Five Easy Steps for Better Blooms

As experienced growers know, roses have care needs that differ from any other perennial in your garden. To keep your plants at their best between professional maintenance service visits, follow these simple guidelines.


Apply quick-release fertilizer once monthly starting in March and stopping about two months prior to the first expected frost. Do not fertilize new plants until they bloom.


Proper attention to mulching is one of the most important aspects of rose care, as it helps to inhibit weed growth, add critical nutrients, limit erosion, and retain moisture and maintain even temperatures in the soil. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, pine needles, cocoa bean hulls or peat nuggets, two to four inches thick over the bed, leaving some space around the base of each plant to allow good air circulation.


Our region does not typically receive enough rainfall to sustain rose plants without additional watering. A good rule of thumb is to water less frequently but deeply. Apply water slowly and directly to the base of the plant, until the soil is soaked to a depth of at least eight inches. Be sure to exercise caution when watering manually, as splashing water on foliage can promote disease.


Judicious pruning will keep your plants blooming all summer long. Prune plants in the spring, focusing on removing dead and unhealthy canes in order to promote air circulation and encourage new cane formation. You may also want to cut back some of the tallest canes to maintain the desired height and shape of the plant. To prune a cane, use sharp shears and cut about 1/4 inch above an outgrowing leaf bud at a 45-degree downward angle.

Cutting Back

After the last blooms have been frostbitten, cut back growth to about three feet high and cover graft with six inches of mulch to help prevent damage from winter weather conditions.

Whether you are making preparations to install your first bed or you need expert assistance with your established garden, please let us know how we can help you achieve The Perfect Rose.

The Perfect Rose, LLC
302 East Glenview Drive
Salisbury, NC 28147

704-633-0800 office
704-296-4502 mobile
704-603-4032 fax

The Perfect Rose is a member of several local, regional and national organizations that are dedicated to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses:

American Rose Society
Charlotte Rose Society
Rowan Rose Society
Winston-Salem Rose Society