Rose Planting & Care

From site selection to overwintering, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your Easy Elegance Roses.

Site Selection

Easy Elegance® Roses do best in well-drained soil with at least five to six hours of sunlight every day. Especially in cooler climates with shorter growing seasons, roses need sun exposure to develop flowers so be sure that you find a sunny spot for your blooming beauties.

When planning your garden, be sure to keep in mind the full mature size of your roses and leave space for airflow in between each shrub. This helps prevent any potential disease problems and leaves room for growth. Though you want to have airflow, protection from strong wind is always a good call. Don’t let a strong summer storm ruin your beautiful foliage or perfect blooms.

Soil Preparation

Good soil is the best way to ensure long-term success with your new roses. Easy Elegance® Roses send their roots deep and wide, so you want the best soil to ensure healthy growth. Roses prefer loamy, well-drained soil with a good amount of organic matter. Organic matter provides nutrients, increases nutrient holding capacity, and improves drainage and airspace, all essential elements for good plant development. Sources of organic matter include compost, sphagnum peat moss, decomposed manure and decomposed grass clippings and shredded leaves. If you don’t compost at home, most nurseries carry bagged or bulk compost and other organic materials.

The best way to get organic matter into the soil is to add compost. To do this, till or loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches. Then spread 2-4 inches of organic matter, fertilizer, and lime or sulfur if needed, over the planting area then re-till or spade the organic material into the soil.

If you are only planting one or a few roses, you can simply remove soil from the planting hole and mix the soil you remove from the hole with a good amount of organic matter, fertilizer, and lime or sulfur if needed.


Planting roses is quick and easy! Follow these 10 steps for quick planting:

  1. Dig a hole one and a half times wider than the container the roses came in.
  2. Add compost, other nutrients, and/or fertilizer (see below) to prepare the soil.
  3. Remove the plant from the container.
  4. Run your fingers loosely through the sides and bottom of the root ball.
  5. Center the plant in the hole, keeping the plant vertical.
  6. The top of the root ball should be level with the surrounding soil surface. This may require adding back some soil.
  7. Fill in around the roots with soil, and then firmly tamp down.
  8. Water your plant thoroughly. Refill with soil if necessary, then water again.
  9. Add 2-3 inches of mulch around the base of the plant, keeping away from the plant stem.
  10. Water as needed to maintain evenly moist soil until plants are established.

Easy Elegance® Roses are easy-care shrubs, but like any plant do better with the proper nutrition. This is especially true if you have sandy soil which doesn’t retain nutrients or soil that is low in organic matter. One application of fertilizer per season, as the buds appear in spring, is usually enough. You may apply fertilizer once again late in June, but don’t overdo it because too much fertilizer can harm the roots and prevent bloom production. Both inorganic and organic fertilizers deliver great results.

  • Inorganic fertilizers, such as all-purpose 10-10-10 or rose fertilizers are inexpensive and start to work quickly. In general, you can use about 1/3 cup per square foot. Just sprinkle it around the base of the plant and water thoroughly. Always read the packaging for specific directions and follow them exactly — more is not better when it comes to inorganic fertilizers.
  • Good organic alternatives include alfalfa meal, blood meal, bone meal, compost, and manure. If your plants look healthy and have lush green foliage, you can stop feeding.

Roses like moist well-drained soil, especially while they’re just getting started in your garden. Although shrub roses, once established, are drought-tolerant, plants that get enough water will produce more abundant, superior blooms and flower longer with vivid color and fragrance.

  • In well-prepared, well-drained soil, it’s nearly impossible to overwater your roses. It is far better to soak your plants well and do it less often than to frequently water them just a little.
  • It’s best to water in the morning so that the leaves have all day to dry off. Wet leaves and cool night air can cause fungal disease.
  • As August approaches, you can cut down on watering as the plant naturally begins to go into dormancy.
  • Soaker hoses are an easy, water-efficient way of delivering water directly to the roots.

One significant advantage of easy-care Easy Elegance® roses is they require very little pruning.

  • In the first year, little or no pruning is required. We do recommend removing any dead or damaged stems using gloves and a good pruner.
  • In subsequent years, pruning can be confined to removing dead or damaged wood and crossing or inward growing stems. This keeps the center of the plant open for good air circulation.

More Pruning Tips:

  • Some gardeners like to cut the oldest stems back by 1/3 to encourage new growth and more blooms. This is absolutely fine, especially if you want to shape the shrub a bit.
  • If you prune your rose shrub, it should be done in the spring before the plants start to bloom.
  • Deadheading, or removing the spent blooms, is well worth your time. If a plant does not have to use its energy to produce rose hips, the repeat bloom will be much stronger.

Easy Elegance® roses are specifically bred to stand up to winter cold, so you don’t need to do any of the in-depth winter protection like you do for many other roses! Even for those of you that live in Zones 4 and 5, don’t worry about the old rose cones or tipping method. Follow these easy steps for winter preparation:

  • Stop fertilizing roses by the end of July, if you are fertilizing at all.
  • Stop deadheading roses by August or September to allow the stems to harden and form hips. If you deadhead too late, the frost can kill the stem.
  • If you have a dry year, be sure that the rose is well watered going into fall.
  • Cover the base of the shrub with mulch, leaves or straw to protect the crown, which is just above where the roots meet the soil. This way, even if you have an unusually cold winter that causes dieback, your roses will come back the following year. Since Easy Elegance® roses are grown on their own root, they will grow back beautifully, even after the worst of winters.