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Welcome to Grow Exquisite Roses

How to Grow Roses the Easy Way

for Healthy Blooms Year After Year!

"Lia and I enjoy a rose garden"

Lia and I enjoy a rose garden

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the Home of Grow Exquisite Roses, your guide to growing beautiful, healthy, easy care roses!

I’m Susan Coursey, and my family and I have enjoyed growing roses together for over twenty-five years. During that period I’ve studied under master gardeners and learned the keys that make growing healthy, beautiful roses fun and easy.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with my family for many years. I created this site to share them with you, too.

I’ve put together many articles to help you learn the secrets of growing roses that exceed expectations and rose gardening to show the newest and best modern shrub roses to advantage. Use the index on the right sidebar to help you find articles on the topics you’re interested in.

Please feel free to browse the articles on the site, where you’ll find answers to all your rose-growing questions. And if there’s a question you have I haven’t answered, please let me know! I’m here to help you raise your own healthy, beautiful, disease-free roses.

Thank you for visiting, and best wishes for your rose-growing success.

Yours in gardening,

Susan Coursey, Editor Grow Exquisite Roses

Editor, Grow Exquisite Roses

"Exquisite Pink"

An exquisite pink rose

P.S.: If you are a new visitor, be sure to use the form on the right to sign up for my 12-lesson email mini-course, A Guide to Rose Gardening Success, normally $47 but FREE to you as a gift for visiting my site. This course will help you avoid the most difficult mistakes people make who are learning to grow roses.

P.P.S.: When you sign up, you’ll also get instant access to a complimentary bonus report, Secrets to Growing Exquisite Roses!

How Important is Deadheading Knockout Roses?

The world of rose cultivation is experiencing an exciting new dawn; landscape roses are promoted as disease resistant and self cleaning, requiring no maintenance pruning. Horticultural specialists have developed new varieties of roses meant to resolve many of the traditional complaints and difficulties people have had with growing and maintaining more fragile rose varieties. Could it be true that the landscape roses, Knockout roses, require no deadheading?

Among the new landscape roses are the Knockout and Double Knockout roses, among the most popular rose varieties on the market today. They are also sold as self-cleaning roses, the easiest roses to grow!

The Knockout Rose was chosen as an All-America Rose Selection (AARS) Award Winner in 2000. The AARS Rose Award recognized the spectacular Knockout Rose for its beauty and ease of cultivation and maintenance. It is the best selling rose on the market this century.

Roses in the Knockout family excel in garden performance. Each of these easily grown rose varieties is characterized by its beautiful shape, constant bloom, and its ability to resist diseases. In addition, varieties in the Knockout family are drought and shade tolerant

Knockout Rosa Radrazz

Knockout Rose with Minimum Deadheading

Mixed bed Knockout Success

Minimum care Knockout

Individual Knockout–5 1/2 foot Knockout Rose with minimum care, irrigation twice a week, 6 hours sun, afternoon shade.  Deadheading monthly or every six weeks.

Knockouts in Mixed Bed– 5 1/2 foot Pink Double Knockout with minimum care,   irrigation twice a week, 6 hours morning sun, afternoon shade.  Deadheading monthly or every six weeks.

In the last decade, the Knockout roses have come into their own as in residential and commercial spaces. The fact that they are self-cleaning, disease resistant and drought tolerant makes them very attractive to developers uninteresting in tending landscaping any more than necessary.

Knockout Rose Characteristics

These flowers are remarkable due to their durability in cold weather and their beautifully sculpted blooms. The gorgeous flowers are cherry red with 5-7 petals in a flat cup, often grouped in clusters against mossy green foliage. Stem lengths tend to be 8” so these roses are not considered cutting roses.

The Knockout varieties represent a wide range of shapes and sizes, including shrubs from three to six feet in height and width. Without periodic pruning these compact bushes often grow 3-4 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. Periodic pruning often keeps the bushes smaller and more shapely.

The Knockout shrub roses differ in flowering tendencies, growth and maintenance requirements based on amount of sun, water, fertilization and pruning. The remarkable thing is that despite conditions that are not ideal, these types of roses typically retain the qualities that so many people have long treasured.

Pruning Your Knockout Roses

Knockout Rose Rosa Radrazz, Double Knockout Rose, Double Knock out pink – whatever variety of Knockout rose you have, you have to be aware of the speed at which they grow. To ensure optimum growth and optimal blossoming you need to water, fertilize, and prune them on a fairly regular basis.

You do not have to micromanage caring for Knockout roses, since Knockout rose bushes are very easy to care for and self cleaning.

Pruning Knockout Roses

Annual Pruning

All Knockout roses will be more productive in growing and flowering if pruned in early spring. Thin out dead and broken wood as well as weaker stems. Cut back in the spring 1/3 of the plant to ensure strong growth and blooming. Shape as desired.

Maintenance Pruning.

Knockout Roses are self-cleaning and do not require deadheading (removal of spent blooms). The Knockout Roses will still be lovely without deadheading. To maximize plant growth and continuous spectacular bloom, however, many Knockout rose lovers deadhead their roses regularly. I deadhead spent clusters and occasional single blooms in front in a prominent place about once a month or every six weeks, far less than I would prune Hybrid Tea Roses.

Must I really deadhead my Knockout Roses?

Knockout Roses are often sold as self-cleaning roses for which no self-cleaning is required. Certainly this step in Knockout Rose care does not need to be micro managed. Rose experts recommend, however, that Knockout roses be deadheaded on a regular basis to ensure plant growth and continuous, spectacular blooming and frequent bloom cycles.

When you deadhead your roses, the next bloom cycle begins. Compare the Knockout rose above, four years old, six hours morning sun, pruning in the spring and deadheading every now and then, and watering twice a week, with the roses below. The latter roses are four years old, enjoy full day sun, no regular watering, no regular pruning including deadheading.

Knockout without Pruning

Knockout Minimal Care

The first picture of Knockout roses are four years old, 3 ½ feet high, enjoyed annual pruning, no deadheading, afternoon shade.

knockouts in Retail Center

Knockouts with Almost No Care

The second picture is of 4 year old Knockout roses in a shopping center, no pruning, full day sun, irrigation twice a week. The Knockout roses, are 3 feet tall but the rose centers are not bushy, blooming cycles are less frequent), growth poor. They are all still lovely aren’t they?

It is your choice! How important is it that your roses reach their potential? The first two pictures show roses that have had care when we could fit it in. Perhaps those in the retail center need a little more care! The Knockout roses are still lovely!!!

So you don’t need to be a professional gardener to enjoy truly amazing roses. A hearty thank you is owed to the horticulturists who have spent decades creating these new strains of roses that produce better plants and flowers. Landscape roses like the Knockout roses make it possible for just about anyone to enjoy the beauty of roses that won’t shrivel up at the first hint of dry weather or rose munching insects.

News–AARS has Redefined Its Charter

On October 29, 2010, the All-America Rose Selections (AARS,, announced a shift in its organization’s long term direction. From this point on, the non-profit association will strengthen its focus on rigorous, nationwide testing of new rose varieties. During the next couple transition years, AARS will continue to introduce and promote its annual Winners and operate its national network of test gardens and public gardens.

Henry Conklin, AARS president, stated that “AARS was founded over 70 years ago and has changed little in strategy and objectives during this time. Evolving consumer tastes combined with improvements in rose breeding now dictate that we re-think the purpose of the organization.”  He added, “Though AARS will continue to operate through the introduction of its 2013 Winners, we’re currently evaluating ways in which we can refocus the organization to better serve rose lovers, rose breeders and the rose industry at large.”

There have been many recent rumors that Jackson & Perkins, one of the most well-known rose breeders and sources of high quality roses, is going out of business.  Could these two changes be related?  What will it mean to the average rose enthusiast?

Eighty five percent of the AARS Rose Winners for the years beginning in 1990 till the present time have been Floribunda, Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora Roses . Over the years between 1990 and 2011, 52 Floribunda, Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora roses have been selected.  Only four miniature, 1 polycantha, 3 shrub, 1 climbing and 8 landscape roses have been selected as the annual AARS Rose Winner during that period.

