10 Common Rose Growing Mistakes Every Beginner Should Avoid

Here are the most Common Rose Growing Mistakes a Beginner Should Avoid to get full and colorful rose blossoms on your plant.

Common Rose Growing Mistakes You Should Avoid

This list of the most Common Rose Growing Mistakes is reviewed by a rosarian. If you, too, are growing roses, read it carefully to grow the best rose bushes in a pot or garden.

Common Rose Growing Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Not Giving them Proper Sun Exposure

The most important thing about any flowering plant, including roses, is light exposure. These shrubs bloom the best when they get a minimum of 6-7 hours of direct sun.

Growing them in a shaded location or dark spot will result in fewer or no blooms. The color of the blossoms also depends on the light exposure. In all, provide at least 5 hours of direct sun with bright indirect light for the rest of the day if full sun exposure is not available in your location.

2. Skipping Super Charging the Growing Medium

shutterstock/Sergey Mironov

Though roses are not fussy when it comes to the growing medium and survive in most soil types, it would be best if you grow them in rich, crumbly soil by adding plenty of organic matter like aged manure or compost.

Also, mulching the plants keeps the temperature under control, which promotes the healthy growth of the plant and flower production.

Maintaining the correct soil pH is also crucial for roses. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0-6.5. Testing the soil and amending it with sulfur or lime can help ensure the proper pH level for optimal growth.

3. Watering them in a Wrong Way

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You have to strike the right balance when it comes to watering roses. Too much and too often, you will see fewer flowers, and especially in pots, it might end up inviting root rot. Too little, and it will make the plant look dried and shriveled.

So, what could be the right way to ensure the plant stays happy forever? Well, it’s simple. Use your finger! Feel the topsoil between watering, and when it feels a little drier, water the plant generously till it starts to come out of the drainage holes. If you have grown them directly in the garden, saturate the growing medium well.

Avoid overhead watering and wetting the leaves, especially in a humid environment, as it can promote diseases like black spots, causing leaf and bud drops.

4. Keeping the Spent Blooms on the Plant


Keeping the spent blooms on the plant not only makes them look bad but also hurts the growth of new flowers. When the dead flowers stay on the stem, it forces the plant to divert its energy into saving them that the plant should otherwise use to produce more blossoms.

Keeping the spent blossoms on the plant will also trick it into producing seeds, which will consume a lot of energy that the plant can use to produce fresh flowers.

To save this from happening, always deadhead the old blooms when you spot them. Do not pull them away—use a fingernail, shear, or scissors to make a clean cut. It will save the stem from damage.

5. Not Pruning the Plant When it’s Needed

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Pruning a rose plant not only keeps it in good shape but also promotes new growth, which means more flowers!

Do it once a year during late winter or early spring or after your last frost date. Do not pull the dead stems by hand or twist them. Use a shear or scissors to make a clean cut. It will help you to give it a nice shape while keeping the stems safe.

You can watch a detailed video on it here.

6. Ignoring to Fertilize the Plants


Skipping fertilizer is also one of the common rose-growing mistakes people generally make. You don’t have to go overboard and use any special formulas, always.

Either buy a rose feed or just apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once in 4-5 weeks, and you’ll be surprised how much it boosts flower production.

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

  • As roses love the tannic acid that naturally occurs in tea leaves, along with nitrogen and potassium, it would be a great idea to add used tea leaves to the soil often.
  • Roses benefit quite a lot from nitrogen, along with phosphate and potash. To supplement the plant, applying used coffee grounds (Half a cup per plant) once in 6-8 weeks will promote lush growth and flowers. You can also mix half a cup of coffee grounds in a gallon of water and water your rose bush every once in a while with it.
  • You can also repurpose banana peels as roses love potassium. The peels release valuable minerals, such as sulfur, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as trace elements, into the soil, which helps in growth and flower production.
  • Adding a fish head to the hole while planting roses is the best way to give them the needed boost. The fish head consists of 8.3% nitrogen, 4.8% phosphorous, and 1.6% potassium, which greatly helps in the growth of the rose plant and its flowers.
  • Last but not least, do not shy away from using bone meal for roses. It is a rich source of phosphorus, which promotes growth, development, and cell division. Sprinkle a spoon full of it around the base of the plant and mix it well in the soil. Water the plant afterward. Do this once in 4-6 weeks.

7. Overlooking Pests and Diseases

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shutterstock/MaryAnne Campbell

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.

Another area where you need to be careful is pest infestation, as they can make the bushes weaker, which makes them more susceptible to diseases. Also, keep the plant safe from whiteflies.

Aphids are the top pests that you have to watch out for, and to help you–we have a great article on how to keep them away here.

8. Not Giving the Plants a Chance to Have Proper Ventilation

shutterstock/rikur B

Roses grow best when they are properly ventilated. Grouping the plants together and keeping all their stems bunched up in the center will prevent airflow, which can put a dent in the lush growth and flower production.

It will be a great idea to snip away any extra branch at the center that might prevent or interfere with airflow.

9. Ignoring the Animals

Roses can get under attack from animals and pets, and if you have them in and around your garden fence, then make sure they are safe from deer, especially. The thorns are not enough to keep them away.

The best way to combat this problem is to grow deer-resistant plants with roses like French marigolds, butterfly bushes, heliotrope, lily of the valley, African lilies, zinnias, and peonies.

10. Not Removing the Sucker Growth

It is very important to remove the sucker growth from grafted roses. Otherwise, it will cause less or no flowering. The sucker will overtake the grafting, making the actual plant dry up and wilt.

A sucker growth sucks up the nutrients from the plant, which retards the growth of the actual plant while eliminating the chances of flowering.

These suckers are easy to identify as they are long and slender, having different thorns and leaves from the rest of the plant. They are of three types:

  • Off Root Suckers: They grow from the roots of the main plant.
  • Above-Ground Suckers: They grow from the grafted part.
  • Below-Ground Suckers:  They look the same as above-ground suckers but are slightly below the topsoil.


Growing roses can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, but it requires some care and attention. Avoiding common mistakes such as improper sun exposure, incorrect watering, skipping pruning, overlooking pests and diseases, and ignoring sucker growth is essential for growing healthy and vibrant roses.

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