Choose roses that are disease-resistant and proven to thrive in the Vancouver area. Shrub roses, rugosa roses, David Austin roses and hardy climbers are all best bets. Carefully evaluate planting spot for sunlight, soil condition and air circulation. Roses need a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sun, prefer a loamy well-drained soil and need enough room in a garden for good air circulation.

Preparing the Site

1. Dig the planting hole a minimum of 12″ wide and no deeper than the depth of the root ball of the plant.
2. Do not plant when the soil is overly wet as digging can severely compact the soil.


1. Remove plant carefully from its container, using care not to disturb the root ball.

2. Place plant in the hole, double checking that the hole is not deeper than the root ball itself.

3. Mix existing soil taken out of planting hole with peat moss and slow-release rose food. Do not exceed more than 50% new material in backfill. Follow manufacturer’s directions for rose food.

4. Backfill newly mixed soil into hole halfway up the root ball. Water down to fill any large gaps. Add remaining soil. Fill only to the level of the soil as it existed in its original container.

5. Cover with a minimum of 3″ of compost or hardwood mulch. Do not pile any mulch directly against the main stem or trunk of the rose.


Newly planted roses generally need approximate. 1″ of water per week, preferably at one watering. Water thoroughly, deeply and directly at the roots of the plants at least once per week, checking the soil every 2-3 days. Be careful not to water the leaves. If the soil at 3″ below the surface of the soil is dry, water thoroughly. If the soil at that level is cool and moist, wait to water and check again the following day. More plants die from over watering than under watering.


Feed roses monthly until mid-September with slow-release rose food. Treat rose plantings with Epsom Plus for stronger stems.


Prune (see Rose Pruning) your shrub rose or English rose during the dormant months of late winter/early spring before the plant sets its new growth. Remove all dead branches or those branches that cross others. To trim for size, prune ½ of all major branches to 1/2 to 2/3 of its original size. Remove any lateral branching that is no longer producing buds to improve air circulation.

If needed, spray or dust roses every 7-10 days and after rain to control pests and diseases. The rose spray should contain an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide.