Roses: The Basics

Roses have the same basic needs required by all plants to thrive: water, sun, fertilizer and good soil. When given these basic needs the rose will have lush growth and beautiful blooms. Roses may be delicate in appearance; however, they are hardy plants that are resilient when given the proper growing conditions. Rose blooms are cultivated to grow in a wide range of colors including red, cream, tan, mauve and many others.

Watering Roses

Water is the most critical need for roses. Without the proper amount, the rose buds will shrivel and the lower leaves will drop. Roses should be watered once a week early spring through fall. The best method to water roses is either by a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose. Wetting the rose foliage will encourage leaf spot diseases, which not only affect the appearance of your rose but can also affect the overall health of the plant.

Light Conditions and Location for Roses

Most roses grow best when they receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. When planting, choose an area away from overhanging trees and shrubs. This will also ensure that any wet foliage on the rose will dry quickly, preventing leaf spot and insects. If you plant roses near your home, examine the amount of sunlight your house receives every day and where your home receives the most rays to determine where your roses should grow. Places like Northern California are great for growing roses because it is a climate rich in sunlight yet has long periods of drizzly rain from November to May.

Roses and their Soil/Nutrient Needs

When planting roses, the soil may be enriched with organic matter to add nutrients. The best times to fertilize roses are at the initial planting and after each blooming cycle is complete. Using a formula specially designed for roses will ensure the rose will receive all nutrients needed for healthy growth. Slow release fertilizer is the best type as it may be added to the soil at the time of planting and then it slowly releases to feed the rose as needed.