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How to Grow Roses

Roses are a large and varied collection of plants organized into many species and varieties. While they have somewhat attractive, thorny foliage, they are almost often grown for their attractive and colourful flowers. Almost all Roses need the same growing conditions.


Full sun is a must. This is defined as at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Less sun will result in less flowering, lankier foliage and more plant problems.

Roses need their space. They do not play well with others. They are vigorous, and will grow into the space you provide. They also required good air circulation. Dense foliage and insufficient air flow can lead to fungal, disease and pest problems.

The soil should be moist, but well drained. Stagnant water will damage or rot their roots. If in doubt about your drainage, dig the hole and fill it with water. It should naturally drain away within a few minutes. If it does not, you may have a drainage issue. In this scenario, you can either improve your drainage, or add soil and plant in a mound instead. This will keep the roots out of the water.

The planting hole should be twice as wide as the root ball and as deep, but no deeper than your plants root ball. The bud union, or grafting point must be just above the soil line. Its ok to plant your Rose a little higher, but avoid planting too deep.

Roses are heavy feeders and will benefit from bonemeal and compost being mixed into the planting hole. Put the rose into the hole and back fill with soil. Press the soil down firmly to remove air pockets and water it in.


Roses dislike being dry, but complain equally if too wet. As mentioned earlier, good drainage is essential. Water your roses thoroughly and deeply to ensure good root growth. However, water at the soil level. Do not get the foliage wet if you can avoid it. Wet foliage, especially in the evening, can cause fungal, disease and pest issues. Also, try to water in the morning, so that any extra moisture has time to dry before night fall. Water more often in the Spring and Summer and less in the cooler months. Plants in containers may need to be watered more often as the soil volume is limited


Roses are heavy feeders. New plantings should have compost and/or bonemeal amended to the planting hole. They will also benefit from multiple applications of Liquid Transplant fertilizer in their first few months. Established plants should be fed with a granular fertilizer specifically formulated for Roses. This ensures the Rose gets the macro-nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium, as well as the secondary and micro-nutrients included in these specialty products.


One element of rose care that is often forgotten is the need to deadhead the spent flowers. That is, removing dead flowers from the plant to reduce the weight and remove debris. Obviously, this is only necessary on repeat-blooming plants. The best way to deadhead is to remove the flower just below the first three complete leaves

Winter Protection

Most roses are winter hardy in our Metro Vancouver climate, but they may benefit from some winter protection. We recommend applying a 2-3 inch layer of mulch over the soil to moderate winter temperatures. Make sure bark mulch is kept a few inches away from the trunk to prevent the spread of pests and disease


All new roses should be pruned, even if they look like they already have been. This is to help them focus their efforts on root development instead of root growth. Established roses should be cut back in late winter or early spring. The optimal time according to lore, is to prune your roses when the forsythia shrub blooms. Pruning cuts should be made with a clean, sharp pair of pruners. Cut at an angle about ½ inch above a bud and directed outward.

You can also remove shoots or suckers that grow below the bud union or graft.

Roses that rebloom can also be given a moderate pruning of foliage in Fall to prevent winter and weather damage.


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Not all products are in-stock at all times. Our website is NOT a real time inventory. Availability is subject to change without prior notice. If you are making a special trip to see us, please confirm availability in advance by calling 604.882.1201 during business hours.

We strive to keep all online pricing as accurate as possible. However, occasional discrepancies can occur and prices may be subject to change without prior notice. When a discrepancy exists, the in-store price will be deemed to be correct. We apologize in advance if this occurs.

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