Red Rose - Brady Nursery - Wichita, KS
Pink Rose - Brady Nursery - Wichita, KS
Yellow Rose - Brady Nursery - Wichita, KS

Rose Planting and Care Guide

Rose care is easier than you think and the good news is that anyone can grow them successfully! Plant your roses in a sunny location with good drainage. Fertilize them regularly for impressive flowers. Water them evenly to keep the soil moist. Prune established rose bushes in early spring. Watch for diseases like powdery mildew or black spot. Read on for a more detailed guide to planting and caring for roses.

LOCATION – Plant roses where they will receive at least six hours of sun per day. Morning sun is preferable but any sunny spot will do. Good, rich, well-drained soil is essential. Roses do NOT like wet feet.

PLANTING – Dig the hole six inches larger than the container that the rose plant is in. Prepare the hole using three parts compost to two parts topsoil. Mix together in the bottom of the hole and prepare your backfill the same way. Plant the rose so the crown (graft) is level with the ground.

MULCHING – After planting, mulch the entire root spread with two to four inches of organic mulch. This keeps the soil cooler and helps retain moisture during the summer. You can use bark chips, shredded bark, cottonseed hulls, straw, or any other similar organic material.

WATERING – As a general rule, you cannot water roses too much if they are in well-drained soil. If you have heavy clay-type soil, water carefully. Too much water is just as bad as too little water. Probably the best way to water your roses is with a soaker hose. If you do not have one, a slow, steady soaking will do the most good. It is best to water early in the day and to avoid spraying the foliage. If the foliage is allowed to remain wet, the plant will be more susceptible to disease and fungus growth.

FERTILIZING - Brady Nursery recommends fertilizing your roses monthly during the growing season with Fertilome Rose Food or Fertilome Systemic Rose Food. These fertilizers are specially formulated to meet all the nourishment needs of your roses. Begin your fertilization program when the plant leafs out in the spring and continue until around the 15th of August. On a newly planted rose, we recommend waiting one month after planting to begin fertilizing.

DISEASE & PEST CONTROL – The best protection against disease is a strong, healthy plant. The phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is particularly true in the case of roses. A regular spraying or dusting with a good combination insecticide/fungicide should keep your roses disease and insect free. Spray or dust every week to ten days and after every rain. Brady Nursery carries a complete line of rose care products and we’re happy to determine which best suits your needs.

WINTER PROTECTION – Proper winter protection will reward you the following spring with an abundance of beautiful flowers. We recommend mulching your roses three to four inches above the crown late in the fall. Any good organic mulch may be used.

PRUNING – The three main objectives in pruning are shaping the plant, producing better blooms, and removing old, dead, or diseased wood. You should prune your roses in the early spring while the plant is still dormant. Remove all dead wood down to the nearest healthy dormant shoot. Dead wood looks brown and lifeless on the outside and light brown and dry on the inside. Scratch a small section of bark to make sure the cane is dead before removing it. If the cane is light green under the bark it is still alive. After cutting out the dead wood, cut out any diseased or weak, spindly canes down to healthy wood.  Remove branches that are growing horizontally and get rid of the weaker branches that cross one another.  

Remove all suckers. You will find them growing from the roots below the crown. Thin and shape the remaining live wood to get the height and shape you want.  Make all cuts at a 45-degree angle. Throughout the growing season, continue to cut out weak and spindly shoots, suckers, along with obvious signs of disease. Remove old flowers past their peaks by making the cut at a 45-degree angle just above a five-leaflet leaf.

CUT FLOWERS – Now that your roses are healthy and blooming, go ahead and cut a few to enjoy in your home. Select blossoms that are partially opened. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle and place them in warm water as soon as possible. Remove all thorns and foliage that will be underwater before arranging. If these are left, they can promote bacteria growth and shorten the life of the blossoms. Add fresh water daily and your roses will blossom for days to come.