I have received Jackson & Perkins catalogues for many years and bought their roses at garden centers and through the catalogues.  5 to 10 years ago most roses sold at major garden centers were Hybrid Tea Roses, and Floribundas, most from Jackson & Perkins.  Most of the roses now sold in garden centers are shrub or landscape roses.  Miniatures and landscape roses are frequently bought online.

Yet the most recent Jackson and Perkins Catalogue features 37 Hybrid Tea Roses, 23 Floribundas and 5 Grandiflora Roses  There are 23 popular Patio Tea Roses many of which are Hybrid Tea Roses, Floribunda and Grandiflora.  There are no Knockout Roses, only 9 shrub roses and no miniatures.  Jackson & Perkins has not kept up with the market.

It appears that AARS will evaluate more roses of more types, benefitting all rose lovers.  The emphasis appears to be moving to Regional Selections which will again benefit all of us.  The lovely rose “Julia Child” is a selection in multiple regions, but other roses do better in some regions and not others.  It appears that AARS and hopefully Jackson & Perkins will be more responsive to our needs and preferences.

The redefinition of the All-America Rose Selections charter in the next years will benefit all of us!.

About All-America Rose Selections (AARS)

All-America Rose Selections ( is a non-profit association of rose growers and breeders dedicated to introducing exceptional roses to rose gardeners in North America.  Each AARS Award Winner has been tested for two years in 23 gardens throughout the United States.  Each annual Rose Award Winner has been evaluated and passed tests in all 15 categories including disease resistance, shade tolerance, ease of maintenance, beauty and fragrance.  If you buy an All-America Rose Selections Award Winning Rose, you are guaranteed that the rose is the best.  Visit to see photos of “Dick Clark” and its companion 2011 AARS Rose Winner “Walking on Sunshine” as well as prior winners.

A Brief History of the Rose, the US National Flower

Americans have always held roses in a special place in our hearts as a symbol of love and devotion.  You may realize that the rose is our national floral emblem but it may surprise you to learn that the rose was first cultivated in China about 5000 years ago!

While rose historians believe roses originated as long as 12 to 15 million years ago, China and tea roses were cultivated by the Chinese more than 2000 years before they reached the West.

Chinese historians indicate that the Chinese were cultivating roses as early as the fourth and fifth centuries AD.  An interesting fact about the history of the rose is the number of rose varieties that were counted in one city alone as early as 1279 AD was more than 41.  Isn’t that amazing?

Have you ever heard of the “China” rose, a hybridized version of natural and cultivated hybrid rose plants?  The China rose, bush roses and climbing roses all came from China.  The wild Tea rose came from Burma and southwest China.   From India came repeat blooming roses as well as some of the modern hybrids.

During the Roman Period, rose cultivation shifted to the Middle East where rose plants were very popular with Greeks and Romans. The Greeks were the first to grow roses in pots and the Greeks introduced roses to the Romans. Middle Easterners grew roses in gardens and public rose gardens and grew roses for perfume.

When did the rose become popular in the West?  In the 17th and 18th centuries, hybridization, the crossing of a desired rose onto another root system, caused many new varieties to be introduced in Europe.

During the seventeenth century, roses were in such demand in Western Europe that royalty declared roses and rose water legal tender for financial transactions.  Europeans could legitimately make commercial purchases using their roses or rose products as currency.

The wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, Josephine, loved the rose so much that she grew a very large and well-known collection of roses at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate several miles west of Paris.

It wasn’t till the eighteenth century that cultivated roses rather than naturally grown roses were introduced in Europe from China.  For this reason, most Modern Roses actually owe their ancestry to China.

More importantly, most of the new roses imported from China were repeat bloomers unlike the roses that grew naturally in Europe.  This important difference excited European gardeners who took the Chinese roses and bred them with native European roses.

The new roses began to be bred for traits such as blooming habit, hardiness, and a longer, lovelier bud.

Thus the new era of modern roses began.  Whatever its special history, in the United States and internationally, the rose has been best known as an international and eternal symbol of love—young love, eternal love, romantic love.

The Birth of A New Era in Roses

In 1867, the Modern category of rose varieties was introduced, with Miniatures, Floribundas, Shrub and Landscape Roses, Grandifloras, and Polyanthas, included in the Modern Rose category.

In that year, the introduction of “La France” by a French hybridizer, created quite a stir.  The hybridizer crossed a Tea Rose with a hybrid perpetual, to produce  the Hybrid Tea Rose.  “La France”.

This rose has been accepted as the first Hybrid Tea Rose.  “La France” has also been celebrated as having launched a new race of roses, the Modern Roses.

The new Hybrid Tea Roses like other Modern Roses are shapely, urn or ovid shaped and high centered, excelling as specimen roses and for cutting.

These Hybrid Tea Roses introduced by the end of the nineteenth century, however, are markedly different than the Hybrid tea roses produced today.

Modern Rose varieties continue to be developed, along with improvements to the rose varieties themselves. New roses have been introduced with vibrant color ranges, improved hardiness and disease resistance, enhanced ability to bloom continuously and low maintenance requirements.

Today roses from the Modern Rose category make up the vast bulk of the 150 million roses sold annually throughout the world.

Research and testing is an ongoing process to ensure rose lovers and breeders are growing the best of the best under the climate conditions where roses can reach their potential.

Breeders are working on roses that do not require pruning! Can you imagine?

AARS Announces “Dick Clark” as 2011 AARS Award Winner

Named after an American icon, an absolute classic in itself, the rose “Dick Clark” has been honored by selection into the elite of all roses, the AARS Award Winning Roses. AARS (All-America Rose Selections) has inducted this timeless rose into their prestigious collection of annual AARS Winners considered the best of the best.

Thanks to the hybridizing of Tom Carruth and Christian Bedard, this 2011 Award Winner comes with a care label stating it is extremely disease resistant and that minimal care is needed for the gorgeous rose to thrive.  The Grandiflora rose bush will produce abundant magnificent blossoms that will grace your garden for years to come.

The gorgeous rose “Dick Clark” has been introduced by Weeks Roses’ (who has introduced 15 other roses that have also been accepted by the AARS) after surviving a very challenging two year growth program operated by the AARS. This program sets the highest standards for evaluation of roses in the interest of the busy gardener.  The AARS quality assurance program has been put into place so that any rose lover buying a rose with the AARS red rose logo designating AARS Award Winner will know they will be taking home one of the best roses available on the market.

“Dick Clark”, All-America Rose Selections Award Winner 2011

Each bud of the AARS Winner “Dick Clark” rose begins its transformation with an elegantly long and pointed black-red bud that opens into an absolutely stunning spiral blossom. The blossom is perfectly painted in a base of cream and the edges are swabbed with a beautiful cherry pink. Each of the soft petals is magically colored; when the sun reaches the petals, the petals are transformed from a blush burgundy into an elegant dark red.

Each double, classically-formed, blossom has approximately 30 stunning petals set on a long stem, enhanced with beautifully shined green foliage.  The growing habit of the rose plant itself will produce a bushy, rounded formation about 4 foot tall. This full and glossy green landscape provides the perfect background to showcase each bud’s transformation into a blossom of a magnificent size (4 to 5 inches in diameter).  As buds transform, your garden will overflow with color. The beauty of a “Dick Clark” rose is so enticing that you will want to have a vase full of these long-stemmed beauties as your centerpiece every day of the rose growing season.

A member of the Modern Rose class Grandiflora, “Dick Clark” has the exceptional rose  “Fourth of July” as ancestor.  This AARS Award Winner for 2011 is also a hardy choice, easy to grow, vigorous and disease resistant.  Its exceptional beauty is enhanced with a fragrance that is delightful, a moderate sprinkling of cinnamon spice.  “Dick Clark” should be placed at the top of your wish list of roses to have in your garden! Who would ever imagine such a timeless rose could be so beautiful, so easy to care for and disease resistant all in one package?

