Avoid These Common Rose-Growing Mistakes
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Avoid These Common Rose-Growing Mistakes

If you’re newer to gardening or have never grown roses before, you’ve probably heard that they can be a bit tricky – at least if you want them to look like the stunning blooms found in gardening magazine photos or brides’ bouquets.

And while this can be somewhat true – they do need some reasonably precise care – there are some mistakes you can avoid that will help you bypass the issues of “lesser” roses and have a thriving rose garden.

The below rose growing mistakes are the most common issues newbies seem to have in the world.

Poorly Chosen Planting Location

pink roses
Image credits: Hans Braxmeier via Pixabay

Healthy, happy roses need a few things from you as you place them. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plant your new bushes.

  • Avoid planting them under trees or overhangs that will shield them from the sun too much.
  • They need to be kept warm enough so that they can draw in the nutrients they require.
  • Avoid boggy, overly moist locations – they don’t like excessive moisture.
  • Plant them in neutral soils. Here, they can draw in the nutrients they need easiest.

Forgotten or Poorly Executed Summer Pruning

mauve roses
Image credits: Peggychoucair via Pixabay

Roses need pruning every summer to keep vital and thriving. To do this properly, remove withered flowers before they can fall. (Plants naturally assume their work is done once the flowers naturally fall off.) Trim off “blind” shoots to help encourage flowering that these shoots can’t offer.

Planting Cuttings in Direct Hot Sun

rose cuttings
Image credits: congerdesign via Pixabay

Many folks will take cuttings from their roses to propagate more rose bushes. This is a wonderful way to grow your garden without a lot of extra expense. However, many folks make a mistake here: they put the cuttings in the direct or hot sun.

When you put your rose cuttings into a jar to start the propagation process, be sure to let them enjoy the morning sun but move them away from afternoon sun exposure. The direct, often hot sun will work with the glass jar to create a sort of mini greenhouse effect and kill the rose cuttings.

Improper Pest Removal

aphids on rose bud
Image credits: Crepessuzette via Pixabay

Roses are prone to many pests, one of the worst being aphids. These little insects are problematic for your roses because they, in essence, suck out the nutrients from the plants, which ultimately kills them. One aphid isn’t a threat, but they usually come in invasions.

If you notice any of these tiny green, red, black, or whitish insects that are pear-shaped, act fast before a full colony can move in.

Overcrowding Your Rose Garden

roses against fence
Image credits: MabelAmber via Pixabay

Another common mistake folks make with their rose gardens is overcrowding. The desire makes sense: lots and lots of roses! However, because roses need full sun and plenty of airflows, overcrowding will cause issues for your roses and reduce their blooming capabilities.

Keep roses away from walls, fences, trees, and larger plants. Space out the roses you plant, as well, to allow them plenty of space to grow freely. Be sure they are put in places where they’ll get plenty of suns and have lots of room to bush out.


Image credits: TanteTati via Pixabay

Many folks think that the more fertilizer they give to their plants, the more blossoms or fruit their plants will bear. If you under fertilize, this is an issue, as your plants won’t get enough nutrients. However, overfertilizing can cause bacteria in the soil to die, create salt burn, or other issues, which in turn hurt your plants.

If you’re able to grow your roses in organically rich soil with lots of compost and natural, slow-release fertilizer, it should be good to go.

Poor Watering Habits

rose with water droplets
Image credits: Suresh Babu Guddanti via Pixabay

Sometimes, folks don’t remember to water their roses enough. Sometimes, they water the blooming shrubs too much. They’re often watered superficially as well, which means the roots can’t get enough of the water.

Ideally, dig a hole around the roots down to a depth of about 5 inches right before watering. Pour the water in continuously, then fill the hole in again.

To help combat these concerns be sure to water the shrubs every 7 to 10 days during active blossoming, and every 3 to 5 days in dryer weather. Each watering should be significant (up to 4 gallons per plant). Water in the evening when the sun won’t dry it out. And reduce watering in the fall, except for fall-blooming rose varieties.

Perfectly Lovely Roses Aren’t Out of Reach

These common issues with rose care can easily be combated, as you can see, with some thoughtful care. Place the bushes (and cuttings) appropriately, and be sure to water, fertilize, prune, and remove pests as required throughout each season.