Roses are Easy to Grow!

Roses are easy to grow! You just need to know a few tips and tricks and I share them here!

How you can grow roses in your garden. Start with great soil, if you don’t have it then build it. Second, choose roses that do well in your climate and local conditions. Success comes with knowing when to do things as well as how. Not all roses are created equal and not all are treated exactly the same.

I have seen this so many times on some garden sites (really click bait farms with post titles like Ten Worst Plants for your garden) that I really feel badly for new gardeners that fall for that tripe.  

The internet, including Pinterest is so full of misinformation that it can be quite confusing for some.  I assure you that roses are easy to grow and I share how you can do it!

Red rose with text overlay,

I grow my roses organically without pesticides etc. I do get some damage that is cosmetic only and does no real harm to the plant. Some areas do contend with some really nasty critters that will eat their roses to a nub but there are some natural traps and deterrents that will help.

#1 clue to how to grow roses is to choose a rose that is suited for your area! 

I cannot emphasize that enough.  Roses are easy to grow if you plant roses that like the conditions of your garden.

Climate, location, and soil all make a difference in how they perform but most of all the type of rose you plant can make or break your success.

Roses are Easy to Grow

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link I may make a small commission at no cost to you.

My History with Roses

If you have been around here long you know I love roses.

I have successfully grown roses for the past 38 years.  Like my other gardening techniques, I don’t follow the traditional so-called “wisdom” of caring for them.

You may ask why since this “wisdom” has been around for ages and ages. Well quite frankly, I have found that many times it is just plain wrong for my area and climate. 

Gardening is not an exact science. There is no ‘one size fits all’. 

What works for a plant in Ohio would not be correct in California but you can successfully grow that plant in both locations.

(Just click here for the start of my series Lazy Gal’s Garden guide, for the atypical gardener. )

Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too!

Not all Roses are Created Equal

Many plunk all roses into one box and think they are treated the same.  In fact, there are hundreds of species of roses.  
Some originated and flourished in colder climes while others came from warmer areas. Crosses of these were made to harness the best attributes of each.

For a great in-depth look at the History of Roses click HERE.

Hybrid Teas are a cross of the tender, ever-blooming Tea roses with the hardier Hybrid Perpetuals. 

The majority of pruning “rules” were developed for the Hybrid Teas. The pruning rules were employed to encourage long stems for exhibition.

Do you exhibit your roses?

Me neither so really that rule does not suit us, so learn to prune roses that suits the plant not some outdated, popular advice.

Firefighter is my only Hybrid Tea, it is so sweet-smelling.  Most Hybrid Teas do not flourish here therefore I don’t usually bother with them.

Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too! Firefighter rose,

Do You Have to Follow the Rules?

I  grew quite a variety of Hybrid Teas when I lived in the San Joaquin Valley and they thrived.
Did I follow the rules then?

I didn’t even know what the rules were for a long time.

Thank goodness!

Most Hybrid Teas do well with the traditional methods but there are actually some that don’t.  This article says it well and it seems they have had the same experience as I with roses… Off with their Heads or How I Learned to Stop Pruning and Love the Rose

What did I do?  I observed my roses and learned what they needed and when. All the while I kept in mind the general guidelines of care. 

That is a huge key to successful gardening, not just with roses, but with all plants.

Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too!

I now grow mostly David Austin English Roses and Antique or Heirloom Roses, many of which have different care requirements than Hybrid Teas.

Know why you prune roses

It will help to know why you should prune:
1. Disease and Pest control. Diseased or pest-ridden canes will suck energy from the plant trying to fight.  Prune it out. It does not matter when.

2. Improve air flow through the plant which reduces fungal and pest problems.

3. Force Dormancy, in warmer climes it is beneficial to force your roses into dormancy since they won’t go into it themselves.  Click here for a great article on that.

4. Shape the bush, (this is for the upright growing roses, not ground cover roses which can be treated differently) Climbers also need a different approach for shaping than bush type. (click here for how I prune my climbing roses)

Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too! Abraham-Darby7.jpg

I also decided to write this post as I have been seeing a lot of advice on garden sites say DON’T PRUNE IN FALL, that is not correct information for everyone.

Being that we get snow, the heavy, wet stuff that is called Sierra Cement, I have to do some judicious pruning in late Fall.

The roses have gone dormant and will not put on new growth until it warms up so I don’t worry about new growth getting zapped by the cold or if they have not yet gone into dormancy my hard pruning forces it. 

If I didn’t do this pruning before snow flies, then I would end up with some severely damaged roses.   Pruning in late Fall is essential for me to get the best from my roses, if I waited until early Spring as many say you should then it would be much too late.

Heirloom Roses has the most sensible post on rose pruning I have come across.  They give many variables you may face including different types of roses and why to prune in different seasons.
Their photos show you what they are talking about, they do a much better job than I ever could. 

