Rose Care: Back To Basics

Roses are one of America’s favorite flowers. There are wide varieties of types, colors and sizes to choose from. If you’ve ever considered roses, don’t be nervous. With proper care, they can add beauty to your garden for years to come. Here are a few tips to keep your roses blooming and healthy.


Choose Locally-Adapted Varieties

Do some research to make sure you plant the best roses for your area. Not all roses grow well everywhere. In certain areas, some varieties are more susceptible to insects or disease. Others don’t bloom well under particular temperature regimes. Even the color of a rose can be slightly different depending on where it’s grown. Local chapters of the American Rose Society are a good source of rose information. Public rose gardens are also great place to learn exactly how roses grow in your area.


Plant In Full Sun

Most roses need a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Less sun means fewer blooms and more disease problems.


Water And Mulch

In midsummer, most roses do well with one good, deep irrigation per week during dry spells. Newly-planted roses may need more frequent irrigation. In hot summer climates like the desert Southwest, watering twice a week may be necessary. Water early in the morning and try to keep the foliage dry. Drip irrigation is best to water slowly, thoroughly and deeply, without wetting foliage. Mulch with compost, bark chips or other organic matter to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.



Roses are heavy feeders and need regular applications of nitrogen fertilizer to keep blooming. Feed every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.


Prune And Deadhead

Roses need annual pruning during dormancy to keep them healthy and vigorous. To keep roses blooming during the growing season, remove faded flowers (deadheading); cutting stems back at least to the first leaf with five leaflets. Varieties that bloom in clusters, such as floribunda and shrub roses, can be lightly sheared to removed spent blooms. Here are some pruning basics that will help.


Control Insects And Disease

Insects, including adult Japanese Beetles, Aphids and Whiteflies, can be serious pests of roses. Diseases like Black Spot, Powdery Mildew and Rust can be even more troublesome. To control insects, diseases and fertilize at the same time, use BioAdvanced™ All-In-One Rose & Flower Care.*  

One application applied to the roots feeds and protects for up to six weeks.


*Not for sale in NY. Reclassified as restricted use in CT & MD.