The Habitat
Share to PinterestThe Right Routine for Refined Roses
GardenOrnamental Plants

The Right Routine for Refined Roses

By Max Day
Share to PinterestThe Right Routine for Refined Roses

The elegant beauty of the rose has captured the hearts of cultures around the world. The distinct silhouette is unmistakable and timeless. Better still, the rose plant comes in a variety of species and cultivars, making it versatile and appealing to gardeners everywhere. Although they are notoriously tricky to care for, understanding the plant itself is the first step in becoming a successful rose gardener. Whether you live in a temperate climate or a more seasonal area, there is a rose plant out there for you.


Keep roses grounded

Most varieties of rose plants do best when planted in the ground due to their expansive root systems. Varieties that fare well in containers usually require planters that are very tall and wide. Prepare a hole a few inches wider than the root ball of your rose plant. In warmer climates, a depth of 15 inches is sufficient; rose plants in colder climates should be planted 18 inches down to protect from freezing.

Share to PinterestTransplanting a rose plant.
Maryviolet / Getty Images


Watering your roses

Although roses do not like wet feet, they do like to be watered well. Some employ the use of deep watering devices, such as sprinklers underground, which are closer to the root, while others simply water by hand. Whatever method, be sure to drench the plant when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry. Help retain moisture by applying mulch as a topdressing.

Share to PinterestDrenching a rose plant.
Mehmet Gökhan Bayhan / Getty Images


Let the sun shine

Rose plants love to bask in a full day's worth of sun. Don't be afraid to let your roses bake; they'll thank you for it with impressive blooms. Roses receiving less than six to eight hours of sun are usually tall and spindly with no blooms. Although afternoon sun is more intense, morning sun is equally as important as it dries off morning dew — essential for avoiding fungal infections.

Share to PinterestA rose plant in full sun.
Serenethos / Getty Images


Stay away from sandy soils

Roses enjoy an abundance of organic matter in their soil. Materials like compost and manure are sure to keep your bushes happy and blooming. Although rich, the soil should still remain light, fluffy, and well-draining. Soils that retain too much moisture will invite disease, fungus, and rot.

Share to PinterestSoil for rose plant.
malerapaso / Getty Images


Keeping rose plants in containers

There do exist a few varieties of rose plant that thrive in containers. Among them are miniature, ground cover, and polyantha roses. Be sure to find a container no less than 15 inches in diameter with as much depth as possible to accommodate the roots. Stick to unglazed ceramic pots, as these help with proper temperature and moisture regulation.

Share to PinterestTransplanting a rose plant.
FTiare / Getty Images


Fertilizing your rose plant

Roses are big feeders, meaning they quickly make use of nutrients in the soil and require supplementation. Rose plants whose foliage returns in the spring should be fed a rose-specific fertilizer at the first sign of new growth. Evergreen species should be fed every two weeks. Most rose plant fertilizers are evenly balanced, somewhere around a 10-10-10 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Share to PinterestFeeding a rose plant.
Valeriy_G / Getty Images


Dealing with rose plant pests

Unfortunately, the rose plant is susceptible to a wide variety of insect infestations. The correct treatment depends on proper identification of the bug in question. As a general rule, prevention is key. Always keep the flowers and foliage dry and the soil well-watered. This will ensure optimal plant health and may help deter uninvited guests.

Share to PinterestAphids on a rose plant.
Igor Klyakhin / Getty Images


Beware of black spot

Black spot is the fungal infection most likely to affect your rose plant. This disease appears exactly as the name suggests — there is no mistaking its distinct appearance. As the disease progresses, leaf death becomes evident. To treat, apply a fungicidal plant spray once a week or every time it rains. Be sure to use a fungicide specifically formulated to treat black spot.

