Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find our most commonly asked questions with answers provided by our very own rose experts. They have been separated into different subject areas to make it as easy as possible for you to find an answer. Simply click on the tab that you are interested in to view the questions and answers.

Important notice:

Please be aware that your order confirmation email may have been delivered to your 'Junk' or 'Spam' email folder. Please check both of these folders before calling our Customer Services team.

How will my order be delivered?

An order from David Austin Roses will arrive safely and securely by courier. If you have provided a delivery instruction then your order will be left as requested. Bare root roses will arrive in our rose printed wax-lined bag and potted roses will arrive in our David Austin premium 6-litre pot, securely packaged in a sturdy, rose print box. Depending on the items ordered and the time of year your items may arrive separately.

Can I order a delivery to go to my place of work or another address?

Yes, we accept alternative addresses at checkout – just choose a billing address and a separate delivery address. Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure that the delivery address is accessible for the delivery vehicle and is able to accept the delivery.

What happens if I am out when the delivery arrives?

During the checkout process you are able to leave delivery instructions to make sure your order is left in a safe place.

Do I need to sign for my delivery?

No, our couriers are instructed to follow the delivery instructions provided by the customer at checkout and if no instructions are given, leave the order in a safe place/with a neighbour. If someone is available to receive the order the courier may ask for a signature.

Can I cancel or change my order after checkout?

Yes, you have the right to cancel an order within 14 days of the order being made. In some cases an order can be cancelled or changed before despatch. To do so, call us on 01902 376300 between 8.30am and 12pm on the day of purchase. If an order has already been despatched please see our returns, replacements and refunds policies for more details. Any additional charges to a changed order will be made at the point of the change.

My order is late what should I do?

We’re very sorry your order has not arrived on time. Please note that deliveries are currently taking up to 2-4 working days to arrive. Please call our helpful team on 01902 376300 with your order number and we will check on the status and delivery estimate of your order. The exact delivery time of your order will depend on the delivery service chosen, the rose growing season and whether or not the order was made before 2pm Monday-Friday.

Part of my order hasn't arrived, where is it?

Depending on the items within your order, some products may arrive separately to ensure items arrive in a safe and timely manner. Please don’t hesitate to call us on 01902 376300 if you feel an item should have arrived. The following are common reasons for different delivery dates for our products:

BARE ROOT ROSES: Bare root roses ordered between June and November are not delivered until November and December of that year.

STANDARD ROSES: Due to their size, Standard Roses will be delivered separately to other items.

NON-ROSE ITEMS: To prevent damage, soil, books and homeware items are shipped separately, to be delivered on a nominated day or by standard 3-5 day delivery, depending on your chosen service level.

Can I order for delivery internationally?

Orders to be shipped to Northern Ireland & Europe must be placed on our European website here. Delivery will be made within 10 - 15 working days for Bare Root Roses and 2 - 6 working days for Potted Roses. Please note that certain products have shipping restrictions. If the country you wish to ship to does not appear on this website please call 0044 1902 376373 for more information. For delivery to the US please visit:

Do you provide a guarantee on your roses?

Yes we do. We take every care to breed, grow and deliver the best roses. If a rose fails to grow or arrives damaged, we will replace it free of charge. That’s the David Austin promise. If you would like to request a replacement or refund of a rose within the 5 year guarantee period, please complete our Returns form. 

My order was damaged on arrival, how do I order a replacement?

We’re very sorry to hear this and apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you call us on 01902 376300 or email our friendly and helpful team will help resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

I have received the wrong items, how do I get the correct items?

In the event that you receive an item you didn’t order please call us on 01902 376300 or email and our friendly and helpful team will help resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

I no longer want the product I have ordered, how do I return it?

You have the right to return any product within 14 days of receiving the last item of your order. All unwanted items must be returned in a saleable condition and proof of return given within those 14 days. (Deductions may be made for signs of unreasonable use.) Refunds will be made within 14 days of receiving the goods back or from 14 days of proof of return. If a more expensive service (i.e. Next day, Nominated Day or Saturday Delivery) was chosen, only our standard delivery charge will be refunded along with the amount paid for the products. The cost of returning the order must be met by the customer.

Can I exchange my order now it has been delivered?

If you wish to exchange a product you have ordered please call us on 01902 376300 within 14 days of receiving your order. Any additional charges to a changed order will be made at the point of the change. All unwanted items must be returned in a saleable condition and proof of return given within those 14 days. (Deductions may be made for signs of unreasonable use.) The cost of returning the order must be met by the customer.

Where do I return items to?

Please note you must first notify us by phone, and subsequently by email or letter of your cancellation and return.You can only return items by post if they were ordered online or by phone directly from David Austin Roses. The products must be returned in the original packaging or secure packaging and be traceable (Recorded Delivery).

