Rose Bush Care
Maintenance of Roses

Rose bush care details the maintenance of outdoor rose plants and makes taking care of rose bushes simple. All about pruning and easy winter care for roses.

A hedge of pink 'Constance Spry' roses in full bloom.

There is no garden plant more glorious than a mature rose bush in full flush. Conversely, there are few garden plants more hideous than an ailing rose bush which has been defoliated by disease or insect pests and will not bloom.

Apart from plant selection, nothing plays a bigger role in keeping roses healthy and blooming than good rose care.

The idea that roses are fussy and difficult to care for is not precisely true. Rose bushes are a unique group of plants with their own individual cultural needs. Once you begin to understand the plants, care for rose bushes becomes simple.

Like me, you may be of the opinion that roses look their best when featured in a mixed planting, but they perform best when segregated in their own beds. This is especially true of Hybrid Teas, the highest maintenance rose class.  You can discover the secrets to raising healthy HT roses, here.

If you decide to mix roses in with other plants, remember to give the roses enough space to keep their companions from invading their root zone.

Floribunda roses tolerate root competition from other plants better than other rose types.

'Iceberg', the World's Best Floribunda

With few exceptions, rose bushes need regular water throughout their lives. Soil nutrients are unavailable to their roots when the soil is dry. Watering Your Roses will tell you how much water to apply.

Fertilizing roses is one of the most important aspects of rose bush care. A remontant rose that is fed regularly will not only bloom much more often but it will be more resistant to disease.

Rose bushes that only bloom once a year do not need to be fed as often as repeat bloomers. Giving such a rose extra fertilizer will not cause it to bloom again. It is genetically programmed to bloom just once per season.

Winter Care For Roses

Pillar roses flank the path through a perennial garden.

Bio Winter Fleece Cover

These Bio Winter Fleece covers make covering rose bushes in winter truly easy and they last for years.

Just slip the cover on and pull the drawstring at the bottom to secure it.

Rose bushes that are fully winter hardy in your planting zone will not require much winter care. Winter rose care becomes more involved when you are growing a rose at the coldest edge of its range.

Use the following winter rose bush care tips to pull your plants through the freezes:

  • If the ground does not freeze where you live (USDA zones 9-11), you do not need to provide any special winter care for your roses.
  • In zone 8 and colder, where the ground does freeze, protect the graft union. Freezing and thawing is not good for this critical part of a rose bush.

    Wait until after the first hard freeze before mounding soil and mulch up over the graft union. Use new soil that you know is disease free. You can use a rose collar to keep the mulch in place. Doing this will also go a long way toward preventing the soil from heaving the rose bush out of the ground as it freezes and thaws.
  • In very windy areas rose canes can dry out. Wrap the exposed canes in burlap tied with rope to prevent this.

The final piece to the rose bush care puzzle is trimming them.

Pruning rose bushes will provide you with easy instructions for pruning Hybrid Tea roses, Floribunda rose bushes, miniature roses or whatever type of rose bush you are growing.

More Rose Gardening Info:

Care of Climbing Roses

Rose Tree Care

Sub-Zero Roses

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Your plant guides,

Selina and Tiny