About All-America Rose Selections (AARS)

All-America Rose Selections ( is a non profit association of rose growers and breeders dedicated to introducing exceptional roses to rose gardeners in North America.  Each AARS Award Winner has been tested for two years in 23 gardens throughout the United States.  All annual Award Winners have been evaluated and passed tests in all 15 categories including disease resistance, shade tolerance, ease of maintenance, beauty and fragrance.  If you buy an All-America Rose Selections Award Winning Rose, you are guaranteed that the rose is the best.  Visit to see photos of Dick Clark and its companion 2011 AARS Rose Winner “Walking on Sunshine” as well as prior winners.

2011 AARS Rose Winner “Walking on Sunshine” Chosen for Perfection

2011 All-America Rose Selections (AARS) Award Winner “Walking on Sunshine” Chosen for Perfection

The All-America Rose Selections (AARS) has announced their 2011 Award Winning Rose Selections.   One of the newest roses inducted into the AARS elite group of prestigious annual rose winners is “Walking on Sunshine”, a brilliant primary yellow Floribunda which has earned its name.

In order for a rose to even qualify for AARS Winner induction, the rose must successfully complete rigorous testing for two years.  This testing is to establish the rose’s qualifications for meeting the AARS’s standards of excellence which include meeting criteria such as hardiness, ease of growing, disease resistance, fragrance and beauty. Each AARS Rose Winner is grown in all climate zones and must achieve optimum levels in each testing category. The high standards have been set into place to ensure rose growers produce roses that anyone can grow easily and be proud to have in their gardens.

This new rose, “Walking on Sunshine” and its companion 2011 AARS Rose Winner,”Dick Clark”, have outshined numerous other 2011 contestants and has grabbed the attention of many rose enthusiasts. This stunning rose achieved ratings which exceeded those awarded all but one AARS Winner in this year’s annual competition.  With the appreciation that has been given to this new beauty, rose lovers can bring their gardens to a whole new level.

The award winning rose producer, Jackson & Perkins, introduced this rose, giving the rose community another masterpiece. “Walking on Sunshine” rose is extremely easy to grow and vigorous and excels in the most important aspects related to caring for roses, its disease resistance. Rose lovers want the best of everything, especially when it comes to their roses and “Walking on Sunshine” can meet the perfection the rose lover is looking for.

AARS Award Winner, “Walking On Sunshine”

“Walking on Sunshine” is categorized as a Floribunda rose with mixed parentage of  “Sequoia Gold” and “Baby Love” with “Amber Queen” and, amazingly, an unnamed seedling.  This powerful ancestry combined to create an almost perfect rose. Round and full, this upright, well-branched rose bush “Walking on Sunshine” sports dark green glossy foliage topped with fantastic blooms that will enhance any garden.

Each long stem, often 16 – 20 inches in length, features delicate medium green high glossed shiny leaves that provide contrast for the buds which are pointed ovoid in shape. These buds will be transformed into beautifully ruffled, bright yellow blossoms, 3 – 3 ½ inches in diameter and displayed in  clusters of 3 to 5 beautifully formed blooms. With its moderate anise fragrance and welcoming yellow blooms, what a warm and inviting presence the “Walking on Sunshine” gives.

Having achieved the honor of being accepted into the AARS Rose Winner elite, this rose has been awarded the All-American Rose Selections red rose logo as seal of distinction.  To top it off, the “Walking on Sunshine” rose is a perfect starter rose for any beginner or an excellent addition to an already established flower garden.

About All-America Rose Selections (AARS)

All-America Rose Selections ( is a non profit association of rose growers and breeders dedicated to introducing exceptional roses to rose gardeners in North America.  Each AARS Award Winner has been tested for two years in 23 gardens throughout the United States.  Each annual Rose Award Winner has been evaluated and passed tests in all 15 categories including disease resistance, shade tolerance, ease of maintenance, beauty and fragrance.  If you buy an All-America Rose Selections Award Winning Rose, you are guaranteed that the rose is the best.  Visit to see photos of “Walking on Sunshine and its companion 2011 AARS Rose Winner “Dick Clark” as well as prior winners.

American Rose Society (ARS) Website

Anyone who loves flowers and especially roses will appreciate knowing about the American Rose Society Website (ARS) (, established to provide the answers to your questions about selecting and growing roses.

If rose lovers have a garden, there is probably at least one type of rose strategically placed within the garden.. Choosing a rose for strategic placement can be somewhat intimidating.   Having the proper knowledge of what you should be looking for is obviously extremely beneficial to ensure that the rose you take home will meet all your qualifications.

The American Rose Society Website, ( is just as prestigious as the All-America Rose Selections Website (  The non-profit organization, the American Rose Society (ARS), established in 1892, can provide the knowledge that you might need in choosing and caring for the perfect rose.

American Rose Society (ARS) History

The ARS is the oldest nonprofit organization in America dedicated to one single plant horticulture; the rose.  The ARS headquarters are based near Shreveport, Louisiana at the American Rose Center.   The ARS Center is located on 118 acres of land that features over 20,000 elegant rose bushes. The rose collection is comprised of almost 400 cultivars of old and modern roses.

The ARS website,, is a great place to start to find an enormous amount of information for beginners and ARS members about almost anything that has to do with roses. Numerous guidelines and standards that have been developed by the ARS have been accepted and used to judge various competitions of roses.

The American Rose Society was established to promote the appreciation and culture of the rose by research and educating to its member, to local rose societies and to the public. The rose is America’s national floral emblem, per Proclamation 5574 that was signed by President Reagan on November 20, 1986, and the ARS wants to provide information on roses by networking with national Consulting Rosarians, non-competitive rose exhibitions (which are open to the public), rose shows and of course by sharing on their website.

American Rose Magazine

Another great way that the American Rose Society provides information is through their monthly magazine, American Rose, which has more than 15,000 ARS subscribers.. This is the only magazine that you will find dedicated strictly to roses; the 84 pages that feature beautifully colored photos and informative articles is the perfect literature for both the rose growers who are beginners to the experienced rose gardeners. This periodical holds a bounty of useful resources in the form of tips, the latest rose research, growing techniques, and even articles from abroad! By the way, you can view a free sample at the website (in the About ARS tab).

Other Benefits to ARS Membership

  • Join ARS to network with other ARS members who love to garden and enjoy their roses just like you. Among the other benefits of joining the ARS
  • You can get free advice or answers to your questions about growing your roses from ARSConsulting Rosarians, from local societies,
  • You will receive quarterly bulletins, inside tips and techniques about caring and growing roses,
  • You are eligible for discounts on tickets to events such as the Spring National Rose Competition in Shreveport, Louisiana and even on ARS merchandise

The American Rose Society Website is dedicated to the rose and everyone who loves them. There is a lot of information on the website that is free and available to members and nonmembers alike.  If you are interested in the next level, in joining a local rose society, becoming an ARS member or just wanting to learn more about roses, the ARS website is a great place to start.

All-America Rose Selection (AARS) Website

If you love roses, you really need to visit This very beautiful and informative website is provided by the All-America Rose Selections (AARS). A group of dedicated rose enthusiasts make up a wonderful nonprofit association whose only goal is to provide you with information on the best of the best in roses.

AARS Award Winning Roses

Many of you know of All-America Rose Selections (AARS) for its annual competition to select an AARS Rose Winner for the year.

Although roses may seem intimidating to have and care for, by choosing an All-America Rose Selections Award Winners with the red seal of approval you’ll spend more time enjoying your roses’ beauty and less time stressing and gardening. These awe inspiring roses are an elegant and stunning species of nature that brings peace and elegance to any garden.

For 2010, the All-America Rose Selections Award Winning Rose is “Easy Does It”, for 2011 “Dick Clark” and “Walking on Sunshine”.  AARS Winning Roses are labeled with the AARS red rose seal of approval to distinguish them from other plants in the nursery.

If you buy an All-America Rose Selection Award Winner, you are guaranteed that the rose is considered one of the best. Visit to see photos and characteristics about “Dick Clark” and its companion 2011 AARS Rose Winner “Walking on Sunshine” as well as prior winners.

AARS Horticultural Testing Program

The AARS is also dedicated to the nationwide testing of exceptional new rose varieties to ensure rose gardeners will select and grow roses that are truly the best of the best.

