How to Care for Rose Bushes in 5 Easy Steps

how to care for rosesThere's more to our off the grid homesteading life than just chickens and our garden. Landscaping our own slice of heaven was a big draw for us, as well as putting in retaining walls, planting beds and devising secret gardens for the kids was important. Floral color brings a sense of freshness and liveness to the homestead, so we plant and learn what we can. Today, we're going to talk about how to care for roses bushes.

My grandfather was a rose gardener, and I remember visiting him and grandma in Marion, Arkansas as a kid during the summer and having a whole new world to explore. Next to the house were his roses, neatly lined up and cared for as if they were more of his grandkids. He taught me how to care for rose bushes, as much as he could with someone my age, and my love of gardening stemmed from that time with him.

How to Care for Roses

how to care for roses
Step 1: Purchase Locally. Roses bushes come in either a bare root or potted variety. Bare root is a dormant bush with no soil around the roots while potted is a growing bush in a container of soil. Inspect either variety for damage and signs of life, including firm and pliable bark as well as buds. A bare root bush should have a few buds that are swelling and a potted bush should have healthy leaves.

Though a potted rosebush will provide quicker results for the homesteading gardener, the bare root bushes are less expensive. Knowing how to care for roses begins with choosing the variety that's right for you.

Step 2: Size and Bloom time. Select the right size rose bush for the space you plan on homing it. Select from either mini rose bushes that will reach a mature size of 2 feet, to climbing rose varieties that can reach up to 15 feet in length.

There are floribunda, grandiflora, shrub roses, single and double blooms. Read all of your labels to determine the right size and type for your garden space.

How to Plant a Rose Bush

how to plant a rose bushStep 3: Planting. Knowing how to plant a rose bush starts with knowing your growing zone and season. Plant in early spring after all danger of late frost is past. Select a location that receives at least 6 hours of daily sunlight and has well draining soil.

Dig a hole that is twice the size and depth of the roots. Create a 50/50 mixture of compost and gardening soil, then back-fill the hole halfway. Plant the potted bush at the same depth as it was in the pot.

Create a cone-shaped mound of soil in the center of the planting hole for a bare root blush. Spread roots gently down the cone before back-filling the planting hole. Firm the soil around the newly planted rose bushes, water well and add 2 inches of organic mulch to help retain soil moisture.

How to Care for Rose Bushes

how to care for rose bushesStep 4: Food and Water. During the growing season, roses need a deep watering (1-2 inches) each week. Newly planted roses should not be fed for the first month to give the roots time to become established. After that, feed your roses monthly. Established rose bushes need to be fed in the early spring when buds first begin to swell.

Step 5: Pruning. Remove all fading blooms with a pair of sharp garden shears. Prune off any dead or diseased canes as needed. Pruning stimulates new bush growth and rose production. Feed bush immediately after pruning.

We love sharing our homesteading and off the grid life with you all, and truly enjoy hearing from you. Did you already know how to care for rose bushes? Do you have any tips on how to care for roses or how to plant a rose bush? Let us know by joining the conversation below, and don't forget to subscribe for daily homesteading goodness!


Great info - thanks for sharing. I've pinned for future reference.
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Carol- Great to connect with you! I hope you can get some use out of this info on roses. They can be peculiar plants and the more we observe them grow, the more we learn. Cheers!
Reidland Family said…
My roses have been a bit neglected the last couple of years. I need to do better so thank you for this post.
WT Abernathy said…
Cheers for stepping in, by the way. Roses are definitely worth the extra care and attention. The colors are so sharp tat they sometimes are overwhelming-
Chickenruby said…
Rose bushes don't do very well in Dubai, all the effort goes into growing the plant and they rarely flower. I've discovered that putting cut roses in boiling water for 30 seconds prior to arranging helps them live longer #goinggreen
WT Abernathy said…
Hi! What is it you think that doesn't allow them to bloom? Is this the case with exterior bushes, or would interior plants fail to blossom as well?

Thanks for the tip on the boiling water- I'll have try that:)

Leta said…
Great tips, thank you. Have pinned. #GoingGreenLinky
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Leta!
Thank you for the pin, and I hope this was very helpful for you:)
Marla said…
Hi Leta,
I glad I clicked on this post from #GoingGreen Linky because I need help with my roses and this has given me a lot of good information. Sharing on social media.
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Marla- great to connect with you! I'm happy that the roses article was something you were looking for- thanks for sharing it on social media. It's greatly appreciated!
Since so many bought cut flowers are grown with high pesticide inputs and often flown half way round the world from field to shop AND are sold in plastic wrapping, in my book growing your own is always the way to go. I am sure I heard somewhere that banana skins are good for roses - I need to go and check! Thank you for adding this post to the #GoingGreen linky
WT Abernathy said…
I know, right? We've firm believers in buying local and organic, including our ornamentals when ever possible.
I'll have to look up the banana peel additive ass well- lord knows we have enough of those with three kids in the house:)
Cheers for stopping by!