How to Grow Roses — Rosa

Rose floribunda

Roses are much beloved. There are about 150 species of roses and thousands of hybrid cultivars. Roses can be divided into six categories:

  • Hybrid tea and grandiflora roses: these are upright, somewhat leggy modern roses bred for the perfection of blooms usually on single stems for cutting; hybrid teas and grandifloras grow 4 to 7 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide.
  • Floribunda and polyantha roses: these are cluster roses, producing several flowers on short stems; blossoms are smaller than hybrid teas and grandifloras; these rose have a rounded shrub form and grow 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.
  • Miniature and miniflora roses: these are small in stature; miniature roses have flowers that look like hybrid tea blooms but the plants are small, just 12 to 18 inches high; miniflora are also small, smaller than polyanthas roses but larger than miniature roses; these roses are often used for edging and massing in beds.
  • Classic and modern shrub roses: this is a somewhat arbitrary classification; it includes roses for landscaping and groundcover roses but also English shrub roses which have old-fashioned antique flower forms but have been hybridized for color and fragrance; this classification includes roses as small as 2 feet high and others up to 8 feet high.
  • Old garden and species roses: this classification includes roses that were in existence before 1867 when the first modern hybrid tea was developed; most of these are arching-to-rounded shrubs from 3 to 6 feet tall and 4 to 7 feet wide; some have double and even quartered blooms, yet species roses are nearly all have single-petaled blooms; these are often used in cottage gardens.
  • Climber and rambler roses: no rose actually climbs; these roses are shrubs with very long arching canes that usually require training or tying in the garden; ramblers are the largest of the climbing roses; they can develop tree-like trunks; ramblers bloom once a year in spring; climbers are often hybrid teas or floribundas that have been hybridized to grow very large; these roses can grow from 4 feet to 40 feet in size.

Get to Know Roses

  • Plant type: Deciduous shrubs
  • Growing Zones and range: 4-10
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Height and width: Differs by variety, from 12 inches to 40 feet
  • Foliage: Toothed leaflets borne on arching or trailing prickly stems
  • Flowers: White, pink, orange, yellow, red, lavender, or multicolored single or double flowers, often fragrant, borne on single stems or in corymbs (clusters)
  • Bloom time: Early summer to autumn
  • Uses: Shrub and flower borders, containers, groups and as specimens
  • Botanical name: Rosa spp.
  • Common name: Rose

Where to Plant Rose

  • Grow roses in full sun. Roses grown in shade or partial sun can be susceptible to disease.
  • Plant roses in deep, moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil.
Shrub rose hedge
Shrub rose hedge

When to Plant Rose

  • Set bare-root roses into the garden in fall or winter.
  • Plant container-grown roses in fall or spring.

Planting and Spacing Rose

  • Space roses according to their size a maturity. Do not crowd roses; air circulation around leaves and flowers can help ward off disease.

How to Water and Feed Rose

  • Keep the soil evenly moist for roses, never soggy, and never dry.
  • Fertilize roses with a balanced fertilizer for best flowering.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 3 weeks.

Rose Care

  • Mulch around roses with aged compost in late winter or early spring

How to Grow Roses as a Houseplant

  • Miniature roses are the roses most often grown indoors; there are hundreds of hybrids.
  • Roses can be grown indoors all year if they receive enought light.
  • Miniature roses grow 4 to 18 inches (10-45cm) tall indoors.
  • Place miniature roses in a room where the temperature is average, light is direct, and humidity is high.
  • Plants can be grown under fluorescent lights in the winter if natural light is insufficient.
  • The growing medium should be rich, soilless, and well-drained.
  • Keep the medium evenly moist at all times.
  • Fertilize every two weeks while the plant is growing or flowering.
  • Cut back the stems after the flowers have faded to shape the plant and control its size.

Rose Pests and Diseases

  • Roses are susceptible to attack by aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, scale insects, caterpillars, sawfly larvae, cane borers, Japanese beetles, rose stem girdlers, thrips, rose midges, rose slugs, and leaf-cutting bees.
  • Rabbits and deer may eat roses leaves and flowers.
  • Roses are prone to black spot, rust, powdery mildew, dieback, canker, crown gall viruses, and downy mildew.

Rose Propagation

  • Root softwood cuttings from first flush of bloom to summer.
  • Root hardwood cuttings in autumn.
  • Sow seed in containers in autumn.

Rose by Broad Classification and Groups

  • Old garden roses include the following groups: Alba, Bourbon, Boursault, Centifolia, China, Damask, Eglanteria, Gallica, Hybrid Perpetual, Hybrid Semperviruens, Hybrid Spinosissima, Moss, Noisette, Portland, and Tea and Climbing Tea.
  • Modern roses include the following groups: Climber, Floribunda, Groundcover, Hybrid Rugosa, Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora, Miniature and Mini-Flora, Climbing Miniature, Polyantha, Rambler, and Shrub.

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