Please make all returns out to: FAO Returns Dept., David Austin Roses Ltd, Bowling Green Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire, WV7 3HB.

I ordered a gift card/voucher, can I return it and get a refund?

Yes, gift cards/vouchers can be cancelled within 14 days of purchase. Please call 01902 376300 quoting your order number and gift card/voucher number. Refunds will be made only to the purchaser of the gift card/voucher and the billing address must match the original order. The amount refunded will depend on two factors: the purchase price (not full value of the gift card) and any deductions already made on the card. We cannot exchange gift vouchers for cash and cannot refund the value on the card to anyone other than the purchaser.

I ordered and purchased using a gift card/voucher, how do I get a refund?

If you are returning an item, changing an item or an item was damaged/broken on delivery a refund of the purchase value will be made to a gift card within 14 days of proof of return. Unfortunately, we cannot refund to another payment method. If you wish for the refund to be placed on the same card please supply the gift card/voucher number.

How long will it take to get a refund?

All refunds, where applicable, will be made within 14 days of proof of return of faulty or unwanted goods. We do not store your card details at any time for your security and may therefore need to correspond with the payee to make the refund. We therefore advise you report the need for a return and refund as soon as possible.

How long do I have to return an item?

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations you have 14 days from final delivery of an order to return any unwanted or faulty items. However, we advise that you contact us as soon as possible about your need to return your order. All of our rose products are living and therefore perishable, the longer they are left the more likely they will become unsalable, reducing the amount we are liable to refund.

David Austin Roses offers a 5 year guarantee and life time support for any rose ordered directly from David Austin Roses. This means that if anything is wrong with your rose within the first 5 years we will be happy to help get your rose flourishing or discuss a replacement if necessary. To speak to us about this please email us at with a photo of your rose along with the query. After the first 5 years our team are also available to help make sure you’re getting the best possible experience from your roses, to find out more simply email

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations you have 14 days from final delivery of an order to return any unwanted or faulty items. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will do our best to replace or refund your order a soon as possible. We may ask for proof of damage or faulty goods and items will be checked upon return. Return costs will be met by David Austin Roses for faulty goods.

Which products are excluded from the refunds and returns policy?

None of our products are excluded from our refunds and returns policy where the item is returned in a saleable condition or when faulty. None of the items must have been used in any way beyond the opening of the postage packaging and reasonable inspection of the goods.

What should I do if I’ve received my bare root roses but I’m not ready to plant?

 If less than 3 weeks delay…

Store in a frost-free, cool place such as your garden shed or garage. Bare root plants will keep for up to three weeks tightly sealed in the paper sack and polythene bag without a problem. You may see new growth, particularly for orders delivered in March or later - this is a good sign.

If more than 3 weeks delay…

If you are expecting a longer delay before planting it is worth considering heeling in your plants. To do this, simply remove your plants from their paper sack and polythene bag, leave in their bundle tied together and dig a hole large enough to take the roots of your plant. Replace the soil to cover the roots. Water if conditions are going to be dry

What should I do if I’ve received my potted roses but I’m not ready to plant?

We recommend planting potted roses as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to plant immediately, roses can be kept in their pots quite happily for two months or more, as long as they are watered appropriately. The amount of watering required will depend on the time of year. From January through to March, water your rose once a week, from April to August water every day, except on days of heavy rain, from September to October water twice a week, unless weather is unreasonably warm or dry and in November and December water once a week.

How do I plant a rose in a large pot? What compost do I use?

For in-depth advice and a 'How to' video, please visit our 'How to plant a rose in as pot' care article here.

For best results, your pot should be at least 18” (45cm) deep and 18” (45cm) across. For climbers less than 12ft we recommend a pot at least 24" (61cm) wide and deep. It is surprising how much difference a larger pot will make to the performance of your rose. As the growth of your rose is determined to a large extent by the size of the root, we always recommend as large a pot as possible. A larger pot will also retain moisture for longer, which is key to a healthy vigorous plant.

For the best results, we recommend a 50:50 mix of multi purpose compost and good quality peat based compost preferably with a slow release fertiliser, such as John Innes No. 3.

Step 1: Place small stones to cover the base of your pot to about 2” (5cm) to aid drainage.
Step 2: Hold your plant in the pot and see where the roots reach down to. You will want to cover all of the roots with compost.
Step 3: Remove the rose and fill with compost to this level.
Step 4: Place the plant back in the centre of the pot and add compost around the plant covering the roots. Aim to have the top of the roots about two inches below the top of your pot.
Step 5: Water well with about 5 litres of water.

When's the best time to plant roses?

Aside from times of extreme weather, roses can be planted at any time during the year. The extreme weather conditions that we advise against planting in are when the ground is frozen, water-logged or during a drought. Often people ask, ‘when is the best time to plant’, but as long as you avoid the conditions mentioned, there really is no one best time to plant.

