8 Common Rose Growing Mistakes Every Beginner Should Avoid

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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You might be making some growing mistakes that are preventing the roses in your garden from blooming to their full potential!

Common Rose Growing Mistakes

We all want our roses to bloom in all their glory – however, most of us fail to take proper care of these plants that prevents them from doing so. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the most common rose growing mistakes to avoid!

Common Rose Growing Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Where is the Light?

Flowers need light and roses are no different – if you aren’t giving them 6-7 hours of direct sun, then these won’t flower as you want them to be – as simple as that.

So, no shaded location, or a spot that gets just indirect light for these beauties!

2. Is The Growing Medium Proper?

Roses wouldn’t mind growing in 100% garden soil, but they won’t flower as much as they would if you’ll add a handful of Compost, Peat Moss or Coconut Coir, Perlite or Vermiculite, Bone Meal, and a bit of Epsom salt every month in the growing medium – this will make them bloom like there’s no tomorrow!

Also, correct soil pH is also crucial for roses – a pH range of 6.0-7.0 is the best.

3. Are You Keeping the Soil Too Wet?

Common Rose Growing Mistakes You Should Avoid 2

No Sir! Watering roses everyday will do more harm than good!

Let the soil dry out between waterings, and the best method to ensure it happens is to moisten the growing medium only when the topsoil feels a bit dry to the touch (I say this every time, and I’m saying this again – why? Because people forget this golden rule!)

Also, avoid wetting the foliage, as it can promote diseases like black spots, causing leaf and bud drop – which means less blooms!

4. Why Spent Blooms are Still on the Plant?

Spent flowers lose their glory, but the plant still continues to divert its energy into maintaining them. This will will also trick roses into producing seeds, which will consume a lot of energy, something a plant could otherwise use to grow more flowers!

So, the moment flowers start to fade away, snip, and say goodbye to them!

5. Why Aren’t You Pruning the Plant!

Common Rose Growing Mistakes in prunning
shutterstock/rikur B

Pruning keeps roses looking clean, trimmed, and handsome, while creating a space for air and sunlight to reach every part – which promotes new growth = more stems for more flowers!

Do it once a year during late winter or early spring, or after your last frost date. Use shears or scissors to make a clean cut. Watch a detailed video on it here.

6. Feed Them!

This is often the most ignored rose growing mistake we all do – not feeding them. I know that I have told you to use a good quality growing medium, but that alone won’t cut it.

As roses love magnesium, using Epsom salt will also do wonders. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of it in a gallon of water, and use it once in 2-4 weeks during the growing season to see more flowers.

Stick to using a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/4 of its strength, once in 2-3 weeks. Also, add 1-2 banana peels in the growing medium every month for that potassium boost!

7. Keep Those Pesky Pests in Check

Common Rose Growing Mistakes in pest control
shutterstock/MaryAnne Campbell

Aphids wreak havoc on roses, so keep your eye out for them – we have a great article on how to keep them away for good here.

Ignoring black spots on the foliage can be fatal for the plant. It is caused by the fungus and thankfully can be controlled by spraying a solution made of one part milk and two parts water weekly until it disappears.

8. Those Bloody Suckers!

Common Rose Growing Mistakes in plant sucker

If you have a grafted rose plant – man, you need to be careful!

Suckers are shoots that grow from the rootstock (mainly below the graft union or the soil surface) and like the name, suck out all the essential nutrients from the plant.

So, how to identify them from the main stem? It’s simple – they have a more vigorous growth habit, with more leaves per stem, and different flower characteristics.

When you spot them on the plant, grab those shears, and make a clean cut! Snip close to the base to ensure they don’t grow back again. Also, it would be a good idea to regularly inspect the plant to keep an eye on them.

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  1. This is the best, common-sense article I’ve read about taking care of roses. As a Master Gardener, I can share this information with others who are afraid to grow any type of rose other than drift or knockout.


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