The All-America Rose Selections began in 1938 with a program set to find the best roses.

The two year rose evaluation program consists of a challenging process of tests with standards for over 15 different criteria. Each rose must successfully meet or exceed the standards for criteria in each category.

The results of this renowned nationwide horticultural program have the standards of the quality of roses introduced to the public. Major changes have been made to the breeding famous rose varieties such as “Peace”, Queen Elizabeth and other Hybrid Tea Roses to make them easier to grow and less fragile.  New rose varieties are constantly introduced that excel in characteristics rose gardeners want.

The testing focuses on the ease of care, resistance to disease, hardiness and the beauty and blooming attributes characterizing each rose variety. In addition, each rose in grown in 23 gardens in different zones throughout the United States to ensure that the rose will successfully grow in your region.

This horiticultural testing program AARS runs is the world’s most thorough and challenging rose horticultural testing program, testing  The results are astonishing.  The AARS testing process consistently recognizes roses that are incredibly beautiful, disease-resistant and require minimal care by today’s busy homeowners.

Other AARS Website Features

In addition to the photos and characteristics of the AARS Award Winners, the AARS’ website provides the following features that may be of interest to all rose enthusiasts:

v     FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Question’s) and related answers,

v      AARS quarterly newsletter Signup,

v     Regional Growing Guide,

v     Regional Rose Choices

v     Information about the seven different types of roses, planting and caring tips

v     and a great deal more.


If you really love roses, visiting the AARS website provided for us by All-America Rose Selections is a must.  AARS has selected AARS Award Winners with a red seal of approval.  There is a great deal of information on that will help you spend more time enjoying your rose selections beauty and ensuring your roses reach their potential.

2010 AARS Award Winner “Easy Does It”

The All-America Rose Selections (AARS) has done it again with its 2010 Rose Winner selection!!

The non-profit organization has chosen another gorgeous Annual Rose Award Winner – the “Easy Does It” floribunda rose.  The AARS Award Winner happens to be the only AARS Winner for 2010.

How many roses are evaluated in each annual AARS competition? A great many roses are submitted for competition but only a very few are selected for the grueling two year evaluation.  Few roses stand out and are able to woo the judges.

The “Easy Does It” not only has the delicate beauty and fragrance of a treasured rose as well as qualities to protect itself against diseases and meet AARS standards for easy care roses..

The “Easy Does It” Floribunda

“Easy Does It” is simply a must have for the beginner or the experienced rose gardener. Weeks Roses has given us another rose in which we can admire from new or afar.  Parentage has been provided by the elite themselves, the Baby Love, Della Balfour and the Queen Charlotte. With this parentage and the fact that the AARS has given their AARS Winner red seal of approval, the “Easy Does It” is sure to be a classic in no time.

This rose bush grows to be bushy but of medium size with leaves which are beautifully polished green. This green foliage make a perfect canvas to show off the blossoms that will take your breath away. Each delicate blossom has 25 to 30 petals each which come together and form a medium to large-sized bloom. With such an abundance of petals, a formation of a double ruffled pattern is achieved which only adds to the rose blooms’ beauty.

Most people feel a rose isn’t a rose without breathtaking color and scent.   The 2010 AARS Award Winner  “Easy Does It” not only provides but surpasses other AARS Rose Winners on two required characteristics. The blossom colors of mango, apricot and peach come together and offer an elegance that is second to none. The moderate scent of fruitiness is an added bonus to this rose which only makes it standout, not only for the All-America Rose Selections, but for any garden!


NEWS:  Roses

Highlights of recent events and happenings of interest to rose enthusiasts.

We will take a look at some of the recent news releases and new initiatives by non-profits like the American Rose Society ( and All-American Rose Selections (AARS) ( that might be of interest to rose enthusiasts.

For example under our NEWS Category we have grouped a review of the 2010 AARS Award Winner, “Easy Does It” and reviews of the two 2011 AARS Award Winning roses, “Walking on Sunshine” and “Dick Clark”.  We are sure all rose lovers will enjoy seeing the pictures and reading about these disease-resistant, easy to grow stunning roses.

We will include an article about the AARS News Release this fall of a change of direction in All-America Rose Selections (AARS).  More than seventy years ago AARS was founded to evaluate roses and select annual rose winners meeting all the selection criteria in fifteen major categories including beauty, fragrance, disease-resistance etc.  AARS announced in the end of October a change to its charter to focus on nationwide testing of new rose varieties to better serve rose lovers, rose breeders and the rose industry.

See All-American Rose Selections (AARS) Redefines Charter for more on this news release.  Or go to and read the original!

Rose Bush Care is Simpler Than You Think!

Rose bush care is now simpler than you think; plant disease-resistant, easy-care modern shrub roses and relax!

With the appearance of modern shrub roses that are more disease and insect resistant, the popularity of roses in this country has been steadily on the rise.  Rose species have been bred to simplify rose bush care.  You’ll find many of these new species gracing the lawns of new homes or alongside fountains in modern commercial areas.

For years, the dominant roses were hybrid tea roses, the traditional florabunda, grandiflora, and climbing roses but these roses require more pampering.  Rose enthusiasts were wary of planting these spectacular plants because of the effort and time involved.

The new, hardier, modern shrub rose varieties have made it easier for everyone to grow roses in their gardens.  Homeowners appreciate the simple rose bush care of these low maintenance roses.  Modern shrub roses are a great way to establish an easy, beautiful look.   At the same time, gardeners appreciate the color and complexity they can bring to a mixed perennial garden with little time and effort..

Caring for Modern Shrub Roses

Growing modern shrub rose bushes is rewarding and easy. All you need for rose bush care is a few universal rose care tips, focused on how caring for shrub roses differs from other rose plants.  Through understanding a little bit more about the needs of your shrub roses, you will realize the potential of these beautiful roses.

Site Selection for Modern Shrub Roses

Bush shrub roses also like to be planted in sunny spots.  They prefer at least six hours of unfiltered, direct sunlight a day.  However, modern shrub roses are more shade tolerant and drought tolerant than many other roses.  Six hours of direct sun will stimulate growth and the best continuous blooming  but modern shrub roses like Knockout Rose will grow well without ideal conditions.

Site Preparation

Like other roses, modern shrub roses grow best in nutrient-rich soil, with a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0, You will not go wrong to mix aged cow manure and/or aged compost into the soil.  It is preferable to dig a hole 18 inches wide by 24 inches deep and place the rose plant root system in the hole.  Ideally you will the hole with amended soil and organic matter (See Rose Planting for Universal planting instructions) including ½ cup bone meal and root stimulants.  Add a 3 inch layer of mulch and water the rose plant.

Rose Planting is Easier with Modern Shrub Roses

Rose bush care is for many modern shrub roses is much simpler than you think if you plant disease-resistant, easy care modern shrub roses.

While modern shrub roses prefer well-drained, nutrient-rich soil with amendments recommended for planting roses (See Rose Planting) in commercial developments, modern shrub roses are planted all the time all the time without any amendments.

Dig a hole a little larger than the root ball, even in clay, plop your Knockout Rose in the hole and wait for the beautiful flowers the next year or two.  By 3-4 years your Knockout Roses will reach 3-4 feet with little effort on your part.  Knockout Roses are known for their disease-resistance and easy shrub bush care as well as their marvellous continuous blooming.

Pruning Shrub Roses

Pruning shrub roses is often much easier than other varieties of roses.  Major pruning is done in late winter and early spring before shrubs begin to leaf out.  Removal or spent flowers or shrub roses may be done in the summer.  Modern shrub roses are self-cleaning so you don’t have to deadhead your roses.  Many shrub rose owners do not.  However, if you want your shrub roses to grow and bloom to their potential, deadhead when you can.  My compromise is to deadhead most clusters of spent rose buds.  With one 45 degree cut, ¼ inch below a bud facing away from the center of the plant, I can remove a cluster.  Then I romove a few spent single rose buds in prominent spots if I have time

During annual pruning in early spring,remove weak, dead and diseased canes.  Prune crossing canes that clog up the center of the rose plant to allow sunlight and air to reach the center of your plants.  Cut the remaining stems about 1/3 of their growth to stimulate new growth and blooms..

