Five ways to grow better roses

Five ways to grow better roses

Find out how to grow better roses, with the help of our practical tips.

Coaxing roses to produce a spectacular floral display is easy if you follow a few simple rules.


Browse our plant database for over 250 varieties of rose to grow.

With a bit of care and attention, you can encourage your roses to flower all summer long. Support them, feed and water them regularly, remove spent flowers and watch out for signs of pests and diseases.

More on growing roses:

Our five tips, below, will ensure your roses put on a show-stopping display.

With a bit of care and attention, you can encourage your roses to flower all summer long.


Deadhead regularly

Deadheading a rose
Deadheading a rose

Deadhead roses regularly. Healthy stems need only the flower head removing, but weak spindly ones need cutting back hard, to encourage new growth. Prune to where stems are at least pencil thick, even if it means removing almost the entire shoot. While you’re there, cut out any dead, damaged or diseased stems. Watch our video guide to pruning roses.

For help choosing the best pair of secateurs for deadheading see our expert secateurs reviews and our round up of the 10 Best Secateurs 


Feed and mulch

A capful of rose feed ready to be diluted
A capful of rose feed ready to be diluted

Mulch roses in spring and autumn, with well-rotted stable manure, compost or chipped bark, but keep it 10cm clear of your rose’s stems. Feed in spring and again in mid-summer after the first flush of flowers. Use  a feed containing potash and magnesium, for better blooms. Prevent mildew by watering regularly, directing your hose or watering can at the base of the plants, especially right after planting and in dry spells.

Buy well rotted animal manure from Dobies

Buy chipped bark mulch on Amazon


Provide support

Tying in a climbing rose
Tying in a climbing rose

Support old-fashioned shrub roses by placing poles around the plants and tying stems to them. Train climbers and ramblers up pergola poles, vertical pillars or an obelisk. Standard roses also need supporting – replace the original cane with a stronger stake and secure with tree ties.

Buy garden twine and ties from Harrod Horticultural


Control diseases

Black spot on rose leaves
Black spot on rose leaves

Choose disease-resistant rose varieties to avoid black spot, mildew and rust, though in warm and humid summers, even disease-resistant varieties can be affected. Rake up and remove fallen leaves to reduce the risk of reinfection, and use a fungicide if necessary.

Buy rose fungicide from Amazon


Choose the right rose

Flower and buds of rose 'Sophy'
Flower and buds of rose ‘Sophy’

Before being seduced by a pretty picture, consider which rose is best for your garden. Old-fashioned varieties rarely flower all summer long, while modern ones do. Rosa ‘Sophy’, pictured, is a very healthy rose that repeat flowers well.

Pruning tip

Always cut just above a healthy, full-sized leaf. That’s where the hormones concentrate, so the plant is able to produce a new flowering shoot quickly.