Classically beautiful and undeniably romantic, roses bring a great touch of color, whimsy, and elegance anywhere you plant them. Caring properly for your rose plant will ensure that they continue to thrive for many years, and we’re here to provide all the information you need to choose, grow, and tend to your rose bushes.
Keep reading to learn all about Rose Bushes!
Why Grow Rose Bushes?
Rose bushes are a great option for landscaping and gardening. They bring a gorgeous, fragrant element wherever they grow, with a captivating elegance that immediately enhances the beauty and allure of whatever area you choose to plant them in.
But roses are great for more than just their visual and scented appeal! They are also a fantastic pick for growing around garden beds and landscapes because they attract pollinators such as bees. Plus, since they can be drought-resistant, they’re a real asset throughout the summer months, too.
They can also be used in practical ways, such as in floral arrangements, bouquets, décor, and even in certain food dishes and beverages!
Rose bushes also make a great learning plant for younger or first-time gardeners, since they thrive very well with minimal care. This can help build confidence in rookie gardeners, who will see a great reward for a smaller amount of effort, and be encouraged to continue exploring their gardening options.
All in all, growing rose bushes is a fun and rewarding process with very few downsides.
Planting Rose Bushes
There are several different methods for planting rose bushes, and we’re here to help you determine which is the best for your particular situation.
There are a few overall important things to know about planting rose bushes, which you can learn about on our easy seven-step planting guide!
While you’re at it, learn about Companion Plants For Roses so that they never get lonely!
You may also want to learn the details about different methods of planting rose bushes, two of which are very popular with rose gardeners: planting bare root roses, and transplanting rose bushes.
Planting bare root roses means planting a dormant rose bush with its roots exposed and only a few canes sprouted on top. This will allow you to plant your rose bushes in the fall or even early on in the winter, rather than waiting for spring.
When transplanting rose bushes, you take young rose bushes or small seedlings and plant them in the ground once the final threat of frost has passed. This is often the more familiar method of planting rose bushes.
Though it’s probably not the most popular method of growing rose bushes, it might be one of the most ancient. Learn how to grow roses from seeds: the old fashion way!
Whether you’re starting with dormant rose bushes, transplanting rose bushes, or even starting rose bushes yourself from seed, you’re sure to enjoy your rose bushes for many seasons to come!
Buying Rose Bushes and Seeds
Whether you’re shopping on the internet or in person, you will quickly find that there are lots of options for buying rose bushes. Of course, you want to make sure you’re choosing from the best of the best!
You can often find rose bushes and rose bush seeds for sale at your local nurseries, farmstands and farmer’s markets, lawn and garden centers, and even at some larger grocery stores! Just be sure to do your research and make sure you’re selecting healthy rose bushes that will thrive once you bring them home.
As mentioned before, there are also many options online. Here are some of my favorites:
Rose Bush Care
How you grow and care for rose bushes depends on the rose variety. Some rose bushes require minimal care, while others will need a bit more tending to ensure they thrive to their very best possible selves!
Our Roses 101 guide will get you off to a great start with directions on everything from selecting the right spot for your rose bushes, to planting, watering, pruning, and so much more.
There is an additional art to growing miniature roses, which can differ slightly from the kind of care you’d provide for standard rose bushes. Check out our post to learn all about it.
Want to be involved in the entire growing process of your roses? Then planting and growing roses from seed is the method for you. Learn all about three different ways to do so in our guide.
Most rose bushes do require a fair amount of water to be at their very best, so how you water your garden, landscape, or flowerbed is a vital part of caring for your rose bushes.
Food & Fertilizer
Contrary to what may be widely understood, plant food and plant fertilizer are actually not the same—and rose bushes require both to truly thrive! Plant food helps feed your rose bushes the nutrients they need to be their best, while fertilizer helps ensure that the soil is at its best to help the plant thrive.
Check out this post if you’d like to learn more about feeding rose bushes, what kind of food rose bushes need, and more.
