Planting roses in florida

Growing Roses

Here in Florida, roses grow and bloom year-round in the majority of the state. Successfully growing roses in Florida depends on selecting varieties that perform well in our state and conform to your lifestyle.

Choosing Roses

Roses can be either low- or high-maintenance. Low-maintenance roses require little care and include the “old garden roses” and shrub roses. Hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda and polyantha roses (“modern” roses) are considered high-maintenance since they require frequent grooming, fertilizing, watering, and spraying.

Hybrid roses grafted on ‘Fortuniana’ rootstock perform the best. “Old” and dwarf varieties will do well with their own roots, but often perform better when they are grafted.

Beyond low- or high-maintenance and rootstock choice, variety selection depends on your personal preference and needs when growing roses.


Roses can be planted year-round except in north Florida, where planting is better in early spring. Nurseries sell potted roses year-round; bare-root plants are usually available from October to March. Bare-root plants are not usually grafted onto ‘Fortuniana’ rootstock and may not do well.

Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Plant them in a full-sun location with well-drained soil. Most soils will have to be amended, especially for modern roses. Add 2 to 4 inches of organic material to the rose bed and mix it to a depth of 12 inches.

To move a container-grown rose to your yard, plant the rose at the same depth that it was growing in the container to make sure the graft union stays above the soil. Apply mulch around each plant and irrigate frequently for 6 to 8 weeks to establish.


Irrigation & Fertilization

Modern varieties will need frequent irrigation, and low-maintenance varieties will appreciate occasional irrigation.

The season and the location and size of the plants will determine the amount of fertilization. Regardless of the amount, choose a fertilizer specifically intended for growing roses with micronutrients and controlled-release nitrogen.

Fertilize once a month from mid-February to mid-November (in South Florida these monthly applications can be made year-round). Apply 1 cup of fertilizer per plant monthly or ½ cup bi-monthly; reduce this amount for small plants.

Grooming & Pruning

Grooming means trimming roses to keep them healthy, attractive, and productive. Grooming frequency will depend on the type of rose and your preferences. To groom your plants:

  • Remove faded flowers after each bloom cycle.
  • Break off suckers that grow from the rootstock.
  • Remove dead wood and canes showing disease symptoms.

Prune hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas in February or March in North and Central Florida and December in South Florida. When you prune, do the following:

  • Remove twigs and branches that are dead, diseased, injured, or spindly.
  • Shorten main canes and lateral branches.
  • Leave at least half the length of each main cane that is 1 to 3 years old.
  • Make pruning cuts just above a dormant bud. Remove whole branches with a smooth cut at the point of juncture.

Cut Flowers

Before cutting flowers for an arrangement, consider how they will be used and what types of blooms you need.

Cut flowers once the green sepals fold back toward the stem and the outside petals loosen and start to unfurl. Buds cut sooner will be too tight and will not open.

Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut flowers. Make a clean cut just above a well-developed leaf to prevent die-back.

Pest Management

Black spot is the biggest disease problem when growing roses in Florida. This fungal disease occurs in humid, wet weather. Use drip irrigation to help keep foliage dry and less susceptible to black spot infection. Sanitation also plays a major role in managing black spot infections.

During winter pruning, remove all leaves from the plants, and rake the area beneath the bush to remove dead and diseased leaves that have fallen during the year. Re-mulch immediately to create a physical barrier between the plant and the fungal spores on the ground, which prevents re-infection. Begin spraying as new growth emerges and continue throughout the growing season.

Most low-maintenance roses are somewhat resistant to black spot and will survive with few to no sprays.

Powdery mildew is another fungal disease seen on roses in spring or late fall when the days are warm and nights are cool. Unlike black spot, this disease rarely kills the plant. Other common pests of roses include aphids, spider mites, caterpillars, and thrips. Frequently monitoring your roses will help you detect early infestations.

For more information on caring for roses and pest and disease management, contact your local Extension office.

Excerpted and adapted from:

S. Park Brown, “Growing Roses in Florida” (CIR 344), Environmental Horticulture Department (revised 12/2013 and 12/2016).

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Growing roses in Southwest Florida


If you are crazy enough to try growing roses, as most of us northern transplants do at least once, finding a place in the garden where they will flourish is, of course, very important.

Roses are hard enough to grow here in southern Florida without planting them in the wrong location. Full sun is necessary (6 to 8 hours a day), including the morning sun, instead of the very hot summer afternoon sun, which as we all know or should know, will cook an egg on the sidewalk.

It is also important to know that roses are very heavy feeders; they do not like the roots of other plants or trees near themcompeting for the little nutrition that is contained in our soil (if you can call it that).

Roses can also be grown in containers. If you try growing a climbing rose you will need an arbor or trellis for it to be trained on.

Growing roses here in southern Florida is not for the faint of heart. You might think I am being too negative but I have watched my neighbor trying and crying, on his knees yelling and screaming a lot of very bad words. That went on for about 10 years. As one would guess, there are bougainvilleas growing in that spot of the garden now.

