Roses will grow in almost any soil, as long as it is well-drained. Incorporating some well-rotted garden compost or manure into the planting area will get your roses off to a flying start.
There are so many different roses, there is possibly one for any spot in the garden, from a container on a sunny patio, to a climber for a north-facing wall.
Roses are deep rooted plants that, once established, can survive on the moisture present naturally in the soil. But, in the first few years after planting, and where the soil is especially dry, thorough watering is recommended. Wet the top 25cm (10in) of the soil every 10 days in prolonged dry spells to give the best results.
Roses in containers need to be watered so that the compost never dries out, but is never soggy; this could be every day in hot weather. For more on selecting suitable roses for container growing, see the links below.
Roses are hungry plants that respond well to generous feeding:
- Sprinkle general-purpose or rose fertiliser around roses in spring at 70g per sq m (2oz per sq yd)
- Mulch with rotted organic matter, ideally rotted manure, immediately after adding fertiliser. Keep the mulch clear of the rose stems, leaving a 10cm (4in) gap between the mulch and stems.
- Feed roses in containers every fortnight from mid-spring until late summer with general-purpose liquid fertiliser until flower buds form and then with high-potassium liquid fertiliser, such as tomato feed
Weeding around roses
Roses have roots that come up near the soil surface, so hoeing is best avoided or at least kept very shallow.
Hand weeding and mulching will control annual weeds, but perennial ones may need to be removed individually with a fork. Mulching and planting groundcover plants will help to keep roses weed-free.
Weedkillers based on glyphosate and other systemic chemicals might be taken up by rose suckers and can cause severe damage to roses. Contact weedkillers are less risky.