Growing Tips

Three Tips for Growing Roses

Roses have changed in the last 20 years. At one time perfecting the Hybrid Tea shape in a variety of colors was the breeder’s goal because showing roses was a popular pastime. However producing roses with superior disease resistance and lots of beautiful flowers is now the priority.

To get the most from your roses:

  1. Choose the right location. Roses need at least 6 hours of sun a day and well-drained soil with lots of organic matter.
  2. Purchase Canadian grown roses. Most roses are grafted. That means they put the variety of rose onto roots of a hardier rose. In areas of Canada that experience winter, we prefer the rootstock Rosa multiflora for winter hardiness. Many people in the northern United States order roses from Canada to get this rootstock. American growers tend to use rootstocks that are not as winter hardy. If the rose comes from the southern U.S. you can be assured it will not be on R. multiflora.  Many Canadian Tire and other big box stores carry some Canadian grown roses but you need to check the label. If you are looking for something unique, try Cornhill Nurseries in New Brunswick for their selection of hardy roses. They also ship roses across Canada. There are several Canadian on-line retailers:, and who all grow the roses they sell.
  3. Plant and Prune. We recommend in areas with cold winters that the graft on the rosebush be planted 75cm – 150cm (3”-6”) below the ground. Planting the graft below the ground not only helps protect it in winter, but protects it from drying out in summer. This may be different from the directions that come with your rose. You may still need to provide winter protection however, this planting will give your rose a better chance of surviving the winter. Each spring remove any growth that has died and shape your rose bush.