Modern Shrub Rose Bush Care

Water your shrub roses once a week and fertilize using a slow release formula every six weeks.  Many of the modern shrub roses are disease resistant.  Knockout Roses are considered the most disease resistant roses.  You do not need to worry about insects or diseases unless you have problems and winter protection needs are minimum.

Modern Shrub Rose Bushes in the Garden and Landscape

Anyone interested in cultivating roses should explore the various modern shrub roses which are easily raised and can withstand risks posed by disease. Modern shrub roses have been bred to exhibit a need for only simple care and an ability to fend off disease. Such new types of roses are seemingly in constant bloom, so they provide an abundance of fragrant blooms for the entire six month season.

The best of these shrub roses serve various landscaping needs due to their ability to produce so many beautiful blooms throughout the season.  Be sure to try some on your patios, roofs and terraces; as borders, or hedges, or wherever you want truly gorgeous roses..

And you don’t need to be a professional gardener to enjoy truly amazing roses. A hearty thank you is owed to the horticulturists who have spent decades creating these new strains of roses that produce better plants and flowers. These shrub roses like the Knockout plants or the Bonica make it possible for just about anyone to enjoy the beauty of roses that won’t shrivel up at the first hint of dry weather or rose munching insects.

Growing Climbing Roses Adds Colorful Splash

Growing Climbing Roses Adds a Colorful Splash to Small Rose Gardens

Even a very small rose garden can be made even more beautiful if you’re growing a climbing rose.  Select a disease-resistant low maintenance climbing rose to plant.  Climbing roses add a vertical dimension and can make almost any kind of garden feel more romantic.   Climbing roses are good roses for beginners because they are often easy care roses and they are often prolific bloomers.

Climbing roses can be trained to grow over fences, trellises or archways. They can be mixed with clematis if you’d like them to climb up columns or along fences.  Ornamental gardens often use climbing roses as a backdrop or a point of interest among a variety of other flowers.

Do Climbing Roses Really Climb?

The climbing rose is not like a true vine; it doesn’t really climb.  Climbing roses are unable to support themselves like vines like clematis typically can.   Growing climbing roses includes training the rose plants to “climb” a support, a trellis, an arch, a fence….

Based on these conditions, how does one actually grow great climbing roses? This type of rose is known for its versatility. A rose enthusiast can attach a climbing rose to pillars, posts, a pergola, a trellis, or other type of structure where they can be seen and smelled but kept out of the way because of their thorns.

Choosing A Rose and Location for  Growing A Climbing Rose

The use of these lovely roses in your garden will be determined by the site location and the rose species itself.  Climbing roses require a minimum of six hours of direct sun, preferably early morning sun and well-drained nutritious soil as most roses do.  The height and width of the climbing rose are also factors since some roses grow to more than ten feet high and wide.

Many climbing roses have been bred to be disease-resistant and easy to grow; they are often prolific bloomers as well.  Buy a climbing rose recommended for your region and plant the rose in a sunny well-drained site to get the rose off to a good start.

Establishing a Supporting Structure for your Climbing Rose

Set up your support structure one foot away from where you plan to plant your climbing rose and another foot away from the wall if the trellis is to be attached to a wall.  If the rose itself is to be attached to a wall, dig the hole about one and ½ feet from the wall to allow for root system and foliage to grow.  Climbing roses are not picky; they can be trained to grow on a very ordinary wire fence.

Planting Your Climbing Rose

Follow instructions for planting roses (see Rose Planting Essentials) with a couple major differences.  First, plant the climbing rose angled very slightly toward the support, the trellis was etc., where you will attach the.plant. Secondly, allowing the growth of the rose to follow its natural trend, secure the rose to the lowest part of the structure using gardening ties.  A climbing rose can be started without being secured to a structure to allow the plant canes to grow a little.  One stem on each side will be trained as lateral or horizontal stems where many of the budding will occur.

Pruning Climbing Roses

One primary thing that sets climbing roses apart from typical roses is the fact that climbing roses don’t need to be pruned on a regular basis. During a climbing rose’s first two years of life, it does not need any pruning. Climbing roses will actually produce fewer blooms if they are annually pruned as one might do with a regular rose. Instead, climbing roses only need to be pruned once for every three to four years.

At the time of pruning, in the first few years all one needs to do is prune suckers, dead and diseased wood and snip off any weaker canes which have appeared near the source of the rose. This pruning encourages strong, young canes to grow while maintaining their flexibility and making the younger canes easier to weave into whatever structure they are growing against. After three years, pruning will include cutting back laterals and pruning to stimulate new laterals.

Don’t forget that patience is key when growing climbing roses. A climbing rose might need some time in order to root itself and begin to bloom after it is planted.   It may take time to train the climbing rose to show its beauty to advantage.  After these roses finally do establish themselves, their amazing colors and wonderful fragrance make the early effort worthwhile. Growing climbing roses is a genuinely rewarding experience; the roses are easy care and provide a splash of vertical color in small and large gardens.

Transplanting Roses is as Easy as 1, 2, 3

Transplanting roses is as easy as 1, 2, 3 if you avoid 3 common mistakes.  Your desire for transplanting roses could be because you would like to re-arrange plants in your rose garden.  You may prefer to give your rose plants more sunlight.  You may have been given a rose plant by a neighbor or you may have a lovely rose plant that has outgrown its container.  You’d hate to lose these rose plants after carefully attending to every need.  Is it possible, you wonder, to transplant your rose plants without killing them?

Of course it is!  All you need to do is ensure that the site is right for the move and you have prepared the rose plant for transplanting.  Then follow the steps and you should have no break in enjoying the rose’s beauty.

First things first; make sure that the rose bush, itself, can be transplanted. 

Avoid transplanting roses with root masses of smaller than the upper parts of the roses (the masses of stems growing from the plants’ centers).

Your efforts are unlikely to succeed if the root ball is smaller, because the rose plant  may not be able to nourish itself properly.  The rose may not be able to recover from transplanting.

Avoid transplanting roses that are still blooming

The best—possibly only—time to transplant a rose is during its dormant period, the time when it’s not blooming or even growing much.  For most roses, this is early spring or late fall if you live in a cool climate.  If you live in a more temperate zone, winter is considered the dormant period.  Your chances of success are better if transplanting roses occurs after the roses are no longer blooming in the fall or at the end of winter before spring blooming.

There are several reasons most rose experts agree not to transplant roses during the growing season.  It is easier to transplant the roses while they are dormant because there is less risk of the roses going into shock since they are not growing.  Plus, right after the annual pruning the plant will be smaller and easier to move around.  With proper preparation and a lot of water, anyone can follow the steps listed here and have beautiful, flourishing roses after transplanting roses during any season.

Avoid beginning to transplant roses before preparing the rose and the site.

The last thing you want to do is to allow the root ball to be exposed to the hot sun or lose any of its moisture while it awaits transplanting.  Follow the instructions for Planting Roses (See Rose Planting).

Preparing the Rose for Transplanting

Prepare an empty container with a holes in the bottom and pebbles for drainage for the rose plant to be transplanted.  Fill the pot about 1/3 full with soil.

For 3 days before transplanting the roses, water the rose plants well.

In preparing roses for transplanting, it is not necessary to prune healthy plant growth from the top structure in order for the plant to survive.  Prune damaged, diseased or dead growth.  The growth of the plant is important in the production of sugars.  It only hurts the plant to cut its growth away. Leaving the growth allows the rose plant to direct its energy towards the center of the rose plant.  For the following 3 days water the plant to be transplanted well.

Digging Your Rose Out

Remove the rose plant from the ground.  Your goal is to dig around the plant.  Take out as much of the root ball as possible to keep as much of the root system intact and injury free as possible.  Dig as deep as you can, digging several inches deeper than the root ball on all sides of an imaginary circle around the rose plant.

