Choosing and Caring for Roses

"It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important…People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In the language of flowers, the rose represents love and preference. Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden space. They are versatile, easy to grow and care for, are remarkably tolerant in many conditions, and have a long growing season. I received a gift card to David Austin Roses for Christmas last year and am thrilled to see my latest additions, The Generous Gardener and Claire Austin, climbing my garden trellises.

caring for your roses
Here are some things to consider when choosing roses:

Color. What colors are you most drawn to and what will coordinate with your existing perennials? This is important because some roses become very large and produce hundreds of blooms so you want to really love the color you choose.

Characteristics. What do you appreciate most about roses? Is it their fragrance? The size or quantity of the blossoms? Roses have many different fragrances and levels of fragrance, bloom sizes and designs, etc. 

Location. Where do you plan to plant it? Will it border a pathway? Wrap up a trellis or wall? Be planted in a larger container? There are varieties best grown in each of these living spaces.

Light. What kind of sun does the space you plan to plant it receive May-Sept?

Pollinator-friendly. Does your variety attract beneficial insects who will benefit the rest of your garden?

There are so many options when choosing roses so considering these questions ahead of time will help you make the most informed choice.

Already have roses but not sure how to maintain them? Here are a few WINTER PRUNING TIPS:

  1. Cut back any foliage that’s remaining from the fall;
  2. Remove any stems that show signs of damage, disease or rot;
  3. Cut back entire shrub to 2/3 the size; and
  4. Always prune on an angle so that the “top” of the clipped angle is on the outside of the plant and the shrub is rounded like a balloon.

And here we are again. My garden continues to share it’s blessings with me. During winter, it feeds my dreams and keeps me planning. 

If you are drawn to the language of flowers, a complete glossary of flowers, herbs and other botanicals and their meanings can be found in a book I co-author with Lisa McGuiness, called The Love Language of Flowers. It also includes step-by-step tutorials, a toolbox section filled with floral concepts, and over 30 botanical designs with meaning that honor the seasonal rhythms of nature, build confidence, and provide flexibility to let your own creative voice develop.  It is truly an excellent resource for those seeking to grow their botanical creativity in a meaningful way. 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. Cedar House Living LLC receives a small commission for sales generated through these links at no additional cost to you. I use the commissions to further expand my garden, floral, and herbal knowledge so I can continue to share what I learn with you.

rose care tips for pruning roses


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