Usually, only the roses that are grafted on to another root stock, Rosa x fortuniana, are the easiest to grow in our area. But I think knockout roses, which do not need to be grafted onto the root stock, are usually the best bet here in hot and wet southern Florida.

They are a low maintenance roses that will exist with little trouble from leaf spot and powdery mildew. Knockouts are a shrub rose and come in yellow, pink and red.

Unfortunately, other than the yellow ones, knockout roses are not that fragrant.

It’s been said that knockout roses do not need dead heading (cutting off old flowers) but, for appearance sake, cut them off and cut back any dead stems. Hard pruning should be in spring (March) or fall (late September).

As with most plants, give them a week or two to get somewhat established before fertilizing. Use a fertilizer that has been formulated just for roses and add some organic material or peat moss to the planting hole. Keep mulch away from stock.

Watering roses is important. Try not to get the plant or leaves wet. Watering with a soaker hose or drip system is best because the water gets right where you want it, on the root system. If you must water from above, do so in the morning so the leaves have a chance to dry out through evaporation.

In addition to knockout roses, in my opinion, the easiest rose to grow in Florida is the Louis Phillipe, commonly called the red cracker rose. This rose is a climber and is fragrant. It will bloom on and off all year, and it is almost indestructible, even if you run it over with a truck. Don’t ask how I know this. Good luck and, as always, remember gardening is fun even if you love roses.

Help save the monarch butterfly by planting milkweed and keep butterflying!

Mike Malloy, known as Naples “butterfly guy” sells host and nectar plants for butterflies as well as tropical plants at the Third St. So. Farmers Market every Saturday morning.

How to choose and care for roses

  • Light shade is not a deal-breaker – some roses can manage on four to five hours of sunlight a day (see slide show).
  • Don’t reject a rose if it flowers only once. It will still give you flowers for four to six weeks in June and July.
  • If space allows, plant two or three roses of the same type together, leaving 1ft 6in (50cm) between each, so that they form a group. Separate each group by about 3ft (1m) to allow access for deadheading – a thoroughly pleasurable occupation.
  •  Grow roses with perennials, biennials and annuals to lessen the impact and spread of diseases such as black spot. If black spot does occur, collect up leaves on the ground and mulch well to bury any missed leaves and the spores.
  • When pruning, cut out the older woody stems as these are more likely to harbour pests and diseases. Feed roses the following spring. If black spot is very bad, replace with a healthier rose. Otherwise be lenient.
  •  If you get aphids, don’t spray – aphids feed the birds and beneficial insects. Squash them with your fingers if they bother you.
  • Never cut back roses during the growing season. Prune in winter. Michael often does his during the Christmas and New Year break.
  • As a rule, cut the main stems of shrub, old-fashioned and English roses back to about halfway. Michael ignores the rule about cutting above an outward-facing bud, or at an angle.
  • If the rose has been established for a few years and developed a woody base Michael recommends cutting out all the woody growth to encourage new, vigorous growth.

Browse our selection at

With proper care, hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, climbing roses, miniatures and shrub roses will all grow well in Colorado.

Planting: There are a few basics that apply to all types of roses. Site selection is one of them. In order to thrive, roses need to be planted in full sun, with good air circulation and well-drained soil.

Bare root roses should be planted by mid-April. If you order roses from an online nursery prepare a planting hole 18” wide x 12” deep prior to receiving the roses. When they arrive, if the roots look dry, soak overnight in a bucket of water. Never allow the plant to dry out. Support the plant and carefully set it in the ground around a mound of soil. It’s important to support the plant so the bud union (graft union) is at or slightly below ground level. Next, water well then cover the entire plant with loose, loamy moist soil until the root system starts to function. It’s very important to keep the canes from drying out. The plant may need to be covered for as long as six weeks.

Potted roses can be planted any time after the last killing frost. Prepare the planting hole 18” wide with the depth determined by the height of the bud union. Do not disturb the root ball when planting and be sure the bud union is at-to-slightly-below ground level. Water thoroughly after planting. Once rose bushes are established deep water once a week.


Most roses need spring pruning to remain healthy. Correct pruning will encourage new growth, prevent disease and improve air circulation. It will also help shape the plant to produce more blooms.

Don’t prune too early. Colorado Springs is known for surprising winter storms in late March and April. The first important sign that it’s time to prune is when leaf buds begin to swell on the bush. Another sign is when forsythia blooms in your neighborhood. Make all pruning cuts at a 45 degree angle ¼” above a bud eye. Note that not all types of roses require heavy pruning in spring..

Hybrid Teas, grandifloras, and floribundas produce best flowers on new or the current season’s wood. This means removing about one-half to two-thirds of the plants height and reducing the number of canes per bush. Lastly, remove any remaining foliage from last season and apply a balanced fertilizer specifically for roses.

Climbing roses: since climbers produce flowers on last season’s wood only remove winter damage and dead branches in early spring. After flowering, prune climbers to get a pleasing shape. If the climber is a vigorous grower you can prune during the growing season to keep size in check. The same 45 degree angle cut applies to climbing roses and all roses in this article.

Miniature roses: prune these hardy roses only for shape and air circulation. After the first bloom, cut back to an outward facing bud.