When you have finished digging around the rose plant, slide your shovel under the rose plant and lift out the whole mass.  Grabbing the plant gently just under the crown may help you pry the rose plant up and place it in the prepared container.

If your plant has to travel by vehicle to get to its new location, make sure that you cover the roots with a damp piece of burlap.  A good tip to remember is to water your plant well the day before you plan to move it.

Water is the secret to successful transplanting.

Ideally, water your rose plant for a few days before removing itWater it during move if lengthy.  And as part of rose planting, water it during planting and after.

The chances of transplanting a dry, wilting plant successfully are low.  But, if the plant is full of water, the demands on the roots are minimized for a time after the rose transplant has begun.  Most likely you are going to lose some of the roots in transplanting the plant; be sure to add the recommended amount of root stimulant and ½ cup bone meal to the nutrient-enriched soil in the hole in your garden destination.

The roots of a rose plant grow very deep into the soil past the point of a reasonable amount of soil that can be removed.  But, with enough water absorbed by the rest of the plant, your roses have a greater chance of survival.

Continue to follow instructions for planting roses (see Rose Planting). After the transplant, if the plant starts to wilt at its tips, it’s a sign that it is having trouble supporting its top structure.  If this happens increase the amount that you water it and prune any tips that do not recover.

Transplanting roses is as easy as 1, 2, 3, IF YOU AVOID THE THREE MISTAKES,  and follow the recommended process for removing and transplanting your rose plants.  The extra effort is worth it; you will be glad when you see your lovely roses in their new sites!

Organic Rose Gardening Requires Preparation for Success!

Organic rose gardening requires preparation for success.  This preparation for organic Rose Gardening includes Plant Selection, Site Location and Nutrient Enriched Soil.  Sound Familiar?  If there is upfront planning and preparation, growing roses organically is inexpensive and easy.  For example, your roses will often be stronger and you will leave out the purchase of chemical fertilizers and pest control by planning and upfront care.

Organic rose gardening is becoming increasingly popular among rose enthusiasts.  Roses have been grown by people for thousands of years before man-made chemicals were ever invented.  Therefore these chemicals do not have to be depended on to have a gorgeous garden of roses.  By maintaining an organic yard you are able to increase the longevity and beauty of your roses plus keep your family, pets, and wildlife away from harmful chemicals.

Nature’s Plan for Supporting Gardening

The earth, plants, and wildlife has been around millions of years doing fine on its own without the help of man.  It is only when man gets it into his head that he can do better then nature when things start getting out of balance.

Normally, plants absorb nutrients and water from their roots.  The leaves of the plant go through photosynthesis which is the process of using water and sunlight to make energy.  Soil naturally contains bacteria, fungus, nematodes, worms, plus other organisms.  These organisms break down dead materials that enrich the soil.

Chemicals Disrupt the Natural Relationships

Using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides destroy natural soil organisms and disrupt the natural relationship of the roses and the soil.  Without helpful bacteria to protect rose plant roots, harmful fungi can move in and harm the plant.

Plus, it is possible to get your roses addicted to chemical fertilizers.  The more you use chemicals to liven up and protect your roses, the more the roses will depend on the chemicals.

Caring for Roses the Organic Way

In growing roses organically, selecting disease and insect resistant roses suited to your climate and zone is very important.

Careful site selection and soil preparation are also keys for strong rose plants that are less susceptible to insect and disease control.

Finally, ensuring the soil is nutrient-rich soil is key.  The best way to enrich the soil  is to work compost into the soil of a new garden and/or as a top dressing or mulch in an existing garden.  Follow the steps to enriching soil in Rose Planting to ensure nutrient-enriched soil.

Composting is important for organic rose gardening

Anyone can start a compost pile in their yard by adding decaying plant clippings, animal waste, grass clippings, dried leaves, and even kitchen scraps like fruit peels or fish heads to a pile and allowing it to decompose over time.  There are several different, easy ways to create a compost pile in a container or in a pile but most ways require you to stir the pile to ensure that all of the compost is decaying properly.

Avoid Most Types of Insect and Disease Controls

Growing roses organically often produces strong, hardy roses resistant to insects and diseases.  Use insect and disease controls only if you nced them.

Growing roses organically is inexpensive and easy.  You are simply leaving out the purchase of chemical fertilizers and pest control.

Organic gardening means staying away from most types of pest control.  But, that does not mean that you are completely helpless against pests.  Sometimes pesticides not only kill the insects that are doing damage to your plants, they also kill the insects that help you plants by eating damaging ones.  Lady bugs and some wasps are considered beneficial for preying on insect pests.  Birds will eat grubs, and even frogs, lizards, and snakes help to prevent pest problems.

If a pesticide is truly needed, rose plant owners can purchase organic or natural pesticides that are very effective and are less toxic.  Plus, they can target a specific problem by killing that type of pest insect and not much else.

The goal in rose planting is to grow the largest blooms, the most fragrant, and over all the most beautiful roses around.  This task can be accomplished organically by putting just as much time and effort into your garden as you would put money into chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides.  Organic rose gardening requires planning and preparation but the results are worth it.

The Essentials of Rose Planting

Pay Attention to these Essentials of Rose Planting; 4 Keys to Planting Roses That Will Thrive!

Pay attention to rose planting basics; there’s a lot more to rose planting success than calculating the size of the holes that should be dug and the site’s exposure to sun.The location of your rose plant is very important and so is the availability of deep, nutrient-rich soil.   Here are four keys to planting roses that will thrive in your rose garden.

Rose planting site selection may be the single most important key

The first key in rose planting, and the single most important one, is the choice of where to plant your roses. Just like in real estate, finding the ideal spot for your roses hinges on one thing: location, location, location. As you’re scouting a location for your rose plants, keep these considerations in mind.

Is the spot you’ve decided on for your rose plants exposed to enough sunlight? Six hours of direct sunlight per day is recommended for most species of roses, preferably unfiltered early morning sun. And even the roses that can thrive in some shade will still have to have 4-6 hours of direct sunlight in order to flourish.

Is the spot you’ve marked off for planting your roses very close to other plants and trees? A number of trees and bigger plants soak up water and nutrients from the soil, even from plant and tree roots that are some distance away.

When you start to dig the hole for your rose plant, check to see if there are a lot of roots in it. If there are a lot of roots, you may want to choose another spot. Excess roots are a problem waiting to happen.

In general roses should be planted in an area with other roses or plants that are non-invasive. The exceptions are certain climbing rose species and some shrub roses. Many shrub rose plants should be planted no closer than 3 feet to another rose plant for good air circulation.  Hybrid Tea Roses and Floribundas have an upright growing habit; they may be planted less than two feets apart for visual effect and because the extra space for the root systems is not required.

Nutrient-Rich Soil May is also an Important Key

Perhaps the single most important element to consider is whether you are planting your roses in an well-drained area with fertile soil. It’s essential that roses are planted in nutrient-rich soil, because roses get “hungry.”

When planted in soil that is sandy or has excessive clay, your roses will begin to fade.

There’s a simple soil test you can do to determine if there is excess sand or clay – just grab a clump of soil in the palm of your hand and see what happens. Soil that doesn’t crumble easily and maintains the mold of your hand contains an excess amount of clay. Alternatively, soil that doesn’t maintain the mold and crumbles immediately in your hand is too sandy.

Good soil has a balanced combination of these qualities: it holds the mold and it crumbles easily. Also, soil for planting roses shouldn’t be acidic, or contain high levels of chalk or limestone.

Proper Site Preparation is Critical

Growing healthy roses requires you to make sure the dirt is properly prepared for your rose plants.  Shallow or compacted soil as well as soil that is poor in nutrients will not support the growth of healthy roses that bloom to potential without amendments.  Make sure the dirt is deep, loose, and full of nutrients to provide the best environment for your roses to grow.

Holes should be dug 18 to 24 inches wide and 18 inches deep for each rose plant or 6 inches wider than each side of the root ball. Fill each hole with water the day before planting to soak the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.

The climate of the area where you live is another factor that will affect how deep you should dig the hole for your rose plant. Roses should be planted just a bit deeper in colder places.

