Growing Guide for Beautiful Roses

Preparing the Planting Site

  1. It is important to choose a planting area in full sunshine, a location with 6-8 hours sun and one that is open and airy with good air circulation.
  2. Plant roses in well drained soil (roses do not like wet feet).
  3. Dig soil to a depth of 45cm (18″).
  4. Cover ground with 5cm (2″) of peat moss and 12-4-8 Iron Plus® Rose Food to 1 sq. metre (10 sq. ft. ) of soil.
  5. Thoroughly mix the soil and the additives.
  6. Roses are heavy feeders of magnesium and iron, these nutrients are necessary for chlorophyll production and leaf development. NOTE: Climbing roses should not be placed on a north facing wall.
Planting of Rose Bushes

  1. Dig a hole of sufficient size to accommodate the root system of the container rose.
  2. Gently remove the rose from the container, being careful not to injure the root system.
  3. Set the plant deep enough so that after the soil is leveled the graft union is 11/2cm (1/2″) below the soil level.
  4. Back fill soil firmly around the root system.
  5. After planting, water the plant well to set the soil firmly around the roots.
  6. Add 5cm (2″) of The Grower’s Choice Landscaperest Mulch on top of soil.
  7. Shallowly cultivate the mulch between the plants to help retain soil moisture around the roots.
  8. Do not plant rose bushes closer than 45 cm (18″). Climbing roses should be planted 1 – 11/2m (3-5′) apart.
Fertilizing Roses
  1. After growth is well under way, feed with one or two feedings of Iron Plus® Rose Food during the growing season. This should be evenly distributed over the soil surface and worked into the soil with a cultivator.
  2. The last feeding should be done no later than the end of July. This will reduce the chance of winter kill.
  3. During the growing season, rose plants showing deficiencies in their leaves or a generally lack vigor can be fed with Iron Plus® liquid fertilizer 24-8-16 for immediate recovery.
Pruning Bush Roses
Newly purchased roses from our nursery do not require pruning at planting time. During the growing season do not let the blooms go to seed. Faded flowers should be removed immediately. Early in the summer cut flowers with a long stem leaving only 2 or 3 leaves close to the old wood. As the season advances cut the flowers with a shorter stem.

Routine Spring Pruning
Each spring, after the roses are removed from their winter protection, the following pruning procedures should be carried out.

  1. Remove all broken or injured branches back to solid healthy wood.
  2. Cut off all weak growth leaving only 4 or 5 of the healthiest, strongest branches.
  3. Then cut back these branches to 12-15cm (5-6″) long, leaving 2-3 buds on each branch. The cuts should be made cleanly and slanting 3cm (1″) above buds.
A strong pruning in spring will result in bigger and more roses during the season. Roses which are not well pruned will produce masses of blooms in June, but very small and very few blooms later in the season.

Pruning Everblooming Climbing Roses
Everblooming climbing roses are pruned after they flower. Only faded flowers and dead broken branches are removed. After a few years, when plants become thick, a few of the oldest branches can be removed each season leaving only the young and healthy branches.

Winter Protection
For Hybrid Teas and Floribundas: when the weather turns very cold; before the heavy frost, roses should be cut back to knee height – approximately 60cm (2′) from the crown. All leaves should be cleaned away and soil built up against the crown of the plants – up to 25cm (10″) high. Rose collars are very handy for this purpose as they will hold the soil around the crown.

  1. For Climbing Roses: climbing or pillar roses should be built up around the crown the same as hybrid teas. In very cold locations, it is recommended that the branches be tied together and protected by covering with burlap or similar material. Do not use plastic.
  2. For Shrub Roses: all varieties of shrub roses in our catalogue are completely hardy. They do not need the special pruning and winter protection as described for other roses.
Disease and Pest Control
Roses are affected by mainly two types of parasites. One is a fungus such as mildew or black spot, and the other is insects such as aphids and mites.

The control is easy with products which contain an insecticide and fungicide controlling both types of parasites. Do not wait for signs of the disease. It is much easier to prevent than it is to cure. Apply one of the general rose dusts or sprays at regular intervals once every 2 or 3 weeks. When using a spray, cover the underneath part of the leaves. When applying a dust, a light fog is sufficient. There is no need to cover the leaves with a heavy layer of dust.


Courtesy White Rose Nursery.