Skip to main content

Gardening 101: Grow beautiful red roses just in time for Rose Month

It may seem difficult to beginners to grow roses, but they are easier than you might  think. Almost anyone can grow them successfully without too much knowledge. As we celebrate Rose Month 2021 in June, you may be inspired to grow your own rose garden and we don’t blame you. Roses are the classic beautiful flower, representing love, beauty, and opulence. Who wouldn’t want a reminder of those positive things in their backyard?

By following this guide, you will have many roses for years to come.

Several orange miniature roses in a large pot
Totokzww / Shutterstock

Choose how you want to plant them

Most roses are already potted in soil or as dormant bare-root plants. Both types have their pros and cons:

  • Potted in soil: These are the better choice for novice gardeners because most of the work is done for you. They are easy to plant, start growing quickly, and can be found at most local rose nurseries during the growing season, allowing you to plant them when the climate is cool and cloudy.
  • Bare roots: If you are not a beginner, then you may find the greater selection of bare-root plants to be more appealing. They can also be bought online and are usually cheaper than their container counterparts. However, bare-root plants need to have their roots watered and soaked overnight before they are planted and need to be kept moist for a few months once planted.
Red roses in a clear vase, on a light brown table against a white background
Atlas Studio / Shutterstock

Choose your roses

There are, literally, dozens of different classes of roses with hundreds of varieties within those classes. Many beginners make the mistake of filling their garden with every kind of rose imaginable; do not do this! While it may be tempting to bring in many beautiful flowers and colors, you will actually make things worse by giving each plant less space. You will find more satisfaction growing a few beginner-friendly plants than dozens of random choices.

We suggest shrub or landscape roses for lower-maintenance roses.

Plant the proper way

It is imperative that roses are planted properly. Unlike normal flowers that can, for the most part, be planted easily, roses require a little more work.

  • First, the hole needs to be deep enough and wide enough so the roots have enough space to spread out. Mix a large amount of garden compost or other organic matter while refilling the hole once the rose is planted. In mild temperatures, the plant’s crown should be at ground level and, in cold climates, should be 2 to 3 inches above the ground.
  • Fill the hole partially with whatever organic material you choose and a slow-release fertilizer.
  • Before filling the hole, water thoroughly, then finish filling the hole with whatever remaining soil is left.
  • Once filled, water again and then place loose soil around the canes so the rose is protected as it becomes acclimated to the new site.
  • If you have chosen to grow multiple rose bushes, place them 3 feet apart so, you guessed it, the roots have enough space to grow.
A person with green and white gloves sprays a pest control solution from a yellow spray bottle onto some roses
LDprod / Shutterstock

Fertilize and water regularly, wisely, and properly

Just like regular flowers, roses need the proper amount of fertilizer and water. However, it can be tricky deciding when to fertilize and water.


A rose bush needs to be fertilized regularly. We suggest choosing organic fertilizer because it releases the nutrients slowly and steadily. Every month, apply compost, manure, and other organic and natural fertilizers. The most important components for strong plants are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If your fertilizer doesn’t provide these nutrients in abundance then don’t use it.

If you decide to plant bare-rooted plants, then apply a small amount of fertilizer. Don’t overdo it until the roses start to bloom because you may burn the roots.


Like most flowers, the soil should be kept moist but not soaking throughout the growing season. Roses grow best when you provide the equivalent of 1-inch rainfall every week during the growing season. The amount of water also depends on the type of soil; roses growing in sandy soils will need more water compared to those in heavy clay soils. During the watering, avoid wetting the foliage. The best thing to use is either a soaker hose or watering can with a long snout.

Final thoughts

Roses may seem like a tough plant to grow, but they aren’t too tricky once you understand what to do. While they are similar to other flowers, they also need to be planted in a slightly different way for them to grow effectively. Don’t worry; by following this guide, you will have many roses for years to come growing beautifully in your backyard.

Editors' Recommendations

Niko Vercelletto
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Niko Vercelletto lives in Lansing, Michigan. He is passionate about going into depressive spirals thanks to the Detroit Lions…
Looking for a garden planning app? These 8 will simplify your growing season schedule
Apps that will help your vegetable garden thrive
Apps on a phone

With the arrival of the growing season, you may have big plans for your garden in the coming months. However, you may not know how to make your dream home garden a reality. If that's the case, then a garden planning app may be the solution. There are a multitude of apps available covering topics that range from what to plant to how to lay out a garden.

The best part? Many have low upfront costs, while most are outright free. You may encounter a few that require a subscription fee, but we promise that the convenience and help that they provide are worth the cost. With just a swipe on a touchscreen, you can have a garden planning app guide to help beautify and organize your space.

Read more
No more crouching down: How to build a raised garden bed with legs for easy gardening
Building a raised garden bed is easier than you might think
Several raised garden beds with legs, full of soil and small plants

Raised garden beds offer a wide range of benefits to you and your plants, including protection from some pests, easier access, and space conservation. Gardening kits and pre-made beds can be a big help in getting your raised garden bed set up, but if you want a unique shape or size, or just prefer a more hands-on approach to gardening, then you might be interested in learning how to build your own. Here is everything you need to know about how to build a raised garden bed with legs.

What to consider before you begin
Before you begin building your raised garden bed with legs, there are a few things to consider. Weigh the pros and cons of raised garden beds to determine if this is the right gardening style for you. Raised garden beds are easier to access without kneeling and crouching, but they also dry out faster, meaning they require more frequent watering. Additionally, although building your own raised garden bed with legs is not difficult, it does still require an investment of time, energy, and resources.

Read more
What types of plants can you grow from garden boxes? You’ll be surprised with all your options!
Your comprehensive guide to choosing and setting up a garden box
Garden boxes with legs

Growing plants in containers can be a convenient way to enjoy harvests when you don’t have time or energy to build full-blown garden beds or manage crops directly planted in the ground. However, there may be times when you simply need bigger containers.

There’s where garden boxes come in. While they may sometimes be conflated with raised garden beds, garden boxes are often smaller and much more transportable than beds — many also come with convenient features like wheels and legs, too! If you feel curious about garden boxes, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive guide on what they are and what you can plant in them.

Read more