My takeaway advice for today is, get to know your plants rather than follow rigid rules that may not apply to you and that includes pruning.  Even moving a rose from one area of your garden to another can affect how it performs.  I have moved quite a few plants that floundered in one area and had them thrive in another.

Watering Roses

Sceptre'd Isle Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too!

One other misconception about roses is they take a lot of water.

Because of our severe drought the past 4 years I have found that to be completely untrue.  See the pink rose just above, that is Sceptre’d Isle from David Austin.

This rose is growing on a back hillside, tossed out in the back of beyond of my garden because I had nowhere to put it but I wanted to get it in the ground.  I used to have a soaker hose along the hillside but removed it 3 summers ago.

This rose has been on my list to move since then but I have either forgotten or just not had the time, so it has been neglected to an extreme degree.

It has gotten only one deep watering per summer and it has bloomed like crazy.  Big, luscious, sweet-smelling flowers all summer long.

Despite severe water restrictions,  all of my roses did just fine, many in the front garden were watered with gray water from our shower.  You wouldn’t believe how much water is used in your daily shower.

Most of my roses get a good solid soak of 1 inch per week.  I use soaker hoses but others find drip systems work well too.  A good mulch helps to retain moisture during hot spells.

Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too! Peace Rose ,

There are many folks who think roses are too high maintenance to have in the easy-care garden but that is not true in the least.

Roses are a sheer delight to grow and take no more work than any other plant if you plant what grows best in your area.

I wish you happy Rose growing and glorious blooms ever after!

Resources for Hardy Roses
The David Austin website has many that are rated very Hardy for colder areas and some for warmer areas. (not an affiliate, I just love them, this is the link for the US branch, there is also links for other countries)

Heirloom Roses  have some lovely varieties of old roses that are hardy as well.  All their roses are own root. (they also have gift certificates for gift giving)


You may enjoy
Starting Roses from Cuttings
How to Start Roses by Air Layering
10 Rose Care Myths Debunked

Roses are Easy to Grow, don't believe all the misinformation about roses being difficult, learn how you can grow roses too!

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  1. So appreciative of this post, Pamela. I love roses, too and have been trying to grow them for years without success. Pruning at what I now know is the wrong time, not being able to rid them of pests, etc., It has been SO disappointing. But your information seems to make the most sense of any I’ve read. But what do I do if I’ve not pruned in the fall? Should I then prune in spring?

    I am anxious to follow some of the links you give in this post for more information and will keep trying! Thanks again.

    1. Fall pruning is basically to keep the poor weather from breaking canes. Early Spring pruning is for shaping and to aid in health. Sometimes having a hard time in growing roses is the type of rose. The Hybrid teas can be finicky and hard but many of the others are so much easier. Your climate plays a big role in caring for them too. The main thing for me is healthy soil, it goes so far in helping your plant be healthy too.
      I wish you Happy Gardening and feel free to ask any questions you like. I will be happy to answer them.

  2. I am not successful with Gazanias here, it is too cold. The one you speak about sounds lovely.

  3. I love all your posts, pictures and info!
    Where do you live tho please? I’ve searched thru, have prob missed it.
    I live in the PNW, Vancouver, Wa, always have. Next yr, I’m moving to Nampa Idaho, close to Boise to be closer to my son. In my particiular spot here, it’s very damp, rains a lot, also a rather “swampy” back yard with 2 creeks on my one acre.
    Lots of things love that tho, Foxglove, ferns, etc etc.
    Keep up the wonderful work here! So interesting.

    1. I live in California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 2.5 hours from Sacramento. A little blip of a town. I have family in Boise, I think you will like it in Nampa. There is a fabulous greenhouse in Boise called Edwards. You will love it, so once you get moved you will have to go there. Here is a link to their website:
      Also about 45 minutes from Nampa is Ontario, Oregon where Andrews Seed Company is, that was the closest favorite garden nursery to go to when I lived in Council, Idaho. Laura of Garden Answer on YouTube works there. Here is the link to her channel.

      1. Thanks Pamela. Here it is Oct, I just saw your reply. I haven’t clicked yet on the links you gave me, but will. Thanks so much for the info. I’m esp excited about the YouTube channel link. My yard here is very small and was nothing but lawn, and a concrete slab out the back door, and the place is 20 yrs old! In 5 mos, I’ve had a covered patio/deck added. Also, added/adding flowerbeds around the edges. I have several roses in planters I need to get into the ground very soon, do have 3 roses in the ground. I love them, plan to get lots more, so really apprecIate your info on them. I love many many flowers, can’t wait til next spring. I’m 77, not as energetic as I used to be, but as they say, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch!”. Thanks again, so much! Love to read your posts! Where you live, and your home sound wonderful.

  4. Very nice article, Pamela! What is the White rose with the pretty pink edges on the petals?


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