Tips for Planting Roses Outdoors

To grow the perfect roses, it’s wise to follow a few tips and tricks from aficionados.

Some are more bizarre than others. For example, many swear by daily Beethoven serenades, while others use alfalfa tea as a fertilizer.

Read on to discover more tips for planting roses outdoors, covering everything from the basics to tackling pests…

  • Bananas: Phosphorus, which is found in bananas, promotes flowering. With this in mind, rose lovers often add banana peels to their rose plants, using around two to three skins per week. For best results, bury the skins beneath the roses (avoiding the stem). Alternatively, blend the peels with water, leaving the concoction to sit for 15 minutes before adding directly to the soil.
  • Beethoven: Some gardeners declare that music encourages plants to grow – regardless of whether it’s punk, classical, country or rock ‘n’ roll. The concept behind this tip is that plants grow in response to the musical vibrations.
  • Alfalfa: This tea provides solid nutrition to roses, in the shape of calcium, nitrogen, iron, phosphorus, and various other nutrients. Work alfalfa pellets or meal into the soil surrounding your roses.

For best results, use one cup per large bush and one-half cup for miniature roses. Alternatively, brew alfalfa tea by soaking alfalfa pellets or meal in water.

The basics

To grow the perfect roses, you’ll need to begin with the basics, including:

  • Choosing the correct site: Roses enjoy a great deal of sunlight, at least six hours per day is optimal. With this in mind, it’s important to choose a sundrenched spot in your garden.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining, rich soil to plant your roses. This should be made upon an organic matter comprising ground bark or compost.
  • Add mulch: Add around two to three inches of organic, coarse mulch to your rose bed. Coarse mulch helps to prevent diseases from attacking the foliage as it reduces the amount of water splattering onto leaves. Even a water drop can spread fungal diseases.
  • Water your roses: Allow your roses to enjoy a good watering, however only water infrequently. As an alternative, you can use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to add water directly to the soil. When considering the water requirements of your roses, think about the climate and the soil. The soil should be consistently moist without being overly wet. To inhibit diseases, keep the plant’s foliage dry, especially if you water your roses late in the day.
  • Inspect your roses: It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for any diseases or insects that may attack your rose plants. The sooner you notice anything of the sort, the quicker you can treat it.
  • Prune your roses: This will not only make them look neat and tidy, but it’s imperative for their wellbeing. Roses need regular pruning, which should be carried out in February or March.

Pests and diseases

Like all plants, both ailments and pests affect roses. The majority of these pests are both climatic and seasonal, with common insects to attack roses including:

  • Spider Mites
  • Rose Bud Borers
  • Rose Chafers
  • Leafcutter Bees
  • Japanese Beetles
  • Botrytis
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Black Spot

Diseases to affect roses include the likes of fungal, bacterial, and viral viruses.

One of the more common bacterial diseases includes crown gall rot, which is easy to spot as it is characterized by oversized lumps, which appear on the plant’s roots or at the base of the plant stem.

As the disease progresses, these galls can journey up the plant. The main reason this disease occurs is due to a wound or cut – this allows easy access for bacteria to enter the plant.

If left untreated, this can mean the rose bush will cease from blooming.

Other ailments and environmental disorders

When planting roses, it’s also important to consider environmental factors, as we’ve detailed below:

  • Frost: This can completely prevent fresh growth, meaning both the leaves and the stems will wilt, turn a shade of black and drop from the plant. One way to rectify this is to ensure you prune the rose bush post frost, as this will encourage new growth.
  • Herbicide: Over spraying your rose bush with herbicidal sprays can cause a number of symptoms, including the yellowing of leaves. New shoots may also appear elongated.
  • Salinity: This is when the leaves appear brown and limp, with dry leaf margins. This can be caused by poor soil where the salinity is greater than 1200 parts per million.

Best time to plant roses

When it comes to planting roses, it’s important to plant them at the correct time.

Avoid soil that is frozen or oversaturated and muddy from spring showers and instead, be patient and wait until the proper planting time.

In most climates, the best time to plant rose flowers is in early spring, this is usually between late February and early April.

Which roses to plant in the UK

There are a number of species of roses to choose from, with some of the more prevalent beings:

  • Hybrid Tea rose
  • Climbing roses
  • Floribunda rose
  • Patio roses.
  • Old English rose / Shrub rose
  • Rambling roses
  • Standard roses
  • Ground cover roses

Which style you choose all comes down to personal preference. Certain species will also adapt better to certain surroundings.

It’s wise to keep this in mind when planting roses outdoors.

Tips for planting roses in containers

When planting roses in pots to keep outdoors, it’s important to select the correct species and then the correct pot.

Once you have these two things to hand, pick a quality potting mix, and improve its richness by adding compost. This will increase its water-holding ability.

For best results, opt for a standard, organic soil without any type of granular or time-release fertilizer.

Once in place, water regularly so that soil is moist, but not saturated. To encourage a higher bloom rate, feed your rose often.

If you follow all of these tips, you should be able to ensure that your roses are a healthy, picture-perfect addition to your garden or outdoor space.

Start growing some plants. Should you prefer flowers or plants, garden centers, and online florists have an abundance of choice, many of which offer same and next day flower delivery.


Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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