Take a look at this post for my recommendations on my favorite rose bush fertilizers!
Here are just a couple of the food and fertilizer brands that I prefer:
As much as is possible, you will want to steer clear of synthetics and find organic food and fertilizer for your rose bushes to keep them happy and healthy. It’s also a good idea to buy your food and fertilizer from a trusted, local source!
Trimming Rose Bushes
Trimming your rose bushes is an essential aspect of growing roses. It helps ensure there is no overabundance growth, that the soil is not overly taxed, and that your rose bush can grow in a healthy manner and truly thrive!
Check out this post to familiarize yourself with the tools and methods necessary to ensure a great trimming process every time.
Pruning Rose Bushes
Though they may seem similar, pruning and trimming are not actually the same thing. They cut different parts of the bush, and they are done at different parts of the year, for different purposes.
Pruning roses is also a very important part of a rose bush’s care routine. Learn the 5 steps to doing it right, and keeping your roses in tip-top shape!
Rose Bush Diseases & Pests
Unfortunately, rose bushes are not immune to the diseases and pests that often frequent garden beds. The key to ensuring your rose bushes flourish even with these challenges is to know how to spot, diagnose, and address them quickly and efficiently.
Discover the pests and diseases most likely to strike your roses. As with most things, prevention is the best solution. But if that’s no longer an option, then you’ll want to know how to rescue your garden.
Caring for roses requires extra caution as you navigate their thorns, so you want to be mindful of the gardening clothes you’re wearing!
Check out my guide to learn about the attire that will simplify the shopping process and ensure your safety when working in the rose garden.
Rose Bush Varieties
There are a lot of different rose bush varieties, and within those categories, you’ll find even more variance! This can make it difficult to know which to choose for your rose bush gardening needs. Here are 5 of the most popular varieties of rose bushes to help you narrow down your picks for your home and garden:
In many ways the most popular rose variety, climbing roses are the sort you see winding up trellises and stretching across garden walls, arbors, and even up the sides of houses. These make a great, natural decoration and are extremely popular with many gardeners and landscapers.
One of the most popular climbing rose variety is the Joseph’s Coat Rose. Its flowers bloom spring all the way through autumn in deep, warm tones reminiscent of a summer sunset.
Climbing roses are going to need a trellis to help them train in the right direction. Check out The Best Rose Trellises for Your Garden to pick the best one for you.
Classically beautiful in a romantic sort of way, English Roses are hardy and vigorous shrubs that have risen in popularity among gardeners and landscapers over the years. These make excellent cut roses and are also extremely fragrant.
Among English Roses, the vintage beauty of the Jude the Obscure Rose cannot be overlooked! This blushing apricot bloom offers a fragrance and visual beauty that makes it a classic example of English Roses everywhere.
To the modern Western world, Grandiflora Roses are often what we think of when we think of roses overall. Coming in a plethora of colors and available just about anywhere flowers are sold, grandiflora roses make a fantastic gift in the form of a bouquet, corsage, wreath, arrangement…or even just a single rose offered to a loved one!
Coming in at upwards of ten feet in height, a standout Grandiflora Rose variety is the Queen Elizabeth Rose. This vibrant beauty is a great example of the fragrant majesty Grandifloras have to offer!
Small but mighty, miniature roses are a popular option among gardeners who would like to plant rose bushes in containers, or even grow them indoors! Disease resistant, extremely hardy, and lacking thorns, miniature roses make a unique and great pick for many folks looking for a beautiful and easy rose variety to grow.
5. Shrub Roses
Particularly popular among landscapers, shrub roses are a notoriously hardy variety that can grow almost anywhere! They also put out a great number of blooms, making them an eye-catching addition to any landscaping array as well as a strong contender for making beautiful hedges.
One of the most stunning varieties of shrub rose bushes is the Midnight Blue Rose—somewhat deceptively named, as this rose is actually purplish black in color. Regardless of its color distinctions, the fact remains that the Midnight Blue Rose is a one of a kind shrub variety.
