Rose Care & Advice

Rose Care

General Tips

  • Position plant to receive at least half a day (6 hours) of sun
  • Keep plants moist before and after planting
  • Do not plant around established tree and shrub roots
  • Select a well-drained soil medium
  • Water in well after planting and mulch soil surface
  • Avoid rocky, coarse soils and badly drained soils; build up beds to improve drainage
  • Avoid old rose beds unless new soil has been added
  • For mass effect, spacing between bush roses can be as little as you like, but ideally 50cm apart.


  • Prepare the soil a few weeks before planting with organic matter or well-rotted compost.


  • Water regularly via deep soaking, especially after planting or watering foliage at night.


  • Use a well-reputed, balanced fertiliser and feed in September, December and late February.


  • Removing spent blooms will encourage more flowers
  • Trim long growth to ensure good regrowth and more flowers
  • Prune established plants in winter, removing dead branches and approximately 60% of the bush in height

The Rose Society of South Australia has excellent information on Rose Care.
Check out their website.

Ask the Expert

If you’re new to roses and planting, you’ve come to the right place.

Listed below are answers to popular questions about growing, planting and caring for roses. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, fill out the Ask a Question Form and we’ll get back to you.

Q: What are the best conditions for planting roses?

A: Roses do best in a well-drained area that gets at least 5-6 hours a day of direct sunlight. The soil should be pH neutral and have plenty of organic matter. It’s best to plant roses away from trees and other shrubs that have extensive, established root systems.

Q: I think my rose bushes may have spider mites. What should I do?

A: Signs of spider mites include yellowing, very fine webs and small dark spots under the underside of leaves. If you see these signs, mites may be the cause. Fortunately, spider mites are usually only a problem during the heat of summer, so check under the leaves regularly. If you see signs of mites, spray under all the leaves in the early morning every day for several days and thoroughly wet the ground under the roses to create humidity, which discourages mites. A miticide can be used in severe cases, but this is usually expensive and should not be used more than twice in one year.

Q: When is the best time to prune my rosebushes?

A: July is the best time to prune roses in Australia (or in August if your area receives frost).

Q: What are some guidelines for pruning?

A: When pruning a rosebush, you’ll want to cut the bush back by at least half of its height. If there are any sections that did not produce good growth in the past season, trim these areas back. Thin any crowded areas and trim any branches smaller than 1 cm in diameter. It’s also a good idea to spray after pruning to prevent fungal spores such as blackspot, mildew and rust.

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Planting Guide

Bare Root Plants – winter dormant

  • Make sure roots are kept wet until ready for planting.
  • Dig a planting hole twice as wide as roots and combine well-rotted compost.
  • Create a small mound in planting hole for roots to sit on.
  • Position plant so that the main stem or graft is approx. 25mm above soil.
  • Backfill with soil, combining some slow release fertiliser.
  • Water well via deep soaking.
  • Trim back half the stem length (see diagram below).

Container Plants – any time of the year

  • Dig a hole larger than pot and combine slow release fertiliser to base of hole.
  • Remove well-watered plant from pot without disturbing roots.
  • Place into hole and gently backfill with soil. Water in well via deep soaking.
  • Trim back stems by half if during winter dormancy time.