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How to Start a Rose Garden

By Tricia Goss ; Updated September 21, 2017

While roses are fragrant, delicate and lovely to look at, they also have many practical purposes. You can use rose hips to make everything from herbal tea, to jam, to homemade beauty treatments. Rose petals can be spread across a bed or sprinkled in a candlelit bath, and of course, a vase full of roses fresh from your garden will instantly brighten any room. Consider establishing your own rose garden to enjoy all of the benefits of these beautiful flowers.

Select a site for your roses. Roses thrive in sunshine, so look for a spot in your garden that receives plenty of direct sunlight. While roses are drought-resistant, they do well in soil that is moist and yet drains well. Avoid areas that attract standing water or puddling.

Prepare the soil. Roses like soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH of around 6.5. You can test your soil's pH by purchasing a soil test kit at most garden centers. If your soil has a pH that is too low, add lime to the potting soil. For soil pH that is too high, add a compound containing sulfur, such as in aluminum sulfate or gypsum.

Buy roses that grow well in your area. Learn which "hardiness zone" you live in, which is based on the local climate, and check with your garden center about the best roses for that zone. Opt for container roses if you are planting in the fall or bare-root roses if you want to start your rose garden in the spring.

Plant container roses by digging a hole as deep and wide as the container. Expose the roots slightly by loosening the soil around them. Place the root ball into the hole and fill with potting soil. Plant bare-root roses by removing the wrapping from the root and soaking them in a pot of water. Dig a hole about one-foot deep and two-feet wide. Fill the center of the hole with a cone-shaped pile of potting soil. Set the plant atop the soil and fill the remainder of the hole with more soil.

Create a small basin in the dirt around the rose bush. Water your new roses daily for the first week to give them a good start. If you live in a very hot climate, continue to water daily even after the first week. Otherwise, watering once every three to four days is sufficient.


Things You Will Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Lime or gypsum
  • Hardiness zone
  • Potting soil
  • Shovel

About the Author


Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.