Want to learn about even more variations of roses within these categories? Start with my Complete Guide to 21 Different Varieties of Roses or check out more of my favorites here:
One of the greatest appeals of roses is their tremendous application for making bouquets, wreaths, and other arrangements for all sorts of special events. If you’re looking to make something special with your roses, check out my rose flower arrangement post for some great ideas!
Rose Bush FAQ
When Should I Plant My Roses?
If you are working with a rose bush transplant, you will want to plant it in the spring, after the last threat of frost. If you are working with a bare root rose bush, you will want to plant it about six weeks before the first average frost, so that the roots have time to establish themselves before the plant goes dormant for the winter season.
For more detailed information, refer to our rose bush planting section page above!
Are Climbing Roses Hard to Train?
With the proper knowledge—no, not at all! Training climbing roses simply requires technique and the proper tools, which you can learn about in my post on How to Train Climbing Roses.
Can roses really thrive in containers?
Absolutely! Even if you’re living in an apartment or have limited gardening space, you can easily enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your own rose bushes by potting them indoors.
Small floribunda varieties and miniature rose varieties will certainly do the best containers, but you can also try hybrid tea varieties.
What’s considered the “best” rose?
Each year a rose is voted Most Outstanding Rose by the American Rose Society. In 2021, ‘Sweet Spirit’ was selected as the winner of the ARC Gold Medal for Most Outstanding Rose at the American Rose Center. It’s a Grandiflora with deep pink petals and a heavy damask fragrance described as being sweet and fruity.
To find roses that have won past awards, visit the American Rose Society’s webpage.
What are the best-smelling roses?
In general, the best-smelling roses are the English roses or Old Roses. These roses are known for their damask, myrrh, or “classic rose” fragrance.
What are the best companion plants for roses?
Roses, while beautiful on their own, can look even better when planted with companion plants such as lavender, foxglove, alyssum, and even Shasta daisies. Culinary herbs like parsley, chives, sage, and garlic can also be planted alongside roses.
Are there roses without thorns?
There are more than a dozen varieties of roses that are thornless with blooms in nearly every color you can think of. There are even more “nearly thornless” varieties where thorns only appear on the old growth of canes, not on any new growth.
What’s the easiest kind of rose to grow?
In 2020 the ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ English shrub rose was voted the easiest rose to grow.
In general, shrub roses are the easiest roses to grow, as opposed to fussier Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras. Because they’re drought-tolerant and withstand a wide range of growing conditions, shrub roses are often used in professional landscaping, which is why they’re also called landscaping roses.
Within the shrub rose family, KnockOut Roses and Drift Roses are the top picks by gardeners because of their disease resistance.
How long will my rose shrub live?
If it stays healthy, a rose could live up to 100 years. Most roses won’t live that long because of disease, fertilizing schedules that create a toxic growing environment, or growers become dissatisfied with the way older roses look (spreading crowns, for example) and replace them with new shrubs.
The oldest rose shrub in the world is a Wild Dog rose that grows against the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany. There are records from 815 AD that mention that rose, which means the rose is now more than 1,000 years old! The rose is named Tausendjähriger Rosenstock which translates to “thousand-year-old rosebush” in German.
What’s the biggest rose in the world?
A white Lady Banksia rose in Tombstone, Arizona holds the current world record for being the largest rose. It covers more than 9,000 square feet and it’s held up by a trellis system that spreads the canes horizontally. The house where it’s growing is a museum open to the public.
Become a Rose Gardener!
Growing and caring for rose bushes is a nuanced craft that can sustain the souls of gardeners both new and veteran! One of the beautiful things about rose bushes is that they can truly thrive just about anywhere.
If you’ve enjoyed this content, make sure to bookmark this page and check back often throughout your rose gardening adventure!
In the meantime, learn all about more of nature’s beautiful plants: