romance and beauty. Poets have written about roses, painters have tried to capture their beauty and gardeners have raised hundreds of varieties of these delicate, colorful blossoms. Roses can be quite hardy, but they require care to thrive and produce the best displays. Some variety of rose will grow in every hardiness zone in the United States, though they may require protection from winter cold in northern climates. A little effort cultivating roses can produce a big reward of beautiful blooms.

Step 1

Choose a site for planting your rose bushes that receives at least 6 hours of sun a day. The site should have well-drained soil and good air circulation. These conditions will help ensure healthier roses.

Step 2

Plant roses as soon as possible after purchase. You can choose either bare root or container-grown roses. If you can't plant your roses right away, keep them in a shady spot and keep the roots moist until planting. Bare root roses should be planted in the spring, after danger of frost. Container grown plants can be put in the ground any time, but spring or summer are best.

Step 3

Amend the garden soil with compost, peat moss or well-rotted manure. Add a little bone meal in the bottom of the planting hole.

Step 4

Water so that roses receive about 1 inch of water a week during the growing season. You may need to water more often during very hot weather. Mulch around the rose to help keep the roots from drying out.

Step 5

Prune dead or broken branches and spent blossoms as needed with sharp garden shears.

Step 6

Apply a mild fertilizer made for roses in the spring and summer.

Step 7

Monitor the roses for pests and treat as soon as possible. Insecticidal soap spray, diatomaceous earth or sulfur powder may counteract aphids, black spot and other pests.

Step 8

Protect rose bushes from winter cold in areas where temperatures frequently drop below freezing. Wrap the plant in burlap or insulate with mounds of leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost, peat moss or other soil amendment
  • Bone meal
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Garden clippers
  • Rose fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap, diatomaceous earth or sulfur powder
  • Burlap


  • Cultivation Tips for Roses
  • Growing Roses

Who Can Help

  • Roses
Keywords: cultivating roses, protect rose bushes, plant roses

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.