How to Grow and Propagate Beautiful Roses

Anyone can grow and propagate beautiful roses if they’re willing to give them tender loving care. Roses love sunlight, so they need to be planted in an area of your garden or yard that gets at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily.


When planting roses, be sure the soil is well drained. You may want to add some small rocks after you dig the hole to provide better drainage. If roses get too wet, they will either drown or get root rot. If you don’t have a well drained area in your garden or yard, plant roses in raised beds.

Dig a hole deep and wide enough that the roots of the roses can be spread out without bending. Once the hole is dug, add compost or sheep manure. Fill the hole half full of soil and water. Fill in the remainder of the hole and tamp down to prevent air pockets from forming. Add water to be sure the newly planted rosebush is deeply watered. The roses' roots should be soaked overnight in a bucket of water before planting. Be sure to follow instructions on spacing. This will allow good air circulation.


Kelp is a great natural fertilizer for rosebushes, as are fish intestines. Be sure to discontinue all types of fertilizer at least one month before the first frost is expected. Rosebushes should be fertilized at least twice per growing season.


The most common insects found on rosebushes are aphids. They are little green bugs that will literally suck the life out of the rosebush. Use dish detergent and water to rid your rosebushes of these creatures.

Japanese beetles are the second most common insects to attack rosebushes. They are a metallic green with copper wings and are about 3/8 of an inch long. When you spot Japanese beetles on your rosebushes, apply insecticide and treat on a regular basis. Plant garlic nearby to keep Japanese beetles at bay. If you wish to use an organic pesticide, Neem Seed Oil works great. It will also stop fungal disease. If your rosebushes are severely infested with Japanese beetles, it’s best to use an insecticide that is environmentally friendly.

Mulching Roses

When mulching roses, use natural mulch such as grass clippings, organic mulch, pine needles or woodchips. Mulch helps rosebushes retain moisture and it protects them against disease.

Pruning Roses

Roses should always be pruned in the spring. Cut away damaged and dead branches. Make certain your pruning shears are sharp. Dull shears will damage rosebushes. Soak shears in bleach and water before you prune. This protects the rosebush from insects and disease.

Watering Roses

Roses should be watered deeply once a week at the roots. Don’t get the leaves wet, as this promotes leaf fungus and disease. It’s best to water roses in the morning to assure that if the leaves get wet the sun will burn off the moisture.

Winterizing Roses

In the fall, add five inches of soil at the base of the rosebush to protect the roots. Woodchips and organic mulch or straw can also be used. Remove mulch in the spring after all frost has left the ground.

Cleaning Roses

Always remove weathered leaves and those that have black spots. Dead head spent blooms to ensure the rose will continue to bloom. To prevent black spot, mix one tablespoon of dish detergent and one tablespoon of baking soda in one gallon of water. Spray the entire rosebush with the mixture.

How to Propagate Roses

Propagating roses may sound like a difficult task, but it's really very simple.

  1. Select a cane of new growth and cut the stem on a slant like this: /. Leave a bud just above the cut.
  2. Remove the bud and all of the leaves.
  3. Place the cut stem in water or moist vermiculite that comes half way up its length.
  4. If desired, add root compound to the water or vermiculite to speed the rooting process.
  5. Place in an area that is well lit and where temperature stays at approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave for 4 to 6 weeks.
  6. Do not place in direct sunlight.
  7. When roots develop, plant in a small pot. Soil mixture should be half compost and half sand.
  8. Place the pot in a hole in your yard or garden where it is well sheltered.
  9. When vigorous growth begins, transplant the rosebush in a permanent location.
  10. Enjoy the beauty of your newly propagated rosebush.