Rose Bush Advice


When considering rose bushes for the garden or landscape, many things should be factored into the decision. A sufficient location and proper planting techniques will get the bush off to a good start. Pruning and protecting rose bushes from winter's devastation will help it last for many years. Following fertilizing and watering tips will allow the rose bush to produce beautiful blooms and develop sturdy root systems.

Pick the Right Location

A sunny location is best for roses because they require five to six hours of sunlight each day. Soil preferences run to rich, fertile soil with 2 feet of loam where drainage is not a problem. A good air flow circulating around the rose bush is crucial to keeping it dry. Plants, including rose bushes, that are in damp surroundings are prone to disease and fungus.

Planting Roses

Once the site is chosen, preparation is the next step. The roots of the rose bush need to soak in water for 24 hours prior to planting. A hole should be dug with enough space to accommodate spreading out the roots when placed inside. Toss a mushy banana into the hole to add nutrients that roses like. Set the plant in the hole to the same depth it was in the pot or at the nursery. Gently backfill the hole, packing the dirt in around the roots. Give the rose bush a deep watering. Pack more soil around the base to a height of 6 inches for 10 days or until new growth is visible. Once new growth develops, remove the mound. It helps insulate the plant until it has taken hold.

Pruning Roses

Pruning is crucial to the health and blossom production of rose bushes. It should be done annually. Roses that repeat-bloom should be pruned in the very early spring to remove dead wood and shape the bush. Older roses and once-blooming roses can be pruned later in the spring to remove old and dead wood, but shaping should be done once all the blooms are gone. Climbing roses also should be pruned once the showy display has faded to remove dead wood or shape the bush.

Winter Protection

Spray rose bushes one final time with a fungicide to prevent fungi from overwintering and resurfacing in the spring. Roses can be damaged by cold temperatures or even fluctuating temperatures. In the middle of October, bind the canes together. Pack soil around the base of the bush to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Place a mesh cage around the bush and fill it with dead leaves. Place a layer of straw over the leaves. Put some mouse bait at the base of the plant before covering to protect the plant from rodents who might see the stack of leaves and straw as a cozy nest.


Add a banana peel to the base of each rose bush to give it a nutrient bump each spring. Prevent stem borers from damaging the bush by dabbing some nontoxic wood glue over pruning cuts. Water rose bushes with a deep soaking twice a week to stimulate roots to grow deeply. A general purpose spray applied once a week will prevent fungus problems such as powdery mildew, rust and black spot.

Keywords: rose bushes, pruning roses, growing roses

About this Author

Theresa Leschmann has been a freelance writer for five years. She has written for local newspapers as well as websites such as Associated Content, Helium, Bukisa and Demand Studios. She also writes movies reviews for and writes a blog, Movie Muse. Leschmann brings her love of home and garden, traveling and movies to her writing.