Planting & Care of Roses for Canadian Climates


Most roses thrive in Canadian climates, including climbers, grandifloras and floribundas. Planting and caring for roses in Canadian climates requires proper soil preparation and protection from winter temperatures. Popular roses for USDA Hardiness Zone 2 include Louis Jolliet, Martin Frobisher, Suzanne and Wasagaming. Roses that do well in Zone 4 include Apricot Nectar, Escapade, Iceberg and Friesia/Sunsprite. Moonstone, Touch of Class, Strike it Rich and Tournament of Roses thrive in Zones 5 and 6.

Step 1

Choose a well-drained planting location that gets about 6 hours of direct sun daily. Plant roses away from roof overhangs and large root systems.

Step 2

Prepare the planting beds at least three weeks before planting roses in April or September. Roses thrive in most good soils, but not in high-alkaline soil. If the soil is too alkaline, add sulfur to make it more acidic. Use a soil pH kit to test the soil.

Step 3

Add compost, well-rotted manure or peat moss to improve the soil. Mix a generous amount into the soil, at least 12 inches or 30 cm deep.

Step 4

Build a raised bed if the soil is not deep enough or doesn't drain properly. This may be the case with clay soils, because they retain more water. Raise the bed 15 to 20 cm, or 6 to 8 inches, with a good quality topsoil.

Step 5

Remove roses from their nursery containers, being careful to not disturb or rip the roots. Cut the bottom and sides of the pot with shears to help loosen the plant.

Step 6

Dig a hole large enough so the Canadian roses' roots can spread out. Put a small amount of fine soil at the bottom of the hole and place the rose plant on top of it.

Step 7

Fill the hole in 3/4 of the way with a soil/peat mixture. Press firmly around the roots. Water until the hole is full and let it drain out. Fill the rest of the hole with the soil mixture and create a mound around the canes. The mound protects the plant from frost and sun scald.

Step 8

Wait to fertilize roses until after their first bloom. Once they are established, apply a granular fertilizer, following the manufacturer's directions. Choose a fertilizer made for roses with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 1-2-1, such as 10-29-10. Water well. Fertilize again just before blooming peaks in June, then again in mid-July.

Step 9

Give roses in Canadian climates 2 gallons or 8 litres of water weekly. Water more frequently in hot weather. Avoid watering in the hot sun.

Step 10

Deadhead the spent flowers to keep the roses blooming. Cut them off just above a leaf so that a new bud forms.

Step 11

Cut canes back in November for winter protection. Make them 70 cm, or 28 inches, long to keep them from moving in the wind. Mound dry soil and peat moss around the base of the roses, about 40 to 50 cm, or 16 to 20 inches, deep. Water well and cover the mound with wood chips or straw.

Things You'll Need

  • Roses
  • Compost, well-rotted manure or peat moss
  • Shovel
  • Sulfur
  • Top soil
  • Gardening gloves
  • Shears
  • Water
  • Wood chips or straw


  • The Canadian Rose Society: Recommended Roses for Canadian Climates
  • Ottawa Horticultural Society: Some Hints on Growing Roses
Keywords: canadian climates, care of roses, planting roses

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.