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The image displays two white roses.
There’s a common misconception that roses are difficult to grow. However, growing roses is a lot easier than you might think and it’s a rewarding project, cultivating a garden that is full of colourful, fragrant blooms. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose the type of rose that’s best for you and we’ll share growing information that will help your roses thrive.

What are roses?

Roses are the world’s most well-known flower, entwined with romance and beauty. They are perennials, available in many vibrant hues – deep reds, delicate pinks, bright yellows and creamy whites. Their beauty, paired with their rich scents, make them a popular garden addition.

Roses have thorns and serrated leaves. Their petals and fruits, known as rosehips, are edible, offering a delicate floral taste, while their oil is highly valued in perfumery. Additionally, rosehip oil serves as a popular health supplement, contributing to skincare and overall well-being.

Types of roses

Roses come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes, but they are grouped into main categories: species or wild roses, old garden roses and modern roses.

Wild roses are reminiscent of the original, wild members of the rose family. They grow spontaneously in nature and haven’t been altered by any breeding processes. Examples include the bristly rose, wood’s rose and the seven sisters rose.

Old garden roses date back to 1867. They have a classic and timeless feel that is still popular today. Old garden roses boast a higher rose petal count and they have a distinctive fragrance. These are the ideal roses for people who love that deep rose scent. Examples include the China, alba and French roses.

Modern roses have been altered by breeders to have more desirable features, like robust blooms that last longer once they’re cut. Some of them have delicate, almost faint scents, which make them ideal for people who don’t like strong fragrances.

Choosing the right rose for your space

To select the rose that’s right for you, look for a hardy, disease-resistant variety that’s easy to grow and care for. Choose something that suits your growing area, whether it’s a variety that can climb a trellis and decorate your porch, a more compact rose for a smaller garden area, or rich and fragrant varieties that can transform your backyard.

Tip: Make sure you read labels to understand the care requirements. Speak with one of our Team Members in-store if you have any questions.

Rose plant with red rose buds.

How to grow roses

Sun

Roses need full sun, requiring at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and blooming. Look for a spot that gets sun in the morning and early afternoon for the best results. As with most plants, roses can get sunburned. If you live in an area with hot summers, provide them with some afternoon shade.

Some rose varieties tolerate partial shade. For these, select an area where they can get some morning sun, as it helps their leaves to dry more quickly, reducing the potential for disease. Providing roses with afternoon shade is the golden rule, as this will extend the longevity of the blooms.

Pink flowers and rose buds.

Soil

Roses love a slightly acidic or neutral soil with a pH range of about 6.0 to 7.0. You’ll need to enrich the soil with lots of good organic matter, such as well-rotted manure, to encourage healthy growth. Allow the organic matter to settle for a few days before planting your new rose plants.

Good drainage will also help your roses. They like moist soil, but don’t like being drowned. Additionally, a layer of mulch will help to retain moisture, moderate soil temperature and suppress weeds.

Try not to plant your roses in heavy clay soil if you can avoid it. It’s likely the roses will get ‘wet feet’ and, as the roots can’t develop properly, this will eventually kill off your plants. If clay soil is your only option, there are a few tricks for improving it, such as incorporating compost and increasing the drainage.

A rose plant with a tag labelled

Ready to get started?

Learn how to plant and propagate roses.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.