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  • Writer's pictureKassi Kuppinger

A Beginner's Guide to Planting a Rose Garden

Roses truly are some of the most beautiful perennial flowers with their large and often aromatic blooms that are bold enough to stop anyone in their tracks. At Bath Garden Center and Nursery, we carry hundreds (literally) of different varieties of roses in every color, shape, and size, and their arrival is always a most anticipated event! If you are counting down the days until you can come pick out your favorite rose varieties to add to your landscaping, or if you are wondering how to start a rose garden, here is a guide with everything you will need to know to make sure your new roses thrive in their new home for years to come.

How Much Space Do Roses Need to Grow | How Much Sun Do Roses Need | What Kind of Soil Do Roses Need | Different Types of Roses | Preparation and Planting | How to Care for Your Roses | How to Water Rose Bushes | How to Prune a Rose | Rose Pruning Tutorial Video | Fertilizing Your Roses | Protect Your Roses Throughout the Winter | Rose Care Tutorial Video

Planting a Rose Garden

Rose Planting Guidelines

The first and most important thing to do when considering buying a rose bush is to make sure that the location you have in mind for planting is ideal. Planting a rose in a less than ideal location will result in an unhappy plant, and a plant that is not happy will not grow big or produce an abundance of flowers. Worst case scenario, your rose may die off if left in a location that is not ideal. So, to make sure your rose bush has the highest chance of success, consider the following environmental factors!

1.Consider Your Space

Roses require adequate space to grow. A rose bush that is planted too close to another rose or a building will lead to growth issues and can introduce more opportunities for disease. Depending on the mature size of your rose bush, you will want to plant them approximately 2/3 of the expected height of the plant apart, or around 20-30 inches apart depending on mature size. If you are planting a rose near a structure, allowing for a foot of space between the rose and the structure will give the roots enough room to grow while also allowing the rest of the plant the space it needs. Planting a rose a foot away from any building or structure also gives you more room to work when pruning or spraying your rose bushes.

2. Make Sure They’ll Get Enough Sun

Most roses generally need four hours of direct sunlight at the very minimum. While select varieties may be able to grow well in more shaded conditions, always make sure to know the needs of the rose before you buy! Sunlight is a plant’s main source of energy, and if it is not getting enough sunlight, there is no amount of watering or fertilizing that will make up for it!

3. What Kind of Soil Do Roses Prefer?

Planting your rose in healthy soil is also key to the success of the plant. Especially here in Colorado, our soil is naturally very clay-heavy. Such soil does not contain a lot of essential nutrients, does not drain well, and is very dense and compact, making it difficult for the roots of your plant to spread and establish themselves. Healthy soil is light and fluffy, drains well while also holding onto some moisture, and is full of nutrients and rich in organic materials. If you are not sure how to tell if you have healthy soil, check out this blog for more insight!

How to Choose Roses & Prepare Your Garden

Choose Roses & Prepare Your Garden

Now that you know what sort of environment your roses will need to thrive, it’s time to do some research! Picking out your roses is the most fun part. Planning things out and anticipating the beauty you will get to enjoy is exhilarating!

What Kind of Rose is Right for You?

The main different rose varieties we sell at Bath Garden Center and Nursery in Fort Collins include climbing roses, hybrid tea roses, grandiflora roses, floribunda roses, miniature roses, shrubs roses, and groundcover roses.

  • Climbing Roses: This category of rose is more a description than it is an actual variety. There are many different kinds of grandiflora or floribunda roses that are considered climbing roses. Such roses grow long canes that, when trained and provided with the proper support, can reach great heights and create a marvelous spectacle.

  • Hybrid Tea Roses: These are some of the most popular roses on the market with their large and ornate blooms which don anywhere from 30-50 petals. Many of these roses are hybrid varieties that have been bred to combine the best features of certain roses. They often also have a lovely and sweet tea fragrance to them.

  • Grandiflora Roses: These roses are technically a subclass of hybrid tea roses that have floribunda features. They feature elegant and showy blooms that grow in clusters of three to five blooms. These roses generally grow larger and taller than hybrid teas, are quite hardy, and can grow vigorously in the right conditions.

  • Floribunda Roses: These are another favorite among many, featuring large clusters of flowers that bloom continuously, giving you more color to enjoy for longer, as compared with grandifloras or hybrid teas that really only have a 6-7 week blooming cycle. Another perk of this type of rose is that they are quite low-maintenance and easy to care for.

  • Miniature Roses: Also referred to as patio roses, they have a much more compact growth habit, staying within 15-30 inches. They feature smaller foliate with petite blooms that will charm any passersby. Miniature roses are actually a type of hybrid tea or grandiflora rose.

  • Shrubs Roses: In general, shrub roses tend to grow large and wide and are capable of consuming fifteen feet in every direction once they reach maturity. They are very hardy and are able to withstand harsh winters. These roses also feature beautiful blooms that appear in large clusters.

  • Groundcover Roses: Also called landscape roses, these often exhibit vibrant color, continuous blooms, convenient growth, lovely fragrance, and are low-maintenance as well. They stay low to the ground, only reaching around a foot in height, and are also resistant to both diseases and pests, making them ideal for most situations.

Prepare Your Garden and Plant Your Roses

Prepare Your Garden and Plant Your Roses

Once you have picked out a variety of rose that is best suited to your location, environment, and aesthetic desires, dig a hole that is approximately three times the size of the container. Most of the roses we sell here at Bath Garden Center come in 3-gallon containers, so in this case, you would want to dig a hole that could hold approximately 9 gallons. Remove your rose from its container and gently loosen the roots up a bit so that they are not tightly bound together. This will help encourage the roots to start working their way into the soil they are planted in. Place your rose in the hole and fill in the space around the root ball of your rose with an organic soil and compost combination (you should also put a layer of soil/compost at the bottom of your hole before positioning your rose). You can also add in some manure or earthworm castings for some extra nutrition! Pack the soil and compost mixture in around the base of your plant so that it is secure in its position. You can also add a layer of mulch on top of your soil when you have finished planting. This will help support your plant as well as help the soil retain moisture on hot and dry days. For more details on planting guidelines, check out this blog!

Once your rose is planted, soak the area with water. It is best to water with a slow and consistent trickle of water for a couple of hours rather than allowing your hose to gush for ten minutes. Watering slowly for a longer period of time allows the water to soak deep into the soil and saturate the area around your plant while watering quickly for a short period of time simply causes the water to spread out over the surface of the soil and then only soaks in an inch or two. You will want to give your newly planted rose thorough and frequent waterings especially within the first year after planting, as this is necessary to help the rose establish itself.

Caring for Roses