Rose Growing Guide

Choosing the location: All roses do well in a full sun location (6+ hours of sun per day). There are varieties that can be grown in part shade (4-6 hours of sun) or in bright shade (dappled shade throughout the day or a bright North-facing wall). If a rose is shade-tolerant, it is noted in our plant descriptions. (You can find the description by clicking on the rose in the catalogue).
Planting in shade: Shade-tolerant rose varieties can thrive with limited sunlight when their overall growing conditions are good. Give the rose more space than in a full sun location, feed it well, and remember to water it when required. In full sun roses may do well when some of the conditions are adverse. You may skip a feeding or a watering, but the plant will still be healthy. Some rose varieties bloom well in neglect, too! However, in shaded areas remember to provide the roses with proper rose-growing care, and they will thank you with their blooms.
Some climbing roses can thrive along a north-facing wall with just a couple of hours of sun per day!
Digging a planting hole: For better plant health and blooming, make a hole deeper and at least twice as wide as the root ball. Mix in good soil and some mature compost. Soak the mix really well prior to planting: make a mud pie mix.
Planting a potted rose: Water your rose well. Transplant as one piece, if possible, keeping all the soil around its roots. If kept in the pot for too long, untangle or cut off the roots spiralling inside the pot. The roots need to grow in all the different directions for better plant health. Spiralling roots slow the plant’s growth.
Planting a bare root rose: Soak for a couple of hours prior to planting. If severely dehydrated, soak it together with the stem. The rose will feel heavier after the soaking. Badly dehydrated roses have small chances of surviving, so avoid storing your bare root rose for longer than 24 hours. When absolutely necessary, store the bare root rose a short time in a cold, shaded area (or in the fridge) with roots tightly wrapped to prevent moisture loss. You may want to open the bag and spray some water on the rose’s roots every day.
After planting: Water the rose deeply once or twice a week. Like most garden plants, rose roots need air and water. So make sure the soil drains well and dries a little before watering again. Deep watering encourages roots extending deeper. Deeper roots will help the rose reach deeper for water in the hot summer days in future years.
Here’s a tip: For the first season, check the soil water content twice a week: with a small trowel or a stick, make a small wedge in the soil, about 2″ deep. You may find that the soil surface is dry, but underneath it’s still wet. If so, postpone the watering for a couple of days. On the other hand, often the rain sprinkling for a week is not enough to reach the roots. You may find that the surface of the soil is wet, but under the top half an inch it’s dry. In that case, give the rose a good, soaking watering, despite the rain.
Feeding: Top-dress with 2 inches of mature compost in spring and in mid-summer. If your preference is to use synthetic fertilizers, those can be added to the soil or water (as per manufacturer’s instructions) but cannot replace organic matter in the soil. Roses are heavy feeders, so don’t skip the compost.
End-of-season care: Here are a few facts. Feeding roses in late summer gives roses another growing boost, and the new branches may not have enough to harden off their skin before the winter. Trimming the rose in fall causes a similar effect; it has been compared to having a cup of coffee before bedtime. So try to avoid cutting rose branches close to the end of the growing season. The same holds for fertilizing roses late in the season.

Happy growing!