Mix 1/3 part humus, 1/3 composted cow manure and 1/3 garden soil to make amended nutrient-rich soil for planting. Add ½ cup bone meal or phosphorus to the planting mixture, blending thoroughly. The phosphorous in the bone meal is a healthy substance that supports root growth.

Add amended soil to the hole to the point where you will place your rose plant (choosing placement of the plant to ensure the bud union will be at the recommended height, typically 2 to 3 inches above ground level). Water again and firm the soil to remove air pockets.

Regardless of whether the rose plant is container grown or balled and burlapped, the important thing will be to set the top of the root ball 1 to 2 inches above ground level to allow for settling of the dirt.

Bareroot Roses should be soaked in water with a root stimulant to encourage growth of your rose plant.

Rose Planting

Make a mound in the center of the hole where you will place your rose plant. Position your rose plant in the center of the mound, spreading the roots over the mound. Then refill the hole, ensuring that the roots are covered with soil. Give the roots a good watering, then put another few inches of soil on top.

Position your rose plant in the center of the mound, spreading the roots over the mound. Fill the hole with the amended soil, till it covers the roots of the rose plant. Water the soil, and firm the soil again. Fill the remainder of the hole with the amended soil until the top of the root ball is 1 to 2 inches above ground level.
Check to see that the bud union is a couple inches above ground level.  Add 3 inches good quality mulch and water again. Firm the soil again to remove air pockets. Add the recommended amount of a slow release fertilizer around the base of the plant and water again.

Carefully following the essentials of rose planting will guarantee rose growing success.  Roses need a sunny, well-drained site with nutrient-rich soil. Choosing disease and insect-resistant roses will improve chances of growing healthy, continuous blooming roses.  If all these conditions are met, you can plant roses that will thrive almost anywhere in your rose garden.

Rose Garden Care Essentials: How to Avoid Common Mistakes

Rose Garden Care Essentials can be identified to avoid the common mistakes most people make in growing roses.

Many rose gardeners believe that caring for roses is relatively difficult and that rose plants need pampering.   Caring for roses really isn’t that difficult if you follow a few rules and avoid common mistakes we all make in rose gardening.….

In Caring for Roses, we looked at rules related to Rose Plant Selection,  Rose Site Selection and Preparation, and Rose Planting.  Rose Garden Care reviews more universal essentials for caring for roses in your rose garden including guidelines for:

Performing Maintenance Care for Roses

Growing healthy roses that bloom to perfection requires caring for your roses regularly and consistently.

How Much Water Should You Use and How Often?:  If you are looking into growing healthy roses, you should know that water is the most important element.  Water is required for all living things, and roses are no exception.  If you provide them with 1 to 2 inches of water every week, preferably watering 2 to 4 times, your roses will be gorgeous.

When thinking about water, you must think about the roots of the roses. The roots of roses grow deeply.  Due to the depth of these roots, roses can take water from dirt that is also deep, even if there is no water on the surface at the base of the rose plant.  Water at the root level means roses can withstand dry times.  Providing your roses with sufficient water will allow the roots to extend further down into the dirt. If you do not give roses enough water, the roses’ roots will take a shallow path in order to get the water they need.

Roses are not capable of withstanding extended times when enough water is not provided.  Plan to.water your roses a minimum of 1 to 2 inches a week or 2 to 4 waterings, soaking the roses to a depth of 6 to 8”.  Check watering recommendations by rose type; Hybrid Tea Roses require more than shrub roses.  Water the base of the rose plant rather than the leaves, using a soaker hose if possible.

What Kind of Fertilization Should You Use? A major part of caring for roses is proper fertilization. If your roses are planted in a site where the soil is rich and filled with nutrients or they have been planted in nutrient-enriched soil, they might do well for a long time without fertilizers added. Roses eat the nutrients that are generated by good bacteria and fungus that reside in the dirt, which means your rose garden will always have fertile soil.

Rose plants needs vary according to rose species; Hybrid Tea Roses need more fertilization, Knockout roses often get by with an annual feeding.

Roses will flourish with either organic or non-organic fertilizer.  The best mixture of inorganic fertilizer to get the best results is 4-8-4 or 5-10-5.  If you use too much of a synthetic fertilizer, you might kill off the good bacteria and organisms that reside in the nutritious soi.  In addition, the roses might begin to depend on the synthetic fertilizer, which means you will always have to give your rose plants the synthetic fertilizer.   If you use a synthetic fertilizer, it is better to use a slow release fertilizer that releases the nutrients gradually as the roses begin to awaken from dormancy in the early part of spring.

You might also want to put some fertilizer on the garden once the blooms are finished for the year.  The roses will want extra nutrients to save for the next growing season.

How to Keep Roses Healthy and Pest-free–You will want to remove any dead leaves from the rose plant or other debris at the soonest time possible.  Watch for disease and insects and treat immediately.  Once you believe you have a problem, stave off diseases and fungus by spraying roses in your garden on the underside of leaves, once every 10 to 14 days as the roses are growing.  A mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of Immunox or Malathion and 1/2 teaspoon of fungicide in a quart of water will also provide relief.

How and When to Prune When caring for roses, an essential aspect is pruning and includes both annual pruning and maintenance pruning.

Annual Pruning

Typically, major pruning takes place once a year right before the roses awaken from their winter dormancy in the spring. To do this effectively, take off any broken, diseased, or dead leaves of the roses.  Next cut back the canes of the rose bush, 1/3 to ½ of their length, to stimulate new growth and blooming.  Prune any suckers growing from the base of the rose and the  branches crossing the rose bush.

To cut back a rose, cut each cane at a 45 degree angle approximately one-quarter inch above an outward-facing bud.  Cutting the major rose canes this way, will give your roses enough room for air to circulate and ensure the rose plants thrive in a healthy manner.

Pruning may also be done later in the spring months to shape the rose plant. It is best to do this second pruning once the plant begins to bloom in the spring.

Maintenance pruning

While regularly caring for your roses, you will shape and  deadhead your spent rosebuds, a form of pruning.   Once the roses start to bloom, you will begin deadheading or cutting off the spent or dead rose buds on a regular basis.  How often you do this depends in part on the rose type.  For example, modern shrub roses are often self-cleaning with deadheading not required.  Deadheading, however stimulates the growth of modern shrub roses.   Roses also bloom to their potential if you do deadhead fairly frequently.  I deadhead about monthly, removing clusters of spent roses, not necessarily all the spent rose buds.

When you remve the spent blooms you will keep your rose garden looking its best and you will likely have bigger blooms during the next blooming cycle.


To deadhead a rose bud, cut the dead flower bud or cluster of dead flower buds back to the first healthy group of five leaves on the outside edge of a cane.  Cut at a 45 degree angle 1/4 “  above the place where the 5 leaf branch joins the cane.

Once the first frost arrives in the fall, trim the roses to approximately 4 feet high.

Rose garden care and caring for your roses can take a lot of time and patience to get the best results.  However, once you see the truly beautiful roses in bloom and your rose plants flourish in your rose garden, you will reap the benefits of your effort.  In fact, enjoying your rose garden and showing your beautiful roses to neighbors, family and friends will make the effort seem minimal.

What Makes Caring for Roses Difficult?

What is it that makes people think that caring for roses is difficult? Most people agree that roses are one of the most gorgeous and desirable flowers that can be grown.  Sadly, most people also agree that growing roses is hard because caring for roses is difficult.

Some rose enthusiasts who have tried to grow roses certainly agree that roses are delicate and require pampering.   Other rose gardeners, however,  have tried to identify and follow rules for caring for roses and growing healthy roses and their rose gardens have thrive

Growing healthy roses that bloom to perfection really isn’t that difficult.  It requires planning and preparation and then caring for your roses regularly and consistently.   Once you know and follow a few basic rules, your roses will flourish.  Here are basic rule related to Plant and Site Selections, Soil Preparation and Planting:

Pick a Good Rose Plant for the Site
This rule is a key to ensuring that your rose plant thrives in your rose garden. Pick a rose plant that is known to thrive in your zone and climate. Consider selecting an All American Rose Selection Award Winner that is disease-resistant and considered easy to grow.

