Roses are not as difficult to grow as some beginning gardeners think. They will grow with very little care and thrive when given your devotion.
When considering where to plant roses take into account areas of the yard that need color and texture. Climbing roses over an arch or pergola can add needed height to the garden, while a blood-red rose bush will add a jolt of color.
If fragrance is what you are after, plant the rose near the area where you spend the most time when you are outdoors, such as a patio or deck. Even planting the rose near a window you keep open most of the summer will allow you to enjoy the scent.
Roses do have planting area requirements; hopefully these will converge with your goals for growing roses.
Hardiness Zones for Roses
Roses grow in most regions of the United States, although it may be difficult to locate a suitable variety if you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness zones below 3. In cold regions the rose’s graft union needs protection, so a good rule of thumb, according to the experts at Rose Magazine, is the colder your zone, the deeper you will need to plant your rose. For instance, in zone 8 and above, plant the rose so that the graft union is at the level of the soil. If you are in zone 5 or 6, you will place the graft union slightly below the level of the soil. Those gardeners in the coldest regions, such as zone 3, will need to plant their roses 4 to 5 inches below the soil.
Garden or Container
Since container-grown roses can be moved out of the elements, growing them in pots is the only way to have roses in very hot or very cold climates. Some rose types, such as hybrid teas or English roses fare better in containers than others. Container growing takes a bit of extra care as the soil dries out quicker than those grown in the landscape. There are advantages, though, to container growing, such as the fact that pest control is easier when you can move a plant away from other plants while it is being treated.
Where to Grow Roses in the Landscape
Roses need lots of sunshine–at least 6 hours a day (unless you live in the desert, then very early morning sun only). An eastern exposure is perfect, according to horticulturists with the Ohio State University Extension. They also require well-drained soil and will not tolerate water standing at their roots. Dig a 6-inch wide, 12-inch deep hole in the planting area and fill it with water. When it drains, fill it again and time how long it takes to drain. If the hole still contains water in four hours you need to either find a different planting site, or amend the soil to increase drainage.
Roses are susceptible to a number of fungal diseases. There are several ways rosarians have found to protect their plants from these diseases, chief among them is making sure the bush has good air circulation. When choosing a planting location, make sure there is at least 3 feet of empty space around the bush.