How much space should I leave between roses?

We suggest planting roses approximately 2' (60cm) apart. For more in-depth information and diagrams, please visit our article on 'How far apart should shrub roses be planted?' here.

Can I plant where a rose has been planted before?

If possible, we suggest that you avoid planting a rose in the same position. However, if you do decide to plant in the same location we recommend removing as much soil as possible and replacing with soil from a part your garden that has not grown roses before or buying top soil. As a guide, this needs to be a minimum of 2 feet deep (60cm) and 2 feet wide. Deeper and wider is better. We also recommend using our own David Austin Mycorrhizal Fungi to aid root development.

Am I watering enough or overwatering my roses?

Please see our rose care article on Watering Roses, here.

How often do I need to feed my roses?

Please see our rose care article on 'How to Feed Roses' to find out more about feeding your roses.

When should I prune my roses? And how?

For advice on pruning English Shrub Roses, please visit our page How to Prune an English Shrub Rose

For advice on pruning English Climbing Roses, please visit our page How to Prune an English Climbing Rose.

How often should I spray my roses and with what?

If you are experiencing pests on your roses we recommend spraying with Bronte Rose Defence which is naturally effective against most pests. If you are spraying to control pests you can pick them off by hand in the earliest stages and if spraying, please read the instructions.

My rose has white powder on the leaves. What is this and is there a problem with the rose?

This is most probably powdery mildew, a fungal disease of the foliage where a superficial fungal growth covers the surface of the plant.

Powdery mildew is caused by a certain combination of weather conditions. New young leaf growth is often more susceptible, until they have formed a hard surface that you find on a mature leaf.

Powdery mildew can also be caused by lack of moisture at the roots. For more information on how to water your roses, please visit our rose care article on Watering Roses.

This is not a disease that will kill your plant. However, it does risk deforming foliage and making your rose less attractive and possibly less vigorous.

Spraying – use Fungus Clear

Mulching - will help to conserve the moisture in the ground. Apply this in April to retain what moisture is in the ground. See our rose care article on 'How to Mulch Roses' here.

My leaves are covered in black spots - what’s wrong?

Most likely, your rose has been infected by a fungal disease known as black spot.

We advise treating black spot as soon as detected by spraying with Fungus Clear.

My leaves are going yellow - what’s wrong?

The cause is most likely to be either a lack of water or a lack of feed and possibly a combination of both. See our rose care guide to Watering Roses for a guide to watering and our 'How to Feed A Rose'.

I bought roses from you last year and followed your planting instructions but they have not flowered. Why?

The most likely cause is that it is a once flowering variety which will only start flowering in its second year in your garden, on older growth. Most of the true Old Roses (Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses), the ramblers and the species, and a few other assorted varieties, come under this heading. For the same reason that they won’t flower in your garden in the first year, they will also refuse to flower if you prune them too hard, so do cut them back relatively lightly.

If you haven’t bought one of the above, please get in touch via our Live Chat at the bottom right hand of your device's screen or contact us in your prefered way.

The blooms on my rose tend to hang their heads. I thought that roses were meant to have upward-facing flowers?

All roses take a few seasons to reach their mature shape and size. Large-flowered varieties, in particular, tend to get better over their first two or three years as the stems become thicker and provide greater support for their heavy blooms. Correct pruning is important where this problem occurs - see our articles on Pruning Roses for more information. Feeding is also important - see our rose care article on feeding roses. Follow the instructions carefully and do not overfeed, as this can produce more vigorous soft growth which can make the problem worse. Some English Roses have naturally nodding heads, the effect of which can be utterly delightful.

My ‘fragrant’ rose has no smell?

It is important to smell the flowers when fully open at different times of the day as the strength can vary greatly due to a number of factors such as temperature, sunlight, age of flower etc.

We find that most of our varieties have increased fragrance in warmer weather. Conversely, when the weather is cold fragrance is much reduced.

All the descriptions of the fragrances given in the handbook, and on the website, are provided by an independent perfume expert who has been in the perfume trade all of his life and is well respected throughout the country. He does state that some fragrances such as the myrrh and tea are not picked up by some people.

My flowers don’t open - what is wrong?

You will find in general, the less petals the shorter the flowering time. This is usually compensated for by a higher number of blooms.

The main cause will be poor vigour, particularly when a rose is young. The solution is to make sure you feed and water well. see our How to Feed A Rose and Watering Roses articles.

My rose is not the same colour as the catalogue/website photo?

Please note that colours may variety depending on climates. The bloom colour commonly varies throughout its flowering period. Most blooms will fade with age.

Rose colours will vary with varying weather and growing conditions. High heat and strong sunlight will tend to fade colours. When a rose is not getting sufficient sunlight, less than 4 hours a day, this may also effect colour.

