How to Grow Roses

rose bush

CC Flickr photo courtesy of Plutor.

Want to learn how to grow roses? We’re happy to help!

Roses have long been the most famous flower in the world due to its variation in size, color, and fragrance. There are three distinct categories of roses known as species roses, old garden roses, and modern roses. Species roses are usually known as wild roses and have five-petaled flowers with colorful tips. Old garden roses have a fragrance not found in modern roses and are usually white or pastel colored. Modern roses are human created and have vibrant colors that often attract customers to floral shops. Rose stems all have thorns for protection. The size of roses can vary greatly depending on the species; rose vines can climb up to seven feet tall.

Growing Requirements for Roses

The spacing required for planting roses is typically twenty-four inches although that can vary depending on specific types. Roses of all types need a full day of sunlight, good air circulation, and well fertilized soil that drains well. Warm temperatures are optimal as well as clay soils. The planting soil should be at least six inches deep.

Taking Care of Roses

Roses need a lot of water in order to grow effectively. The soil must be soaked down at least six inches; a mere sprinkling of water will not be enough water. Also roses require fertilizers and organic rich soils. Cow fertilizer is usually preferred.

The pruning process of roses is typically involving and severe. When the rose plant is pruned the entire stem must be removed about six to eight inches above the soil. All dead or wilting parts of the plant must be removed as well. After pruning there should be another fertilization treatment to help the plant recover.

Roses are known for their hardiness and cold tolerance, but there are precautions that must be taken in order to ensure the plant survives. Once the first frost hits, dirt should be piled up the stalk about six inches in order to increase the distance the roots reach underground which will help to prevent freezing.

History of Roses

Because roses have long been the most popular flower in the world they have many historical meanings as well. Roses have been and are the symbols of love, passion, beauty, war, and politics. In ancient Egypt the rose was considered the most sacred of flowers.

Beyond their cultural significances, roses are an extremely old breed. The oldest rose fossil was found in Colorado and dates back to more than 35 million years ago.


Roses are affected by a few significant diseases such as rose black spot and rose rust. Many of the diseases that affect roses are fungal and can be fought by growing disease resistant roses and using fungicides.  The aphid is the biggest pest problem facing the rose. The insect sucks out the plant’s sap and ultimately weakens it. Insecticides can be used to treat this problem.

Other Reputable Resources About How to Grow Roses

Additional information concerning roses can be found on the following websites:

Details on all general information can be found at the University of Illinois website.

Propagation details can be found at Plants for a Future.

Texas A&M has an entire microsite about growing roses with terrific information.

Clemson University’s page on growing roses is also outstanding.

If you want to grow roses in containers, check out this page by the Colorado State University.

The Alabama extension service also has a comprehensive page about how to grow roses.

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