Rose Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Rose Gardening:

red rose on rose questions

If you grow roses, you have rose questions!

This is a list of frequently asked questions about gardening with roses.They are some of the most common questions that a gardener might ask about growing roses and rose gardening in general.

If you are having a problem with your rose bushes not performing as you would like, or questions about gardening with roses organically, or other general questions; scroll down the just might find your rose question... and the answer!

Roses can be fickle garden plants, but given what they need, you can grow them organically as I do with good results.

Many of the answers to your questions can be found throughout this site, so just in case you don’t find what you are looking for on (this) page, try the search below;

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Along with the answers, you’ll also find links to more pages about the particular topic, if it's been covered on the site.

Most Popular Rose Questions 

How do I choose roses for my garden?

If you want to succeed in rose gardening, it is crucial that you choose only roses that are hardy to your planting zone. This zone tells you which roses will likely do well in the climate you are going to plant and grow them in.

Research the particular rose you are thinking of getting to be sure it is what you want. Check its size, color, fragrance, and blooming habits.

Where can I buy roses?

You can order them right on-line and have them shipped right to your door at the proper planning time!

I am an affiliate of Direct Gardening, and highly recommend them to you.

Check out the beautiful roses they have to offer! (At such great prices)

You'll find a rose for any spot in your garden!

Click on the picture to learn more or buy.

When do you Fertilize roses?

Roses are heavy feeders, and although they will actually still produce flowers with no fertilizer, you’ll be amazed at what they can do when you fertilize them! I encourage organic fertilizer on this site, I don’t believe in harmful chemicals. If you also grow your rose garden organically, you’ll find lots of information about fertilizing your roses here.

Tip: never fertilize when you first plant your rose!

Is Epsom Salt Beneficial to Rose Plants?

Epsom salt is good for your rose bushes (in moderation) It stimulates the feeder roots, allowing them to absorb fertilizer. You’ll notice the leaves greening up nicely when you use it.

Caution; Don’t over do it; One tablespoon sprinkled around each bush is enough.

Are there any benefits to using Alfalfa pellets?

Alfalfa contains nitrogen, which helps the roses to take up fertilizer. It works best sprinkled around the bush. (Pull back the mulch, and sprinkle around the base of the bush.) Caution: Don’t let it touch the canes, because it can burn them!

Order some (easy to apply) at top right of this page...

Why does my climbing rose only flower at the top?

Climbing roses need to have their canes bent a bit horizontally to produce more flowers. By pulling the canes over the bush sends out lots of flowering buds. Get your rose questions about climbing roses answered here.....

What does Dead Heading mean?

Dead heading is the cutting off of the flowers once they have begun to go by. By cutting off the dead flowers, you will encourage the bush to produce more flowers. It is important though, ( where) you make the cut.

You should cut the flower after a set of five leaflets, on an angle. If you cut at a shorter spot, the growing stem will be thin and spindly. See exactly where and how to deadhead here......

How do you get rid of aphids?

Aphids are tiny little sap-sucking insects that cluster on leaves, stems and flowers and stunt and distort the growth of the plant. Spray them off with a spray of water. Release  some natural predators  into your garden, as your first line of defense. Read more about Aphids .....

The leaves on my rose bush turn yellow, and have black spots on them, eventually falling off. What is this, and what can I do?

(This is probably number one when it comes to rose questions)

(Black Spot) is a common fungal disease, that is highly contagious to other rose plants. Water the plants from above, because wetting the leaves encourage the fungus. Be sure the plants are spaced so that they get plenty of air circulation, and most important.. Buy rose plants that are resistant to this disease 'Black Spot'. More about it here........

Rose questions on Organic Gardening?

My rose leaves have circular holes in them like something with a round mouth took a bite out of them. What is this?

Leaf-Cutting Bees cut neat, semi-circular or circular holes in the leaf margins. The bees use these pieces of leaves in constructing nests for their young.  Although this can be a bit of a nuisance, the damage will not hurt the health of established plants. Bees are beneficial pollinators, and good for your garden!

