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Tools Needed for Growing Roses

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Roses are an ideal--and iconic--addition to any garden, with fragrant blooms, bold colors and the ability to make people happy, whether given as gifts or simply placed in a kitchen vase. Some rose breeds require more maintenance and care than others, but a general outline exists for how to care for your roses as a beginner. The tools needed to grow successful and healthy roses may vary with your region, rose breed or soil conditions. Every rose needs care using some basic tools, though, in order to flourish.

Pruning Equipment

Loppers and garden shears are important tools when growing roses. Prune roses any time you notice any dead, broken or diseased branches on the bush. Prune them also with the shears and loppers (loppers for larger branches, shears for smaller) in winter and early spring. Cut out all but four or five healthy main stems. Don't cut any more than a third of the branches, pruning them right above an outward-facing bud. This will help the rose bush open up and receive more sunshine and air circulation.

Fertilizer and Mulch

It is necessary to fertilize roses during each growing season, as this will encourage them to grow large, beautiful and thick. Roses are hungry plants, demanding lots of nutrients for best growth and flowering. Use a liquid fertilizer every four weeks during the growing season (or follow the directions on the specific type you purchase). Cease fertilizing in the fall season before any frost.

Mulch is also required so there are fewer weeds, and reduced watering and diseases on the rose plant. Layer about 2 inches of mulch (ideally wood chips or pine needles) around the base of the rose bush, branching out about 1 foot over the roots.


Water, of course, is the main source for rose life. The rose plants need steady regular watering, especially during the growing seasons. Use a drip irrigation system if possible in arid or dry regions. Roses need about 1-2 inches per week.

Weather Protection

In regions where temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, mound up extra soil about 3 inches thick over the base and roots of the rose bush. In cold-winter regions with temperatures lower than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, pile up about 12 inches of soil over the base and roots. Wrap the plant in burlap to protect it as well.