Share to PinterestBlack spot on rose plant.
Tunatura / Getty Images


Properly propagating a rose plant

Propagating a rose plant is no easy task, but it can be done with a bit of patience. A word of warning: many roses are protected by patents and cannot be reproduced by the public. Secondly, most commercial roses are grafted onto a hardier rootstock for better survival in colder climates. Propagating a rose plant from a cutting will mean it must rely on its own root system and will not survive colder climates. Take an 8 inch cutting of a stem and create a V-shaped incision at the base. Dip the cut into rooting hormone and plant roughly halfway down its length. Cover the plant with a plastic bag or a jar to retain humidity and moisture. Ensure the soil does not dry out. Once established, transplant permanently.

Share to PinterestCovered rose plant cuttings.
Valentina Sheboltaeva / Getty Images


Medicinal uses

Rose plants have long been a symbol of eternal youth and beauty. The fruit of the rose plant, the rosehips, has been used for centuries as a medicinal and cosmetic elixir. Rose hips contain phytonutrients believed to ward off chronic illnesses when taken internally. Rosehip oil is one preparation commonly used on the skin to moisturize and reduce wrinkles.

Share to PinterestRose hip oil from the rose plant.
Madeleine_Steinbach / Getty Images


Introducing beneficial insects to the rose garden

Share to PinterestNice yellow rose with ladybug

Attracting beneficial insects to your rose garden is like inviting friends over to help with the gardening chores. These tiny allies, including ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, can significantly reduce the populations of harmful pests such as aphids and mites. To welcome them, consider planting companion flowers that offer nectar and pollen, such as lavender, marigold, and cosmos, around your roses. Not only will this strategy promote a balanced ecosystem in your garden, but it will also add a splash of color and diversity to your rose beds. Remember, a healthy garden is a community, and every member plays a pivotal role in its well-being.


Rose garden design ideas

Share to PinterestRose Garden

Envisioning your rose garden as a canvas painted with the vibrant hues and textures of various rose varieties can transform it into a living masterpiece. Whether you dream of a classic rose garden with symmetrical beds and pathways or a whimsical cottage garden brimming with roses and perennials, planning is key. Incorporate roses of different heights, colors, and bloom times to ensure a dynamic display throughout the season. Climbing roses adorning archways or trellises add vertical interest, while ground-cover roses fill in the lower layers, creating a lush, multi-dimensional space. Remember, the design of your rose garden should reflect your personal style and complement the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space.


Winter care for roses

Share to PinterestRose blossom in autumn after a night frost

As the colder months approach, preparing your roses for winter can be the difference between a thriving garden and a struggling one come spring. Begin by gradually reducing water intake to help roses harden off, but don’t let them go thirsty. Applying a thick layer of mulch around the base of each plant will insulate roots from freezing temperatures and retain moisture. For particularly delicate varieties, consider constructing a simple burlap wind barrier or using rose cones for added protection. While it may seem like a dormancy period for your garden, these winter care steps are actively laying the groundwork for a beautiful, bloom-filled return.


Natural remedies for rose health

Share to PinterestWoman spraying flowers in the garden

Embracing natural remedies for maintaining rose health not only benefits your garden but also the environment. Garlic spray, for instance, can deter pests, while a mixture of baking soda and water may help prevent fungal diseases like black spot. Regularly inspecting your roses for signs of stress and treating issues promptly with these gentle, eco-friendly solutions can keep your plants vigorous and blooming beautifully. Remember, a little preventive care goes a long way in creating a thriving rose garden that you and the local wildlife can enjoy.


Companion planting with roses

Share to PinterestCatmint border in early spring bordering native fuchsia shrub roses, shrub rose, hydrangea and eastern redbud

Companion planting is the secret to a harmonious rose garden, where every plant contributes to the health and beauty of its neighbors. Marigolds, for example, can repel harmful nematodes in the soil, while alliums deter aphids and other pests with their strong scent. Not only do these companions help reduce the need for chemical interventions, but they also provide additional blooms and textures for a more visually appealing garden. By thoughtfully selecting companions for your roses, you’re cultivating a diverse ecosystem that supports robust growth and vibrant blooms.



Scroll Down

for the Next Article