Are Roses Hard to Grow?
Are Roses Hard to Grow?
Think only green thumbs can enjoy a rose garden? Think again! Unlike the old-fashioned fussy selections grown decades ago, modern roses are hardy, versatile plants that can thrive on neglect. In fact, roses are much easier to care for than you think, especially when you select the right variety for your garden’s unique climate and soil.
From small city balconies to water-wise landscapes, the amazing, versatile rose can be at home in almost any garden.
What Makes Modern Roses So Easy to Grow?
If you’ve been hesitating to start a little rose garden of your own, consider this:
- Most modern roses have disease resistance built into the plants. No need to lose sleep over black spot or mildew worries.
- Once established, many roses are surprisingly drought tolerant. An occasional deep watering in well-drained soil is all they need.
- Many rose varieties also thrive in hot and humid climates. Once considered difficult, growing roses in the Deep South is now an easy possibility.
- Roses make wonderful container plants. Yes, it’s possible to grow roses without a garden bed. Plant a couple in pots for your patio or apartment balcony.
- Some roses will bloom for months at a time. Old fashioned roses used to only bloom for a few weeks. Many modern varieties, however, will bloom late spring into fall.
Roses Come in a Variety of Forms
Did we mention that they're versatile? Roses come in many shapes and forms, so they're great for any landscape (not just formal English gardens)! Some common forms that you’ll come across include:
- Climbing roses
- Ground cover roses
- Shrub roses
- Miniature roses
Foolproof Rose Varieties
If you want to get started, or are just needing a little inspiration, these exciting modern varieties are a great start:
How to Care for Roses
Despite their fussy reputation, all roses - especially modern varieties - are exceptionally hardy plants. All you have to do is plant them in the right environment. Here’s a quick breakdown of what roses need to thrive with ease:
Plenty of sunlight. If there’s one thing roses don’t appreciate, it’s too much shade. Make sure you plant your rose in a sunny area, ideally with 5 hours or more of direct sunlight.
Plenty of water (but not too much). Roses need a good soaking, but also need time to dry out a bit. Otherwise, the soggy soil will smother their roots and leave them susceptible to mold and other disease. When in doubt, use the finger test: if the soil feels moist 3 inches down, hold off on water for a day.
The right dose of fertilizer. While roses don’t need quite as much fertilizer as they’re known for, these flowering shrubs still appreciate a feeding about once a month during the growing season. Pick a fertilizer that’s meant for roses to make your job easier.
A comfy bed of mulch. For best results, apply plenty of mulch to your rose beds. It will keep the soil temperature more even, prevent weeds, and will stop the soil from drying out too quickly.
Roses have the unfortunate reputation of being hard to grow, but these special plants - beloved for millennia - can be a wonderfully carefree addition to your garden.
Just think, for the same cost as a short-lived bouquet, you can plant rose bushes and enjoy entire seasons of blooms for many, many years. We know what our "true love" would do!