Bush Rose Basics
- LIGHT: Sun
- TYPE: Rose, Shrub
- HEIGHT: From 1 to 20 feet
- WIDTH: 1 to 15 feet
- FLOWER COLOR: White
- FOLIAGE COLOR: Blue/Green
- SEASONAL FEATURES: Autum Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
- SPECIAL FEATURES: Attracts Birds, Cut Flowers, Fragrance, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Shrub Rose Care Must-Knows
Shrub roses are one of the easiest classes of roses on the market to grow. These are tough roses that have been bred to have the best attributes of all classes.
Like all roses, shrub rose requires full sun, which will allow the plant to bloom to their fullest extent on sturdy limbs. In many climates, roses are susceptible to foliar diseases, like black spot and mildews. This risk is drastically increased when your plant is in anything less than full sun. Luckily, shrub roses are more resistant to many of these problems.
When planting your roses, make sure they are in well-drained soil. If in doubt, it never hurts to amend the soil with a small amount of peat and potting soil.
Shrub roses are some of the easiest roses to prune, as well as the most foolproof. Even if you don't prune shrub roses every year, they will still bloom. The most important pruning principal with shrub roses is to remove any dead, damaged, or diseased growth as soon as possible. Typically, this is best done in late winter/early spring, just before the buds break.
Also look for any branches that may be touching or rubbing together, as this can create a spot for disease to fester. If your shrub roses have been around for a while, it can be beneficial to remove some of the older growth. This will open up the interior to improve air circulation as well as promote fresh new growth from the base. Since shrub roses are generally repeat bloomers, it is best to continually deadhead old blossoms to encourage rebloom.
In general, you will be pruning just before the plant breaks dormancy after spring's final frost. This will be early in the year in warm climates, and anytime between May and August in cold climates.
If it's old roses you are tending, prune them after blooming. They bear flowers on last year's wood. Cut away the dead wood first -- it will help you "see" the shape of the plant without distraction. It's a good idea to visit a public rose garden and find specimens of roses you are growing. Note how the gardeners have pruned roses of the same type. In cold-winter climates, pruning is often reduced to one option: Simply cut back the wood that was killed in winter. In warm climates, pruning can be done at any of three levels, depending on your purpose. Severe pruning (cut to leave three or four canes, 6 to 10 inches high) produces fewer but larger blooms. Moderate pruning (five to 12 canes cut to 18 to 24 inches) makes for a larger bush. And light pruning (less than one-third of the plant is thinned out) increases the number of short-stemmed flowers that will be produced.