Rose Planting Care Guide

Depending on the time of year, we supply our roses as either as ‘bare root’ or ‘potted’. This rose planting care guide will help you with either form.

A collection of pink roses in green foliage.
Pink roses in a greenery

Rose bushes often have a bad reputation for being difficult to grow. Over the last couple of decades however, there have been many breeding advances which have greatly improved performance. We have proven-varieties that are guaranteed to perform well in your garden. They have a high resistance to common diseases, but most of all have brilliant flowering displays and produce superb fragrances.

We sell a wide range of rose bushes, including bush-roses, climbers, ground-cover roses, and standard roses. There is a wide variety of colours, scents and other characteristics – full details on each relevant product page. Our roses are supplied either in pots, or as trimmed and dormant bare-root bushes that are ready for planting.

When planting, use our Rose & Shrub Feed instead of Fish Blood & Bone. Plant your roses about 1-1.2m (3-4ft) apart, although they can be pruned to size quite easily. You should prune roses annually in early spring, before the new growth starts. Remove old and thin stems, cutting them down by about 60%, using good quality secateurs.

Bare Root Roses

How your bare root rose plant will arrive

Depending on the time of year, our roses will either be supplied as ‘bare root’ or ‘potted’. Bare roots are dormant with no leaves and the roots are out of the soil.

On receipt, soak the roots in water for at least two hours (overnight is better). If you can’t plant straight away they should be fine for up to 2 weeks if left in a cool, dark, frost-free place – keep the bag around the roots with some water inside.

To plant:

Select an appropriate spot with enough space to allow your roses to grow.

Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, forking over the bottom to loosen the soil.

Add some good quality fertiliser and plant at the same depth as the soil mark. If the tree has been grafted, make sure the graft point (‘knuckle’ at the bottom) is 10cm above soil level.

Holding the tree, backfill the hole with soil slowly so it falls back around the roots.

If you’re planting into pots, place some old rocks, stones or gravel in the bottom for drainage and ballast. Use a good quality compost and fertiliser, and water at least once a week.

Potted Roses

During the summer, we’ll supply roses already potted up into protective nursery pots with fresh growth beginning to appear.

These plants are more established and can be planted all-year-round but if you can’t plant them straight away they can be left in their nursery pots for as long as you need. You’re fine to keep them outside as long as they’re well-watered and kept frost free.

How your potted rose plant will arrive

Plant potted roses the same way you would a bare root, but just dig a hole to fit the pot. Break up the soil at the base, this will allow the roots to grow deep into the hole. Before planting, water the plant well, then gently pop the plant out of its nursery pot. Loosen the soil around the roots with your fingers then place into your hole. Lightly firm the soil around your rose and water in well.

To plant into a pot or container, follow the same steps as before. Use a container big enough to allow your rose to grow. Deadhead regularly during the summer months to encourage more flowers and growth. Water you roses at least once a week, especially in warmer weather.

Climbing Roses

Pale pink climbing rose plant

There’s nothing like the sight and scent of traditional English climbing roses dripping from an archway or pergola, flowering month after month after month…Not only do climbing roses boast strong flower power, but their scent is to die for on a warm summers eve when it wafts through the breeze. Perfect for covering up unsightly walls or fences, they are the quintessential cottage-garden climber and can quite easily be trained to scramble up to 2m tall up structures and frames and the sheer variety of flower colour, shape and size gives you plenty of choice.

Standard Roses

A standard rose tree with pink roses

A rather modern take on the traditional English rose, Standard Roses form a lollipop shape with a ball of flowers and foliage sat on top of a long bare stem – a process of ‘top-grafting’ the flowering variety on to the straight stem of the rootstock. Combining the beauty of an English rose with the contemporary look and feel of standard trees, they are perfect planted up in swanky pots and placed either side of doorways, gateways and entrances, or lining pathways to create a real grand entrance. Producing summer-long displays of highly fragrant blooms for decades to come, they are the perfect way to add height and elegance to your garden.

Shrub Roses

Rose shrub with yellow and pink roses

Perfect for filling up gaps in beds and borders, or for spilling over the edges of large patio containers, bush and shrub roses are totally winter hardy and grow to a compact size of around 60-90cm making them easily manageable. Repeat flowering from May to October each year, they are incredibly easy to grow and will provide a mass of flowers in varying shapes and sizes against bushy, glossy green foliage. The pure mass of flowers and dense foliage makes them ideal for use as small hedges or screening and, as with lots of other roses, they can be cut to bring inside and create stunning displays in vases on the windowsill.

Groundcover Roses

Dark pink groundcover roses

Groundcover varieties stand out for their sheer mass of blousy blooms that spread to cover the ground and create a carpet of colour. Our aptly named ‘FlowerCarpet’ roses produce wave upon wave of flowers whilst remaining compact, ideal for low borders or large patio containers. Each rose will spread about 1m wide and 0.5m tall so are great value for money, covering plenty of bare ground with just the one plant. With their high disease resistance, winter hardy nature and delicate scent, ground-cover roses are becoming ever more popular and it’s not surprising when they’re so easy to manage and maintain and yet give such fabulous results all year long and for many more years to come!

Pruning Standard Roses – Peter McDermott shows you how…