We normally find colours are stronger during the first flowering season of the year. This is when temperatures tend to be slightly lower and blooms have a longer time to form.

Why are the leaves falling off my rose?

Watering is possibly the most important aspect of looking after your rose, particularly in the first two years. See our section on Watering Roses for more information.

Where soil is poor, which usually means it is very sandy, it is very likely that your soil will lack fertility. You will also need to feed more often as nutrients will drain through your soil very quickly. Adding well-rotted horse or cow manure will improve the soil structure, at the same time as adding fertility.

Take a look at your freshly fallen leaves and see if they have any signs of black spot, rust or powdery mildew. If there are no signs then the most likely cause is a lack of water.

My rose has got seven leaves. Is this a sucker?

No. While most of the hybrid teas and floribundas have just 5 leaves, many of the roses belonging to the other groups have 7, 9 or even more leaflets. There are no hard and fast rules to distinguish a sucker but generally the leaves have 7 leaflets and are a rather pale green, as are the stems which are often smooth with few thorns. If they flower they will have 5 petals and will be a very pale blush white. Suckers come only from the rootstock on which the garden rose is budded and so will only come from below the bud union. The young growth from some roses can be very vigorous and look out of character and rather sucker-like, so do check carefully before cutting these otherwise you may well ruin the plant.

What is the difference between a potted and a bare root rose?    Which is best?

When ordering from us you have the choice of buying our roses as bare roots or in pots. Neither option is superior, it is simply a matter of personal choice. Whichever option you choose, your roses are guaranteed to bloom next summer – and for many summers to come.

Please note: ramblers, once flowering Old Roses and species roses all flower on mature wood and therefore may not flower in the first year after planting.

Availability period: October – May

Bare root roses are dormant plants, dug up from the field and shipped without soil. They are the ideal choice if you’re purchasing a large number of roses, as they are very lightweight and are therefore easier to handle in the garden.

Availability period: All Year

Potted roses are the very same roses as bare root roses. After each rose is dug up from the field, it is planted into a 6 litre pot, with our specially formulated planting mix. They are ideal for adding instant colour to the garden during the summer months, as well as making thoughtful gifts throughout the year.

What is the difference between a climber and a rambler?

Climbers generally have large blooms on not too vigorous, rather stiff growth and most repeat flower. Ramblers are in general, much more vigorous. They will produce great quantities of small flowers, although most do not repeat flower. There are exceptions to both these rules: for instance Malvern Hills and The Lady of the Lake are repeat-flowering ramblers where as Shropshire Lass Climbing is a once flowering climber with small flowers.

Most climbers are best for walls, trellises, arches, obelisks whereas ramblers are generally better for growing into trees and covering pergolas or large structures such as garages or sheds.

Which roses can I grow in the shade?

Please click here to see a list of roses that are ideal for shade.

Which are the most fragrant roses?

Please click here to see a list of our most fragrant roses.

Do you have any thornless roses?

Please click here to see a list of virtually thornless roses.

Which roses can I grow in a pot?

Please click here to see a list of roses that are ideal for growing in pots and containers.

What is the difference between a David Austin shrub or climbing rose for the garden and a David Austin cut rose?

The difference is in their breeding programme - the collection of David Austin cut roses has been bred specifically for floristry and they are commercially grown in greenhouses. Unfortunately, they are not available to purchase as plants to grow outside in the garden.

However, the differences stop there. The cut roses have been directly inspired by David Austin’s acclaimed English Roses for the garden, and since 1995 David Austin and David Jnr have been working together to create this new range of cut roses. These 17 cut rose varieties are specially tailored to withstand the rigours of weddings and special events while retaining the extraordinary beauty and fragrance that set David Austin Roses apart from any other.

Where can I purchase David Austin cut roses for my wedding or as a gift bouquet?

The David Austin cut roses are available from all good florists across the country. If your florist does not stock David Austin cut roses, they will be able to special order from their regular wholesaler. We always recommend that you give as much notice as possible to your florist so that they can order well in advance.

Alternatively, you can also contact The Real Flower Company who offer David Austin cut roses as well as retail bouquets and a wedding collection. For further information visit

Do you have a brochure or further information about David Austin cut roses?

We have a dedicated cut rose website, which provides details of each of the cut rose varieties:

You can also request a free brochure from the website and follow us on social media @davidaustinweddingroses.

We have published a book called ‘David Austin Wedding Roses’ that showcases some of the many magical moods that these exceptional cut roses are capable of creating with full colour photography of inspirational arrangements, atmospheres and wedding styles. It provides a host of bouquet ideas, colour themes and decorative designs. If you are a bride-to-be, floral designer or simply love roses, this is a book for you:

You can also contact us by calling 01902 376300 or sending your enquiry by email to

Still need to get in touch? Please use our LiveChat button on the bottom right hand of your screen, or alternatively visit our Contact Us page.