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How to guide: Growing Roses

When to plant roses

The best time to plant bare-root roses is from October to March, providing the soil is workable and free from frost. Containerised roses can be planted all year round.

Soil preparation

If roses have previously been growing in the area to be planted, to avoid ‘Rose Sickness’ occurring, the soil from the planting hole must be exchanged with some from elsewhere in the garden.

Alternatively plant the rose in a large biodegradable pot or box to allow it to become established before it roots out into the surrounding soil.

You can also use ‘Rootgrow’. This is a product containing a mycorrhizal fungi which works in union with the Roses’ root system.

Ensure the ground is thoroughly dug over and incorporate plenty of well rotted manure or organic material.

Growing roses in containers

Roses are heavy feeders and need a good root run for successful growing in containers. Choose a container of at least 30- 45cm diameter and depth, with a multi-purpose compost of your choice.

For best results water regularly during the summer and liquid feed. Also remember to spray once every 2-3 weeks to keep them free from pests and diseases. Pruning is exactly the same as normal garden roses.


Dig a hole large enough to take all the roots and then break up the bottom of the hole with a fork. Place the roots in the hole and cut back any roots that would otherwise need to be folded around.

Replace the soil, firming it down with your heel as you go to avoid any air pockets and ensure that the union of the branches and roots is at or just above soil level when planted.

Ensure the Rose is well watered in and water generously until the plant is established.

Click to download our Rose Care leaflet