Planting & Care


Rose Planting and Care

Our guidelines and advice is formed from many many years of growing and caring for Roses through all sorts of weather conditions.  We don't claim this to be the 'perfect' guide but it's borne from our own experience and should serve as a useful reference to the Rose grower.  There are of course many other sources of information which could be used as an additional aid.    


Planting Your New Rose(s)

Upon receipt of your Rose please try to plant it as soon as possible.  If for any reason it cannot be done straight-away then store it in a cool, frost free place such as a garage or outbuilding.   If it is going to be stored then do not allow the roots to dry out.  Should they become dry immerse them in water for no more than a few hours.


Prepare the ground by digging a hole large enough to accommodate the roots and if possible incorporate bulky organic matter into the soil i.e. well rotted farmyard manure or other rotted vegetable matter.  

We strongly recommend using Rootgrow™ when planting your new Rose.  Rootgrow was the first and currently the only plant / soil treatment to be licensed by The Royal Horticultural Society  and has become a standard treatment when planting new Roses, as well as plants and trees.  
— Bob Hart

The union, where the shoots meet the roots, should be slightly below the soil level. Plant firmly – spread the roots out (barerooted only) and backfill (ballrooted roses - keep soil on roots), tread around the plant, make certain it is tight in the ground.

Should you be planting in an old rose bed it is advisable to renew the soil and add Rootgrow™.


Continued Care Of Your Rose(s)

Roses are easy to grow and require very little attention but with a little additional care the results can be very rewarding.

Pruning should be done annually and immediately after the winter has ended, so end of February / early March.  They can also be tidied up in the autumn/early winter by cutting halfway back.


After the annual prune, top dress with Rose Fertiliser.  Apply again after the first flowering (some rose fertilizers recommend feeding monthly through the season) – we recommend ‘Toprose’ as it contains most of the necessary trace elements.

We also suggest regular watering, especially during dry spells but try to avoid wetting the foliage late in the evening.

Keep a keen eye out for evidence of aphids and fungus such as black spot, powdery mildew, and rust. Rose Clear spray should be applied as directed.

Pruning Different Varieties of Roses 

  • Pruning Newly Planted Roses

Your Rose from Parkside Nursery will arrive already pruned regardless of the time of year so no pruning is necessary.  Generally speaking  Bush and Standard Roses are pruned back to 3-4 inches.  Climbing Roses back to 5-6 inches.

  • Pruning Established Roses - Bush, Patio & Standard Roses:

Start by cutting out all the dead wood and weak growth.  To make way for new growth, remove any old, un-productive  stems right to their base.  Prune back the remaining stems to 4-5 inches, ensuring the cut is clean and sloping.

  • Climbing Roses:

To encourage the plant to establish a good root system prune back to 5-6 inches the first spring after planting.  Climbing roses can take 18 months or longer to establish although this timescale can be reduced by regular watering and liquid feeding. This is particularly important for climbers growing on a sheltered South or West facing wall where the soil may dry out quite quickly.

First seasons growth may only be weak and spindly and this should be removed at the base the following spring. Any strong basal growth that is produced, probably mid-late summer onwards needs only to be shortened by 25-30% at pruning time. A rough guide is generally any stem less than a good finger thickness can be treated as weak. 

When pruning after the first season any strong shoots can be trained and tied, for best results the stems should be trained laterally in a fan shape taking care not to break any shoots. This will have the effect of producing more flowers along the stems.  In subsequent years all weak growth and dead wood should be removed altogether and all strong shoots reduced by 25-30%. 

After three or four seasons the original basal growths may begin to look old and woody. At this stage it is quite likely that they have ceased to become usefully productive and should be completely removed at the base in order to make way for new prolific growth. 

Pruning Climbers can often be a daunting task especially when having to decide which growth to completely take out, but it should be remembered that any stems that are removed should be more than adequately replenished with fresher, stronger and more productive new growth later in the season. 

  • Rambling Roses: 

Pruning a rambler is slightly more complicated because Ramblers flower on their previous years growth. They are best either just left to ramble, or immediately after flowering remove stems that have borne flowers, leaving the newly produced growth to flower the following year. Whatever method is used, all dead wood, weak spindly growth and old unproductive stems should be removed annually. 

  • Shrub Roses: 

If required Shrubs can be allowed to grow freely and reach their full potential, but weak and dead wood should be removed regularly together with any old unproductive stems from the base. If growth needs to be controlled, stems can be reduced accordingly. 

  • English Roses & Ground Cover Roses: 

Both groups will benefit from pruning. First remove all dead and weak growth together with any old unproductive stems from the base. Shorten all remaining growth by 50%.