Beginner Guide: How to start a rose garden from scratch

A beautiful garden to spend leisure in is a dream for all plant lovers. Be it in the backyard, front yard, or a small balcony in the urban space; a beautiful garden full of blooming fragrant flowers is always cherished by plant lovers. Amidst the wide variety of flowers, the rose is the most loved and adored of all. Starting a rose garden beginner is so complex to understand. I will share my experience, How to start a rose garden from scratch.

Roses can be found in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Be it a single plant or trailing bushes, the mesmerizing beauty and mind-blowing fragrances never fail to cease our attraction. Rose tops the list of flowers while we plant to start a garden at home. Not only for the fragrance and beauty, but this plant also does not take much effort to grow flowers. 

Rose plants only need adequate sunlight, enough water, necessary fertilizers, and spaces to grow. This article provides all the nitty-gritty details to start a rose garden from scratch. If you can maintain these basic steps and care for your rose plants, you can easily start a rose garden within a few weeks.

How to start a rose garden from scratch
How to Start a Rose Garden for Beginners

How to Select Rose Plants and Purchase

Your first step in starting a rose garden is going to a nursery and looking for healthy plants. Selecting a well-maintained and healthy rose plant is important as it will take less time and hassle to provide your desired result. The first indication of a healthy plant is having 4 or 5 thick and healthy stems that are pruned properly.

You should also examine the leaves. If the leaves contain small holes, it indicates disease or attack from insects. Thus, go for rose plants that have holes free green and smooth leaves. 

Selecting a perfect rose plant for your small garden is important too. Nurseries have a wide variety of roses in their collection and it is often difficult to find the perfect one for your home. If you want to plant roses on your balcony, you can go for potted roses or trailing bushes.

If you want to plant in the front or back of your home, you can opt for selecting bare root rose plants too. As every rose plants have a unique beauty of its own, you need to find out the perfect one according to your house setting.

How Many Varieties of Roses Are There?

Almost 300 species of rose flowers can be found all over the world. Among these species, thousands of hybrid roses are cultivated with every known color to us. Though there are a lot of hybrid roses, not all are cultivated for selling purposes. Most of the floral specialists have divided these wide varieties of roses into 3 main groups – old garden roses, modern garden roses, and wild roses.

Old Garden Roses :

The category of old garden roses includes some of the oldest and antique rose species that can be found before the year 1867 too. Some of the notable old garden roses are- Damask, Alba, Centifolia, Bourbon, China, Hybrid Perpetual, Tea, Noisette, and Gallica. These strong fragranced roses bloom only once per season. Besides being a timeless beauty, these roses are evolved with proper gardening methods and care. Thus they are more hardy and disease-resistant species.

Old Garden Roses
Old Garden Roses

Wild Roses :

wild roses
Wild roses

Wild roses can almost always be found in pink color. These species are not hybridized or crisscrossed with other rose species. Thus, it is unlikely to find them in classic yellow, red, or white color. Usually, these roses have five single petals and bloom only once. Most of the wild roses are small shrubs having a height of 3 feet to a maximum of 4 feet. Some of the well-known wild rose species are- Pasture Rose, Carolina Rose, Swamp Rose, Prairie Rose, Wood’s Wild Rose, Rugosa Rose, and The Nootka Rose.

Modern Garden Roses :

Modern garden roses are the species of rose that are bred and cultivated after the year 1867. Modern garden roses give numerous large blooms throughout the year. Though the number of their blooms is constant, their fragrance is not so hardy as the old garden roses. These species of garden roses also lack disease-resistant features like the old garden roses and are prone to common diseases that attack the rose plants. Some of the popular modern garden roses are- Grandifloras, Miniature Roses, The Peace Rose, Kiftsgate Rose, Blaze, New Dawn, and Kathleen Ferrier.

Modern Garden Rose

Video: How to start a rose garden at home

Few Ideas for Starting a Rose garden at Home

Roses can be grown into different settings of the home. No matter how small a balcony you have or how big your backyard or front yard is, roses can illuminate every space with their beauty. Before going into discussing the basic ideas of creating a rose garden, let me share a few of my favorite settings of roses at home.

Climbing Roses Vine at the Balcony :

Climbing Roses Vine at the Balcony

One of my favorite views of a rose garden is watching a cluster of white roses climbing a balcony. It will look mesmerizing both with the open and closed balconies. Just cover the rails or grill of a balcony with the rose vines and watch it grows naturally with proper sunlight.

Roses in Pots or Containers :

Roses in Pots or Containers

Roses planted in a pot or container are suitable for keeping in the balconies or by the side of your window. You can also keep these pots on your terrace. It requires a small space. If you live in urban areas where space is a big issue for starting gardening, you can buy potted single rose plants.

Roses on the Archway and Walls :

Roses on the Archway and Walls
The pink, rose-covered archways in Elizabeth Park.

