There’s nothing quite like a rose. It’s one of our most popular garden plants for good reason – nothing can match the beautiful, often scented flowers.
There are thousands roses to choose from, whatever the size of your garden and your soil type, from climbers and ramblers to shrub roses and even roses for pots on the patio. In addition to beautiful flowers and good disease resistance, scent can be an important factor, too.
Not sure which rose to choose? Browse over 250 roses in our plant database and get inspiration from our feature on 10 beautiful roses to grow.
Whichever rose you go for, good care will go a long way to keeping it healthy, flowering well and lasting for many years. Here’s our advice on caring for a rose.
Choose the right rose for your soil
Roses do best on clay soil, but some, such as Rosa rugosa ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’ (pictured) will cope with sandy soil, too. Discover five roses for all soil types.
Purple-pink rose ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’
There are two ways to plant roses, which are potted or bare-root. Plant bare-root roses when they’re dormant, from November to March – you’ll find the widest (and cheapest) selection of plants this way. Alternatively, you can plant a potted rose in spring and summer. Whichever method you choose, be sure to mulch with well-rotted manure afterwards.
Planting a bare-root rose
Feed, mulch and water
Feed your plant with a general or rose fertiliser every spring and then again in summer, after the first flush of flowers. Mulch in spring, ideally with well-rotted manure, keeping it clear of the stem. This helps to retain soil moisture, adds nutrients and suppresses weeds. Water your rose generously once a week in summer, taking care not to get water on the foliage or flowers.
Shovelling mulch around a rose plant
Deadheading is essential throughout the summer to keep the flowers coming. Watch our video guide to deadheading roses.
Deadheading a rose with secateurs
Prune at the right time
Pruning roses can seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. Rambling roses are pruned in late summer, after they have flowered, while all other types of rose, including climbers, are pruned in late winter. Watch Monty Don pruning a shrub rose and find out how to prune a climbing rose.
Pruning a rose in winter
Watch out for problems
Roses are prone to quite a few problems, including rust and black spot, plus balling after rain. The key to tackling them is to keeping your plant healthy and stay vigilant – the sooner you spot a problem the sooner you can solve it.
Rose leaves marked with black spot disease
Roses can be grown successfully from cuttings and will grow on to make good flowering plants. Choose healthy stems of the current season’s growth and follow our step-by-step advice to be sure of success.
Planting rose cuttings in a deep drill