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  • Snow's Home and Garden

Wrangling Your Roses

There are many sayings about roses – about their timeless beauty, about their quintessential charm. But oh, those thorns. Some believe they are more analogy for the skill and patience it takes to grow these beautiful blooms.

But guess what? Rose care isn’t so hard. Really, anyone can grow them successfully, by following some tried and true tips. Here are ours.


There are a couple of ways to buy roses, but container roses are a lot less fussy. For novice rose growers especially, potted plants are easier to plant and will establish more quickly.


Before you actually do the work of planting, you want to scope out a good site and plan on an ideal time to put the rose plants in the ground.


Rose bushes like to get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, but hot afternoon sun will take its toll. The ideal spot is one that gets a balance of sun and shade.


Although spring is when most roses are planted, using container plants gives you much more flexibility. In general, you can put them in the ground whenever the weather is cooperating. An overcast day is best, so the hot sun doesn’t stress them out too much as they are acclimating.


In this case, size matters. Dig a nice, deep hole for each rose plant – one that’s also wide enough to give your roses’ roots room to expand. Roses do well in rich, organic soil that allows for ample drainage. If you have more sandy soil (hello, Cape Cod!), you can add in some compost to help the ground retain moisture. Finally, a slow-release fertilizer and a good watering will set your plant up for success.


Maybe one of the reasons roses are stereotyped as high maintenance is because they do require frequent fertilization… they love to eat!

All plants need three basic nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) – also referred to as the N-P-K ratio. In very general terms, Nitrogen helps the part of the plant that’s above ground, Phosphorus helps the roots and Potassium is absorbed by the whole plant. In addition, roses need other nutrients, including Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur and Zinc, to name a few.

So how do you choose the right fertilizer to help your prized roses look and feel healthy? The easy answer is this: come see us at Snow’s Garden Center and ask. We can recommend a balanced fertilizer that has all the nutrients your roses will need.