Rose Care

Nothing defines an English garden like a Rose.

In surveys, it always tops the charts as the most popular plant to grow and they are the largest group of plants available to gardeners.

Types of roses

Patio – smaller, compact varieties that are great for growing in pots. Have tight clusters of small flowers and can be either dwarf shrub or smaller climbing roses.
Shrub – grow between 4 and 6ft (1.2m – 1.8m) and are a large and diverse group. Can be enjoyed as individual specimens or grown as a hedge.
Climbers – grow to about 6ft (1.8m) and repeat flower all summer and well into autumn.
Ramblers – grow more than 6ft (1.8m) and flower once, normally around June.
Groundcover – form a carpet of colour about 3ft wide by 1.4ft high (1m x 0.5m). Tend to flower profusely and branded as ‘Flower Carpet Roses’.


General cultivation

• Roses are hungry plants that respond well to generous feeding. They grow in almost any well drained soil and benefit from a mulch of well-rotted manure during the winter. In the spring and summer, feed with a specially formulated food, such as Top Rose, to keep them looking good.
• Water regularly in the first year after planting, especially in prolonged dry spells. Once established, they can survive on the moisture naturally present in the soil due to their deep root system.
• When growing in containers, regulate your watering so that the compost never dries out, especially during hot or dry periods.
• Dead-head flowers unless the variety produces an attractive seed pod (hip).


Here are some general rules you can apply to any rose:
• When cutting a stem, make sure the cuts are no longer than 5mm (¼inch) above a bud.
• Make your cuts so that they slope away from a bud to allow water to drain off.
• Always remove dead, dying or diseased wood first by cutting back into a healthy stem.
• Remove weak, spindly stems and ones that rub against each other.
• When making cuts, try to select an outward facing bud to promote an open centred shape. This creates good airflow to reduce the chance of fungal diseases.
• For ground cover roses, select an inward facing bud to create a more upright habit.

For more information on rose care, download our dedicated guide below:


‘Made easy’ guides

Download and keep our handy 'Made easy' leaflets. You can also pick up copies in centre.