Consider the following questions before choosing your roses and you’ll have a fantastic experience growing roses.

So you’re shopping for roses? Maybe this is the first rose to be added to the garden or maybe you’re an old veteran looking to try a new type of rose. Either way the questions you need to ask remain the same; let’s review some of the basics:

Choose a Rose Cultivar that Satisfies Your Needs

This is the primary question to ask yourself when choosing a rose. It makes no sense to look at climbing roses if what we want is a fragrant ground cover. I find actually sitting down and writing out a list can help keep me focused and reasonable in my expectations.

If at the end of your list writing it turns out that you want a fragrant, low maintenance groundcover that grows in the shade, blooms all year, never needs pruning and doubles as a weekend baby sitter, perhaps you need to look at the wonderful selections of plastics and silks available today! But a realistic assessment of your needs will almost certainly find a rose for your situation.

Choose the Best Location for Roses

We should note right here that if you don’t have a full sun situation somewhere on your property, this rose thing won’t work out for you (full sun being four or more hours of direct sunlight- I know of a shrub and one climber that will do with partial shade, but grudgingly). Is it going in a prepared bed? On a steep bank? What is the existing soil like? What climatic zone am I in? Answering these questions will help pare down the search yet further.

How Much Time do You Have for Rose Care?

This is a biggy. Sure you want to grow old-fashioned bourbon roses ‘cause Martha said they’re neat, but once a week for ten minutes is probably going to make you unhappy with your results (and your rose will be even unhappier). A lot of the old fashioned roses offer great fragrance and beautiful flowers, but these are the roses that made people think that roses are high maintenance and they ARE. If daily deadheading and regular spraying sound like fun I’m the first to say have at it. Simply be realistic with the amount of effort you are going to put in. If it’s less than pet plants you’re looking for (i.e., daily care) there is probably a close alternative that will work. Nowadays there are roses for those of us who don’t want to do anything to our roses, and they are darn good plants…

What to Consider Before Choosing a Rose Bush

  1. Is the planting location windy?
  2. Will salt be an issue, either from sea spray or roadways?
  3. Will my Saint Bernard pull them out and use them like chew toys?
  4. Will my Chihuahua piddle on them until they give up the ghost?
  5. What animals, insects or diseases might Mother Nature visit upon them?
  6. How can they possibly survive my children?

Kind of a catch-all category here but if you don’t consider all these less tangible gardening questions, your roses end up damaged or dead just the same. Take the time to really look at these other small details that can make all the difference in how your roses will look.

If it sounds as if I’ve raised a lot of questions here, I have. By finding the answer to these questions, we can make sure we have selected the right rose to handle whatever you, nature and the rest of the world can throw at it…