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Where, When and How to Plant a Rose Garden

Amber Flush rose - Bagatelle Rose Garden (Pari...

So you’ve always dreamed of having that wonderful rose garden filled with sweetly scented and gorgeously coloured blooms – but not sure where to start?   Here are some basic guidelines to getting started with planting a rose garden.

Hot or Cold – what is your climate?

The first thing to do is to check with your local nursery what types of roses do best in your local climate.  Some roses cannot tolerate cold, but others do quite well. It’s important that you purchase the right variety of rose that will grow well in your particular region.

Next, when you are looking for a spot in your garden to plant your roses, check for someplace that received at least six hours of sunlight a day, preferably morning sun.  Yes, your roses like to sunbathe and planting them in a shady spot won’t do them any favours.

There are more shade tolerant varieties, so if you really can’t offer a sunny spot you need to research those types of roses who can take less sun.  Unfortunately though, these shade tolerant varieties are often more prone to disease.

Soil and Compost: Giving your Roses the best bed

Roses like well-drained soil (in other words, soil that is not too full of clay which retains water).  Whilst roses like to be well watered, they don’t like standing in waterlogged soil afterwards. So don’t plant your roses in spots where water tends to remain after rain or areas which remain marshy hours after rainfall.

Before you plant your roses you should also check what the soil pH balance is.  The best soil will have a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. and you can get special soil testing kits at most garden centers.  You can also get advice on balancing the pH of the soil if it is incorrect from these garden centers. It’s best to get the soil right before you plant your roses.

The final step – planting your roses

Planting is almost always best undertaken in spring if possible.  In that way, you can capitalize on the growth spurt that takes place in spring time.   Dig a large enough hole so that the roots of your rose bush have plenty of space.

A good rule of thumb is to dig a hole that is twice as large as the amount of space that the roses will take up. This makes them easier to plant and the roses will have plenty of space to grow, it also allows good circulation around the roots which is good for preventing fungal diseases.

Add plenty of compost to the hole with lots of organic matter – this will help nourish the roots and aid with drainage. Soak the roots in some water for a few minutes before you plant the bush to ensure the roots are well hydrated. You should also cut off any root ends that are broken.

For the first three to four weeks after planting, the roses will need to be watered often. If the top two inches of soil is dry, you will need to keep it moist to ensure that the roses are receiving plenty of water to remain hydrated. Rose food is also helpful and will ensure that the plants remain healthy. After four weeks, you will want to soak the bed every two weeks. It is best to do this in the mornings for optimum results.

Soon, you will reap the rewards of all this effort as your roses present you with gorgeous blooms.

Kendall Rowsby is an avid gardener and rose enthusiast.  To find out more great tips on rose gardening and planting roses, please visit
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