This design is suitable for rose gardens in the front yard or backyard of your home. If you like to build beautiful bamboo or wooden archways in the entrance, you can grow the rose vines over it. This view of covering the archways with rose vines can enhance the beauty of your garden like never before. You can also plant these roses beside the wall of your house. The vines will cover the walls while growing up and create an eye-catching view.

Roses by the Pathways :

A grassy pathway through a blooming rose garden

Both the sides of the gardens pathway can be designed by planting bush roses. You can plant bush roses in the pots buts bare-rooted roses will create a more natural view. You can also create several soil patches on both sides of straight pathways and plant roses on these patches.

Miniature Roses :

Miniature roses are suitable for planting in both indoor and outdoor gardens. These roses are bred to keep their size smaller from 6 inches to 2 feet. If you want to plant a variety of roses in your rose garden, you can include these mini roses in your collection too. They are small yet fragrant and beautiful enough to soothe your soul.

How do you start a rose garden at home? : Step by Step

If you have a plant to start a rose garden stay connected with nature then follow these steps. I have guided you to start a rose garden from scratch at home.

  1. Purchase some gardening basic tools

    For starting a rose garden, you need to buy essential tools like pruning shears, gardening gloves, watering can, shovel, spade, organic fertilizer, mulch, and compost. These basic equipment are needed to ensure your homely rose garden is on the right track from the beginning.

  2. Purchase healthy rose plants

    If you buy rose plants with containers or pots, you do not need to plant them right away in your garden. You can fertilize and water them for some days in that container. In the case of bare-rooted rose plants, you need to plant them as soon as you buy them. If the temperature is warmer, you can soak the soil of bare-rooted plants in a bucket of water for a minimum of 12 hours to preserve the moisture. Keep in mind – purchase healthy rose plants.

  3. Do light pruning

    Before planting the bare-rooted rose plants, you need to ensure to give the stems a light pruning. Remove the thinner stems and keep 3 to 5 flower buds per stem. In the case of potted roses, not much pruning is needed. You can loosen the roots of the plant by slightly poking them through a knife or any sharp object before planting them in the soil bed.

    Check out: Best pruning shears

  4. Prepare a soil bed for the rose plant

    While planting both the bare-rooted and potted roses, you need to dig a hole in the soil bed that will be larger than the plants. Use a shovel and spade to dig a bigger and deep hole for planting the roses with approximately 16 to 18 inches width.

  5. Use organic fertilizers

    After planting the roses on the soil bed, you need to add organic fertilizers such as cow manure to provide the newly planted roses with essential nutrients. The soil needs to be soaked with water to provide balanced moisture for the healthy growth of the plant. You should put the loose soil around the newly planted roses to give them enough support to settle in your garden.

How to take care of roses in the house

Making a rose garden in a home without any professional help is not so tough if you have some basic knowledge about rose plants. Some necessary factors are- maintaining proper spacing while planting roses, giving them adequate water and sunlight to feed, and pruning the stems regularly to ensure the health as well as the growth of your roses.

Give Your Rose Plants Some Space and Ventilation :

Roses need plenty of space to grow freely. It is recommended to not plant rose plants too close to each other. While planting, keep 30 to 30 inches of space between two rose bushes or plants. This adequate space will allow the roses of your garden to circulate air properly.

Proper air circulation or ventilation is necessary to keep your plants safe from various diseases. Keep them at a warm temperature with adequate space to grow healthily.

Adequate Sunlight : 

Roses need 6-8 hours of sunlight daily to preserve their health. It does not matter if your rose garden is indoor or outdoor, you need to ensure your roses have their daily dose of sunlight. If you are planning for an indoor rose garden, place the containers or pots on the balcony or terrace where sunlight is available. You can also keep them beside your windows if the sunlight reaches the spot.

In winter, you should place your plants beside the fence or shade where they will get protection from heavy winds but enough sunlight in the daytime.

Sufficient Water :

You need to maintain a proper schedule while watering your rose garden. If the water is less your plants will get dried out and become lifeless. If you water your roses more than necessary, their growth and overall health of them will get hampered. As the temperature is hot in summer, you need to water your rose garden regularly 2 or 3 times a week.

Usually, twice a week is fine if the leaves of your roses are healthy. If you notice yellow leaves in your plants in scorching heat in summer, water them thrice a week.

In the rainy season, you do not need to worry much about watering if it rains regularly for a week. In case of excessive rainfall, you need to pay attention to the soil. Excess moisture in the soil is harmful to roses as many diseases can attack them if the soil is excessively damp. During fall, you can reduce the watering if the weather cools down.

To prevent your rose garden from drying out, water them 1 time per week. To keep your roses healthy, use a hosepipe or watering can with a long spout to directly wet the soil.

How to Prune Roses in Perfect Way :

Pruning is another important factor to ensure the healthy growth of the roses in your garden. It is advised to prune your roses casually every season to prevent the stems from getting cluttered and crowded. You can use a pair of good pruning shears to shred unwanted stems and dried woods of your rose plants. In the early spring, you should start the heavy pruning which includes cutting one and third portions of the stems of the old plants. Pay attention to not over-prune your roses and stop when you find healthy and young stems.

