Help your roses to thrive

Simple rose care advice and information to help you grow roses, whether you are new to rose growing, or a seasoned gardener, we have all of the information and products you need to get your roses planted and thriving.

How to Plant Roses

Here we have links to articles with videos and step by step guides to planting different types of roses in both bare root and potted form, depending on the season. Bare Root Roses can be planted from November to April whereas Potted Roses can be planted all year round; our largest selection of potted roses is available from May until September. We recommend that you don't plant roses when the ground is frozen, water-logged or during a drought.


Where to plant roses

1. Ensure plenty of sunlight

Roses thrive on direct sunlight. For best results, a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight is recommended. However, even when planted against a north wall (meaning no direct sunlight) roses can still perform well. To see a list of roses suitable for shaded areas click here.

2. Avoid intense competition from other plants

The closer you plant your rose to other plants, the more competition there is for moisture and sunlight. For best results, plant your rose 3 feet (1m) away from other plants and 2 feet (60cm) from other roses. Avoid planting a rose under an overhanging tree branch.

3. Avoid very exposed, windy sites

Strong winds can cause the base of the rose to loosen in the soil. This will result in your rose rocking in the wind which will lead to it growing at an angle, which in extreme cases will kill it. To prevent this, ensure you follow our planting instructions. If you find this problem with a rose you already have, make sure you firm the soil around it. In some cases a stake may be necessary.

Watering Roses

how much water?

As a guide, we recommend watering the following amount per rose each time you water:

  • Shrub roses – 5 litres
  • Climbing roses – 10 litres
  • Rambling roses – 10 litres
  • Standard tree roses – 10 litres
  • Roses in pots – 5 litres
read more

When to water roses

The need for watering varies greatly throughout the year and is directly related to the amount of rain that has fallen. We suggest the following:

October - February

You are unlikely to need to water in the UK.

March - May

Watch out for particularly prolonged dry spells of two weeks or more, particularly if the weather is warm. Newly planted roses – water every two or three days. Established roses – water once a week.

June - September

Established roses – water once a week. As your rose starts blooming, take note if your flowers are wilting. This will happen in extreme heat but is a reliable sign that your roses need more water. Newly planted roses – water every other day.

Feeding Roses

All roses appreciate being fed, particularly our repeat-flowering English Roses. If you wish to get the most out of your roses we recommend feeding in late March/early April, just before the leaves are fully open.

What you need

For the best results, we recommend using our own specially formulated David Austin Rose Food.

How to feed

Simply sprinkle Rose Food around the base of each rose (see packaging for full instructions).

How to Prune Roses

For advice on pruning roses choose from the advice below. We run our very own rose pruning course at our Rose Gardens in Shropshire during January and February; click on the link below for more information on booking.

mulching roses

We recommend mulching as it helps to retain moisture and suppresses weeds.

When to mulch

For the best results, mulch in early spring from March onwards If by autumn the layer of mulch has disappeared, a second application may be beneficial before winter..

What you need

For the best results, we recommend using Carr's Organic Soil Improver as your mulch material.

How to mulch

Remove weeds and apply about an inch (3cm) thick layer of mulch material around the base of the rose and any bare soil next to your rose. If you are mulching when the soil is dry, water well either before or after mulching.

learn more about mulching roses

Pests & diseaSES

Spraying roses to control pests

When to spray

When you see them.

What you need

Bronte Rose Defence is naturally effective against most pests.

How to spray to control pests

Greenfly and caterpillars can be removed by hand in the earliest stages. If spraying, see packaging for instructions.


Spraying roses to control disease

When to spray?

We recommend you spray at the first sign of disease. It is best to act quickly to prevent disease spreading.

What you need?

Fungus Clear Ultra is effective against black spot, powdery mildew and rust. Systhane is effective against rust. This can be purchased at your local garden centre.

How to spray to control disease

See packaging for instructions.


deadheading roses

Why deadhead?

There are two good reasons to dead head: 1. To encourage repeat-flowering – this stops your rose producing seeds in the hips, which are formed after flowering, so that it has more energy for repeat-flowering. 2. Shaping – it is an opportunity to shape your shrub.

When to deadhead?

This should be done as soon after each flowering as possible up to late September. After September it is unlikely that you will get much more growth or flowering, as your plant will be getting ready for winter.

How to deadhead

Each flowering stem can be cut back as far as three sets of leaves. The amount you cut back controls, to some extent, the shape and size of your plant. If you are unsure, cut back to the point where the flowers stop being produced on the stem.

view our full article on deadheading roses