Do you want to buy rose bushes for your garden? Whether you’re a beginner in the garden or a seasoned professional, buying roses can be tricky. Luckily, we’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know. To find out what type of roses you should buy, where to get them, and much more – just read on!
Roses have a reputation for being tough to grow. However, this depends on your experience and what type you’re attempting to flower. Some roses need special care and specific climates, while others are fairly hardy. Here’s how to select rose bushes and how to care for them after you get them home.
Some retailers will carry their bushes in boxes or bags. Stems are sealed in wax to keep them from drying out and roots are often pruned. These types of roses should be purchased very early in the season. Cut away the box or bag, soak entire plant for twenty-four hours, then prune.
Many garden centers have bins filled with bagged rose plants that are dormant. These dormant plants work well in zones four through eight. This bare root rose is the best plant for a head start on the growing season.
Buying Bagged Roses
Bagged plants are often advantageous because there’s usually a great selection of roses in bare root season. They have less chance of suffering transplant shock when repotted and are easier to handle generally. However, they will often come with only a picture. This means there is a change that you may buy a mislabeled rose.
Bagged roses come in different grades. These grades only apply to grafted roses such as hybrid teas, climbing roses, grandifloras, and floribundas. The system has three grades, 1, 1 1/2, and 2. Grade 1 roses are the best choice if you can afford them.
All roses have different fragrances and appearances. You can get the hybrid tea roses, which is the classic beautiful bloom everyone loves. Floribundas are smaller roses and produce cluster blooms. Grandifloras are tall with single blooms on short stems. Climbers are flexible and require tying.
Choosing a Great Rose Bush: Shopping Tips
- Pick roses that are offered in larger pots. Smaller pots equal smaller root systems and mean your plant will require more time to reestablish its roots in a new container. A two-gallon container or larger will give you a robust rose plant in less time than a smaller one.
- Make sure that the stems are healthy-looking and thick. You want leaves that are a healthy green color. They should be a robust green and lacking holes, disease, or insects.
- Make sure the rose bush is in good shape overall. You want to be positive that it has been properly pruned. Don’t select a plant that has branches that are drooping or apparently weak stems.
- Go to a store where the roses all seem to be healthy and in good condition. If all the plants at the store or greenhouse you are at seem weak or have dry soil, consider going somewhere else.
- If you’re planting your bush in your garden or yard, figure out where you want it before going to the garden center. Check out the spot beforehand to make sure that it gets at least six hours of sunlight. Rose bushes truly love their sunlight – the more they have, the more they bloom.
- Check the tag for any specific growing information and care tips.
Rose Care Tips
- Don’t expect your roses to flourish immediately. Roses usually need to spend two years in the garden before they really start thriving.
- Spread a layer of mulch or wood chips two to three inches over their roots. It will keep water from evaporating out of the soil and protect the roses in colder months.
- Roses need lots of sun. Be sure to plant them in an area where they will get at least six hours of sunlight a day. Plenty of sun will help them produce more beautiful flowers.
- All roses do well when you give them some fertilizer. Fertilizer provides the nutrients that they need to flourish. Try a 10-10-10 formula and apply during the growing season for great results.
- Follow instructions when applying fertilizer. Apply fertilizer shortly after you are certain there will be no more frost.
- The pH of the soil is important for roses. You’ll want the soil’s pH to be around 6.5. Be sure that the soil has plenty of nutrients and will drain to keep your plants healthy.
- For roses you’re keeping potted, make sure that the pots have good drainage. Also, be sure to use a good quality potting soil so your roses will do well even though they’re contained.
- Pruning is great for roses! It removes dead material and makes way for new growth. This ensures healthy plant which, in turn, will result in more flowers.
- Prune tea and shrub roses when you do their first fertilizing. Prune after they bloom. Dead branches can be removed anytime.
- When pruning floribundas, leave six to eight branches. When pruning hybrid tea roses, leave at least three to five strong branches.
- Be sure to cut at an angle. If you’re unsure of how exactly to make a cut, look up a video online. This should give a good idea of what angle to cut at.
- Give your rose a space that is twice the depth and width of your plant’s root structure. Roses do not like to have cramped roots – keep this in mind if you’re planting in containers!
- Like many plants, roses do not enjoy their roots being constantly saturated with water. Be sure to plant your roses in draining containers. When planting roses in the ground, do not plant in areas with poor drainage.
- Roses enjoy being ground watered instead of overhead watered. Water the soil itself rather than the flowers and leaves. Over-watering buds and flowers can result in molds and fungus infestations.
- Pick roses with plump green stalks and no mold, shriveling, or mushy spots.
- Withered stems or spots on the leaves mean the presence of pests – do not buy!
- Roses are best when planted in early spring. Avoid planting in hot weather.
- You can buy bagged roses in the winter, but they’ll do best when planted in spring.
Varieties to Buy
You can choose from climbing roses, miniatures, shrubs, hybrids, or floribunda.
- Hybrid tea roses grow tall with single blooms. They can stay in vases for several days after they are cut and will look great around the home.
- Floribunda roses reach a maximum of six feet and remain compact as they grow. They are a crossbreed of the polyantha roses and the hybrid teas. Grandifloras are the same but a larger version.
- Shrub roses are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. They are hardy and come in many colors, from pink to white to yellow. The most popular is the Knock Out shrub rose. These roses withstand disease and pests and do not have fragrance.
- Miniature roses are under two feet and are delicate but do well in containers.
- Climbing roses go on fences and trellises. They can grow up to twenty feet.