Growing Roses - Step by Step to a Rose Paradise

Growing Roses

Climbers, Ramblers or Miniatures, Bare Roots or Containers, Shrubs or Groundcovers and what is a Florib..unda?

Overwhelmed by so many rose varieties available? Don't worry, and follow one rule: “Keep it simple!”

If you seriously want to start with rose gardening, take your time and visit neighbors with rose gardens; what do they grow? Go to garden centers, browse catalogs and the Web.

Contact the American Rose Society, to find a local Rose society in your area. They will help you with your questions.

Where To Start - Growing Roses Basics

In case you already know which variety you want to grow, visit my favorite online-nursery to buy rose plants.

For newbies, I recommend to browse through my website, to get an idea where to start with growing roses.

Guide through Growing Roses


Selecting, Buying and Growing Roses

Selecting Roses

Choosing roses, the hours of hitting catalogs, internalizing all the information, the idea how your garden will turn in to a rose paradise…it is really fun.

No matter what your final choice will be:

Buying roses is much easier if you stick to your own guidelines from the beginning. Think about what you want and what conditions roses need to grow effortlessly.

Would a Climber be perfect for your pergola, a Miniature Rose for that cool terracotta pot, or do you need a colorful privacy shield?

I always walk through the garden, armed with a drawing pad and jot down what I would like to have and where I want it.

Based on my notes, which includes favored color, maximum plant height, number of plants and the type of rose, I can draw up a preselection.

Further considerations for picking roses...

  • The types of roses: They vary from low growing Miniature roses and Groundcovers to Climbers and Ramblers, growing to a height of 20 feet and more
  • Once or repeat flowering: for easy-care roses, the better pick are once-blooming varieties. I know the blooming period is shorter than with modern roses, but their powerful scent and an abundance of blooms will quickly compensate that
  • The color of roses: an extensive range of colors are available, choose wisely to make your garden outstanding

Buying Roses

Roses are sold either container grown or as bare-root plants.

Buy them…

  • At a nursery: you can buy container roses or preorder bare-root roses. Mostly you can look around in attached rose gardens. The advantage: You see what you get
  • Online: Specialist online nurseries offer excellent quality paired with a broad range of flowers to choose from. The plants arrive in good condition as they are freshly lifted and have not spent weeks in a shop or garden center

Identify Good Quality 

Nowadays, many flower vendors, such as garden centers or home improvement centers are not prepared to sell bare root roses, they offer container plants and bagged roses instead.

Potted roses are a good choice, as long as they have good quality.

By the way, I would not buy bagged roses, they are sprayed with paraffin and are mostly poor performers.

Particular quality criteria do apply to all rose varieties, but always do expect first-quality goods for your money. Only healthy and fully matured plants will grow properly and lead to rose gardening success.

Watch out for a good root penetration of container roses:

The plant's bales must not crumble to pieces while extracting them from the plastic pots. The minimum volume size of containers should be 2 liters; quality goods come with 3 liters.

Quality Criteria

Quality roses can be rated by the condition of their bark.

Proper goods provide smooth, solid unbruised stems.

The canes should come in light-green color.

Wizened bark could be an indication for a dry-damage. Spots on the bark may show frost damage.

Quality Class

Grafted roses can be bought in various quality categories, I will call them A and B:

Quality Class A will come with highly branched roots and a minimum of three strong canes and a well-developed root system

Quality Class B with a minimum of two canes

Nevertheless, B-roses are not of poor quality; they simply need more time to grow.

Where To Go Next

Rose Growing Basics

Growing Different Types Of Roses

Solo Build It!

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