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Tips for Growing Roses

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Tips from Donald Meyers, a master rosarian, a member of the American Rose Society, and a gardener with more than 500 roses in his garden.

Donald Meyers

Q: How hard is it to grow good roses?
A: Roses have a reputation of being difficult to grow, but with the newer varieties, you need less input. People with kids or someone who’s very busy doesn’t need to spend a lot of time fussing with them. It’s really not that hard to have pretty roses just like grandma's.

Q: What makes the newer roses easy to grow?
A: You don’t have to spray or deadhead. You get a long bloom—starting in late spring all the way until a fall freeze. They continue to grow and bloom without any trouble. They don’t take any more work than any other shrub. Just be sure they get good drainage and at least 5 hours of sun each day.

Q: Is there a rose I can treat like any other shrub?
A: That’s what happened with Knock Out. People found a rose they can plant and not worry about. It’s not leggy, but it grows very well and doesn’t need much pruning or maintenance. The Flower Carpet series is another one. It’s disease-resistant and low-growing, and it can be handled like a spreading yew.

Q: Do I need a lot of space or tools to grow roses?
A: Not at all. You can even grow them on balconies off apartments. In fact, it’s increasingly popular to grow roses in pots. For tools, start off with a good pair of gloves to protect yourself from rose thorns. You’ll also want pruners to trim dead canes in spring. And you’ll get better results if you fertilize with a simple granular fertilizer, such as 10-10-10.

Q: What final words do you have for new rose growers?
A: There’s a perfect rose for every garden!

Flower Carpet Rose

Flower Carpet Rose
Groundcover rose; 2-3 feet tall and wide; zones 5-10; 9 colors.

Knock Out Roses

Knock Out
Shrub rose; 3-4 feet tall and wide; zones 5-10; 5 colors.

Explore more on roses here.