The tops of my rose leaves turn a yellow-orange color, while the undersides have orange spots, how can I prevent this?

Rust on Roses  appears in early Summer  through the season. The spores that can over-winter are produced in later summer. They are spread by splashing  water, and need damp humid conditions to thrive.  Help to prevent rust by; Not planting the bushes to close. Don’t water from above. Spray with Neem oil if needed. Learn more....

How important is it to apply Mulch?

Organic mulch is very important to your rose bushes! It helps to keep the soil healthy, improves aeration, and drainage. It also helps to retain moisture and nutrients that the plants can use. It keeps the soil cooler, and helps to prevent weeds, and a whole lot more! Learn which are the best (and) worst mulches..

More common rose questions...

How Much Water do My Roses Need?

Good question! Water is so... important to the health of your rose bushes! They should get at least one inch per week (one gallon). Roses like lots of deep watering,  but (not soggy roots). Shallow watering is not good: It causes the roots to grow up toward the surface searching for water, becoming vulnerable to the damage heat and drought can cause. 

Potted roses, and those in hanging baskets need careful attention to watering. (Possibly daily)

Why isn’t my rose fragrant?

Not all roses are fragrant.  While some have very strong scent, some have little or no fragrance at all. This is where you need to do your research before buying a rose.  My rose search page will be helpful in identifying the fragrance of each rose. You might also be interested in learning more about rose fragrance, and how it differs.

How do I prune my roses?

(Number Two in Rose Questions!)

To a beginning gardener, pruning the roses can be very intimidating!

Seasoned rose growers know that pruning is very good for your plants, and once you get the hang of it, it's really not that bad!

Once you realize why you're doing it, it becomes a more manageable task. Roses are very forgiving, so just like a bad haircut, take heart, they will grow back better than ever!

The main time for pruning is in the Spring. You prune to remove dead or diseased canes, open up the canes to allow for better air circulation. Warmer climates need to prune more to keep the size of the bush under control.  Once blooming roses should only be pruned immediately after flowering, because that’s when they form the flowers  for next year.  Learn more about when and how to prune roses....

Can I plant my roses in pots?

Yes, and no! The right rose does extremely well in a pot, (these are smaller roses that are recommended for such), especially certain miniatures. Larger garden roses do not fair as well. Discover which ones are suited for containers, and how to plant them.....

Could you recommend roses that are very fragrant, hardy to Zone 3 or 4, have good repeat bloom, and are resistant to both blackspot powdery mildew?

Hybrid Rugosa roses are some of the winter hardiest roses to grow. They are generally not bothered by rose diseases. Most have very fragrant blooms, and are continual bloomers.

Buck Roses are very winter hardy roses, bred to survive winter temperatures of -26 degrees without protection.

I Want to Grow Clematis with my Climbing roses what’s the best color?

Clematis are beautiful grown with climbing roses! The color depends on what color the roses are. Contrasting colors are best, so they will be noticed. It’s also important to grow ones that will bloom at the same time as the rose.  Find some nice rose companions on this page about Clematis.

I love to cut roses, which varieties are best for cutting for the vase?

The first choice is Hybrid Teas, these are the ones you get when you buy (or receive) them from the florist. Unfortunately, they are not winter hardy in many climate zones, so they are not worth trying to grow them unless you live in the right zone. Check your zone here.

Many of the Old Garden, and Floribunda roses make nice cut flowers also. See my list of favorites on this page.

This list was compiled from the most frequent list of rose questions. I am sure you have others. You will gain experience by simply tending to your rose bushes. When in doubt of what to do, take advantage of seasoned gardening friends who will become a good source of information. (And keep reading this site!)

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Growing Roses for Beginners

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Beneficial Garden Insects

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Not sure which ones to buy or what color?

Check out your planting zone, then order a complete collection in different colors for a beautiful rose garden this year, and many years to come!

Be sure to read other important pages for guidance:

Planting zones

Choosing roses

Soil for roses

Planting roses

Care of Roses

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