The absolute best spot to plant your garden rose is is in a well-drained bed in a sunny location. Most roses will do well with 6 hours of direct full sun, especially if the sun is unfiltered and early morning sun.   Spacing is also an important factor; depending on the rose species, you should allow a minimum of three feet between rose plants for good air circulation.  Rose bushes with an upright growing habit may require only 1 1/2 feet between rose plants for visual effect and plant size.

Prepare the Soil for Planting
Growing healthy roses requires you to  make sure the dirt is properly prepared for your rose plants.  Shallow or compacted soil as well as soil that is poor in nutrients will not support the growth of healthy roses that bloom to potential.

Make sure the dirt is deep, loose, and full of nutrients to provide the best environment for your roses to grow. Holes should be dug 24 inches wide and 18 inches deep for each rose plant.  Fill each hole with water the day before planting to soak the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.

Mix 1/3 part humus,  1/3 composted manure and 1/3 garden soil to make amended nutritious soil for planting.  Add ½ cup bone meal or phosphorus to the planting mixture, blending thoroughly.

Add amended soil to the hole to the point where you will place your rose plant (choosing placement of the plant to ensure the bud union will be at the recommended height, typically 2 to 3 inches above ground level).  Water again and firm the soil to remove air pockets.

Plant Your Rose Plant
The third rule is all about proper planting of roses in your garden.  First build a cone-shaped mound in the center of the hole prepared for your rose plant.

Remove broken and bruised roots and dead wood of the rose plant.  Position your rose plant in the center of the mound, spreading the roots over the mound.  Fill the hole with the amended soil, till it covers the roots of the rose plant.    Water the soil, and firm the soil again.   Fill the remainder of the hole with the amended soil until the top of the root ball is 1 to 2 inches above ground level.

Check to see that the bud union is a couple inches above ground level.. Add 3 inches good quality mulch and water again. Firm the soil again to remove air pockets. Add the recommended amount of a slow release fertilizer around the base of the plant.

To grow healthy roses, you need to understand that caring for roses requires planning, consistency and a bit of effort.  However, once your roses are thriving, you will be very proud of their beauty and health and glad you made the commitment.  There is nothing better than enjoying your roses and having guests, neighbors and friends admire the gorgeous roses that are flourishing in your rose garden.

The Easiest Modern Shrub Roses to Grow

Why Easy to Grow, Disease-Resistant Shrub Roses are the roses to add to your garden!

The easiest modern shrub roses to grow in your garden are roses identified by AARS as easy to grow and disease-resistant shrub roses.  They have been bred for low maintenance and  disease-resistance and represent a new generation of modern shrub roses.  Today there are shrub roses to meet every landscaping need.  The best of these roses are disease-resistant, easy to grow, and continuous blooming

Modern shrub roses play many roles in the landscape.  These  include:  patio, roof gardening and terrace plantings; container and miniature rose shrubs, hedge, border and landscaping plantings, ornamental use and foundation plantings for home and commercial use.

Modern shrub roses are a varied group of shrub roses with variability of size and spread (2’ to 12’ feet), hardiness, disease-resistance,  shade and drought and tolerance. Modern shrub roses also vary according to fragrance, pruning requirements, and blooming habit.  Planting easy to grow disease-resistant modern shrub plants improves opportunities for spectacular and continuous bloom as well as ease of maintenance. Planting easy to grow disease-resistant modern shrub roses also reduces the effort, time and resources needed to grow a beautiful rose garden.

Favorites among the many easy to grow, disease-resistant roses I have grown include:

  • The low-growing “The Fairy”,  a hardy soft pink compact shrub rose 24” X 36”;
  • New Dawn, the pale pink climbing rose which reaches 10 to 12’ and is easy to train and secure;
  • Heritage by David Austen;
  • Knockout and Double Knockout, considered the most disease resistant rose of all roses, and
  • Bonica a deep pink shrub rose that can be intertwined with Henryi clematis for a beautiful landscaping effect.

The Best Roses to Plant for a First Rose Garden

Choose Easy to Grow Roses for Lasting Beauty

What are the best roses to plant for a first rose garden? Start small and choose proven winners, easy to grow AARS Rose winners for the best chances of success.

There are more than 2000 rose species we can consider for a new rose garden.  How should we choose roses to plant in a first rose garden?   What are easy roses for beginners to plant?  Should I plant a mixed perennial garden?  Or perhaps plant easy to grow roses along a wall or as a privacy hedge?

Easy does it.  For a first garden, make a commitment only to plant roses that are easy to grow in your area. Look around and see what is growing well in individual yards, developments and at garden centers.

What are the best All American Rose Selections (AARS) roses you might like to plant?  AARS Award winners are rated easy to grow and disease-resistant when they are certified.  Read the descriptions of your AARS Rose Winner favorites and see if some of the roses seem especially easy to grow and disease-resistant.  

One of the best roses to plant in a first rose garden is the Knockout Rose, an AARS Rose Winner in 2000.  Roses from the Knockout rose family are considered the most disease-resistant rose;  the roses are easy to grow roses and require little maintenance.

For a first garden, you might plant one or mor Knockout roses, perhaps the dark cherry red favorite Knockout “Rosa Radrazz” or the deep pink Knockout “Rosa Radcon.  Plant the roses in the corner of a house or along a bare wall or perhaps as a decoration around a lamp post

If you want to try a bit more than Knockout roses, you might plant hybrid tea roses that are particularly easy to grow and disease-resistant.  A few All-America Rose Society (AARS) roses you might plant include you “Peace”, “Chicago Peace”, and “Sheer Bliss”.  Planting the spectacular combination of Knockout roses with a few disease-resistant and easy to grow hybrid tea roses will surely be the best roses for a first rose garden.

Careful selection of the best roses to plant from among AARS award roses designated the most easy  to care for will reward you with a rose garden of lasting beauty.

This is my Favorite Disease-Resistant Pink Garden Rose!

Selecting Other Easy Pink Garden Roses to Grow!

With tall oaks shading the yard, pink roses in my rose garden had to be among the the most disease-resistant and the easiest roses to grow.  We checked the regional garden centers for disease-resistant roses that are easy to grow in our climate zone.

To help us select other disease-resistant roses that were also easiest to grow, we looked for All American Rose Selection (AARS) picks.  All the AARS award winners have been tested for two years in all climate zones of the US.  All AARS award winners are disease-resistant roses that are easy to grow and score highly on fragrance and flowering.

My 5 favorite disease-resistant pink roses are:

  • The Knockout landscape roses which come in several fabulous colors; the roses have the reputation for being the most disease-resistant roses. In the Knockout family of landscape roses are the Red Knockout Rosa Radrazz and the Pink Knockout and Pink Double Knockout roses. The Knockout roses grow 3 to 4 feet and require no deadheading and minimum prunming.
  • The deep pink disease-resistant Queen Elizabeth, has lovely foliage.  The Queen Elizabeth hybrid tea rose was chosen for the Rose Hall of Fame.  There is also a climbing rose Queen Elizabeth.
  • Easy to grow and disease-resistant floribunda Simplicity hedge rose shrubs reach 4 to 5 feet.  The pale pink Simplicity landscape roses also require no deadheading, and minimum pruning
  • Easy to grow and disease-resistant pale pink New Dawn is a climbing rose that grows 10-12 feet.
  • Easy to grow, very fragrant and disease-resistant Peace is perhaps the most famous and beloved hybrid tea rose in America.  The Peace rose was a symbol of peace following World War II: it was chosen for AARS in 1946.   Peace is pale yellow or gold with a pink blush and tip at the end of each petal.   For me the hybrid tea garden rose Peace is the easiest rose to grow and the most beautiful rose of all!

These five disease-resistant pink roses are roses that are easy to grow and produce blooms as well.  Disease-resistant roses have superior hardiness and produce continuous blooms.  These disease-resistant and easy to grow roses will provide a spectacular colorful display from spring to fall with little energy or resources expended by the rose gardener. Copyright 2010 Home About Contact Us Articles Suggested Topics NEWS