America’s national flower, the long-admired rose, produces fragrant blossoms in a variety of colors. Although hundreds of varieties of roses exist, all fall into one of two main classifications--climbing roses and upright roses. One type of upright rose, the floribunda rose, produces large clusters of small blossoms in a range of colors. These hardy, prolific bloomers form a compact shape in the landscape, making them suitable for planting in contained areas within hedges, along sidewalks and in border gardens.
Select a sunny location for planting floribunda roses. Choose a spot that receives at least 6 hours of light each day. Floribunda roses thrive in areas with unrestricted sunlight in the morning hours and tolerate slight shade during the afternoon. Select a planting site away from large, overhanging trees that block the sun and rob the soil of valuable nutrients.
Place your new floribunda roses in the soil in the spring, after the final frost of winter. Loosen the top 2 feet of soil and increase the porosity and health of the soil with organic compost. Mix this into the loosened soil with your garden shovel to form a smooth texture. Make the holes at least twice as wide as your floribunda’s rootball and about 14 inches deep. Keep the graft union level with, or slightly below, the surface of the soil. Water the roses thoroughly after planting. Keep the soil around your floribunda roses slightly moist.
Fertilize floribunda roses three times during the growing season. Use a fertilizer formulated for use on rose plants. Apply this to the soil near your roses shortly before the flower buds open in the spring. Use a second application when flowers are in full bloom. Apply the third course late in the blooming season, when flowers fade and fall from the plant.
Protect your floribunda roses in the winter if temperatures regularly drop below 15 degrees F. After the plant becomes dormant in the fall, prune the canes down to leave only three or four side branches per cane. Cut the side branches off near the cane, where they attach. This heavy pruning encourages healthy, abundant blossoms the following year. Spray dormant plants with a fungicide in the late fall and pile a mound of compost over the pruned plants. Place a layer of clean straw over the compost to insulate the plants during the cold, winter months. Remove the straw and compost in early spring, before your floribunda roses begin to form new leaf buds.