While pruning roses, you also need to ensure that the rose beds are kept clean. You should remove all the remains of the stems and fallen leaves from the soil to give your roses enough ventilation. Clean rose beds also prevent diseases from spreading while ensuring the overall health of your plants. If you pay attention to pruning regularly, your roses will produce good quality flowers all year along.

Best way to fertilize roses

If you are a beginner, you can rely on organic fertilizers for your rose garden. Fertilizing your plants regularly and properly will ensure bringing out the best quality roses. Organic fertilizers are a good option as they are packed with essential nutrients that are useful for your rose garden.

These fertilizers also help balance the ph of the soil which is very much needed for the healthy growth of the roses. You can use organic fertilizers including fish emulsion and cow manure.

best way to fertilize roses

3 to 6 inches of Mulch can be used to prevent the soil beds from the weeds and to lock the essential nutrients to ensure the healthy growth of your roses. You can also mix a quarter cup of Epsom salts with fertilizer and water to create a smooth paste. This mixture can also be used as a good fertilizer for your rose garden to ensure the growth of healthy and dark green leaves.

You can also sprinkle some Epsom salt in the rose bed for healthy stems. You can also mix it with water and spray the solution on the plants twice a week to prevent insects and unwanted pastes.

Rose Garden Diseases

Though modern technology allows creating hybrid roses that are disease resistant, we should keep ourselves aware of some known diseases and conditions of rose plants to be able to recognize them. The common diseases in the rose gardens are Black spots and Powdery Mildew.

Black Spot:

You can recognize this disease by looking at the deep brown spots on the leaves. Usually, it comes from the excess moisture of the rose beds. It starts attacking from below the plants and eventually rises to the top harming the leaves. You can prevent this harmful disease by providing enough air circulation to rose plants so that the soil is not excessively damped. To reduce these spots, you can mix baking soda with gardening oil and spray it all over the leaves.

Black spot diseases for rose plant

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew is another well-known disease of rose plants that creates a white powdery substance covering the leaves. This disease attacks the roses mostly in the summer. During the summer season, the warm temperature cools down at night providing excess moisture to the soil. To prevent this, you need to water the rose beds in the morning to wash away the excess moisture of the night. You should regularly prune your rose plants as well as the affected leaves to increase the air circulation of the plant to prevent this harmful disease.

Powdery Mildew diseases for rose plant

FAQs: How to Start a Rose Garden for Beginners

What is the best month to plant roses?

The best time to plant roses is in the spring season. The temperature is balanced enough to make the newly planted roots well settled in the soil. If you plant roses in your garden from early in the spring, they will get much time to cope up in the new soil bed and not died away easily in the cold.

What do I need for a rose garden?

For creating a rose garden you need to pick a suitable spot where your plants will get enough sunlight, organic fertilizers like cow manure, pruning shears, water can, mulch, and digging tools like shovel and spade.

What is the best place to plant a rose bush?

The best place for planting a rose bush is where enough sunlight for 6 to 8 hours is available. Be it inside or outside of your home, just pick a place where sunlight is reachable.

What are the best homemade fertilizers for roses?

The best homemade fertilizers for roses can be commonly found in our kitchen. Among these, used tea bags or tea leaves are most useful because of the presence of Tannic acid in them. You can also use eggshells, apple cider vinegar, fertilizers from banana peels, and fish bones for your roses.

How long does it take to grow a rose garden?

Young rose plants need regular maintenance and proper care to survive even in a harsh environment. So, if your rose garden is filled with young and delicate plants, you will need approximately two years to toughen them and grow your garden.

Do rose bushes come back every year?

It depends on the varieties of the roses you have planted in your garden. Some will bloom only once a year but perennial rose bushes will continue blooming throughout the year if you can ensure proper maintenance including regular pruning, adequate sunlight, and water.

Do roses need a lot of water?

Excessive watering is bad for your rose plants. Try to water your rose garden twice or thrice a week regularly during the scorching heat of summer. During the winter, you should water your roses once a week. During the rainy season, you do need to water the plants if it is raining regularly.

Can you eat garden rose petals?

Yes, garden rose petals have a sweet and aromatic flavor and these petals are popularly used in many culinary dishes. You can use use the raw petals in garden salads to increase the flavors. The most popular way to use rose petals is to dry them and blend them into rose powder.

It can be used in dessert items like halwa. You can also use dry petals for making granola or mixed herbs. So, these are safe to consume.

A home is a place where one searches for the comfort of body and soul. Even it is small, a beautiful garden filled with stunning and fragrant blooming flowers works like a tonic after a hectic day. It takes a few simple steps and regular yet minimal maintenance for growing a rose garden at home.

Thus, this article aims to provide a simple guideline for starting a rose garden from scratch for beginners to help them start a small yet eye-catching rose garden.

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