Knockout roses: these roses are extremely hardy both for the range of climates they thrive in, and the severe pruning cuts they can handle. They require little maintenance, just light trimming and shaping. But if the plant becomes too large for the space, prune the entire bush back to one or two feet in late fall or early spring.

For a list of what roses grow well in Colorado go to and click ‘Online Publications’ listed on the right side of the page. Then click on ‘Yard and Garden Publications,’ under ‘Flowers’ select Fact Sheet #7.404, Selecting and Planting Roses.

Plan to attend some or all of the weekly Spring Garden Classes sponsored by CSU Extension. Classes start on March 21 and continue through May 19th. Each class is held on Saturday morning at DeVry University and repeated on Tuesday afternoon at the Extension office. For more information go to the CSU website at

When you have questions, CSU Extension has research based answers. Get answers to your horticultural questions by calling number the Master Gardener Help Desk at 520-7684 or visiting

Enjoy Roses All Year

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No matter where you live, you can enjoy roses all year round.

Harvest the colorful rose hips and add them to your winter arrangements or outdoor displays. They combine nicely with fresh greens and other dried material. Be sure to leave a few on the plants for the birds to enjoy.

Enlarge and frame your best pictures of your favorite roses. They’re sure to brighten those winter days. Don’t stop there. Print them on totes, create greeting cards and give them as gifts.

Purchase one of the small tabletop roses to tend and admire all winter long. Just place it in a cool, bright location and keep the soil slightly moist. Pour off any excess water that collects in the foil wrap or saucer.

Share your love of gardening with others and help a friend plan a garden filled with low maintenance repeat-blooming roses.

A bit more information: Next year, plan on harvesting and preserving a few blooming rose stems to enjoy in winter. You can preserve them in silica or try storing them in sand in a cool, dark location.

The Most Fragrant Roses in Zone 9

Zone 9 is one of the smallest planting zones. It includes central Florida, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas, a good deal of California and southern Oregon, areas where the winter temperature generally does not go below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Roses grow well in zone 9, but not all roses have a good fragrance; and those that do, do not all have the same kind of fragrance.

Double Delight

Double Delight is a hybrid tea rose that is so named because each flower has two colors and a spicy, fruity fragrance. It is a good choice for a cut flower arrangement. The flower will start out with a creamy white color with just a touch of red on the outermost petals. As they age, the red becomes more prominent.

Weather has an effect also. The hotter the temperature, the more red will appear. The weather variations mean that no two roses will be exactly the same. The rose is large and usually grows as a single flower, but can grow in groups of two or three.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is another hybrid tea rose that produces large, 5-inch flowers that have a least 50 petals each. The flower has a long stem, making it a good cut flower. The Memorial Day rose has a classic rose fragrance that is so strong, one single bloom can fill a room. It loves heat and is very resistant to diseases. The color is a clear pink with a light wash of lavender.

Honey Perfume

Honey perfume is a floribunda rose, which grows 4-inch-wide apricot/yellow flowers with 25 to 30 petals each. As the flower ages, it will turn a creamy white color. The fragrance is rich and spicy and the plant is very disease resistant. It is a repeat bloomer, producing flowers all season long. The bush is very compact, growing only 3 feet high and 2 feet wide, making it a good choice for small spaces and container gardens.

Mr. Lincoln

Mr. Lincoln is a deep red hybrid tea rose with a heavy rose scent. They make a good cut flower and a small vase full will scent a room. The canes of the Mr. Lincoln are darker than usual and make an excellent contrast with the deep color of the flowers. It will also bloom well into the fall.

Scentimental Rose

Scentimental is a red and white striped floribunda rose. The flowers grow in large clusters and have a spicy fragrance. One or two bunches of Scentimental will be enough to scent a room. This rose will bloom all summer long and is very drought, heat and humidity resistant.

Zone 9 Rose Care: Guide To Growing Roses In Zone 9 Gardens

Gardeners in zone 9 are lucky. In most places, roses will bloom only during two or three seasons of the year. But in zone 9, roses can bloom year round. And the flowers may actually be larger and more intensely colored during the zone 9 winter. So, what roses grow in zone 9? The answer is almost all of them. However, you do need to consider your soil type, humidity, and whether you get salt spray from the ocean in coastal regions.

Choosing Rose Bushes for Zone 9

When planning your rose garden, first choose a rose type that fits your lifestyle. Old garden roses are among the easiest to grow, but most only bloom once per year. By contrast, hybrid tea roses and other formal roses require more maintenance. They need proper pruning and fertilization, and they are prone to fungal diseases like black spot, Cercospora leaf spot, and powdery mildew, so you’ll need to spray with fungicides to keep them looking their best.

Cultivars “Mrs. B.R. Cant” and Louis Phillippe are great low-maintenance zone 9 roses. Knock Out® roses are another very reliable option that tolerates the heat of a zone 9 summer. They combine the ease of care of old garden roses with the long bloom period of more modern roses.

There are many formal rose bushes for zone 9. Margaret Merril® Rose, a white floribunda, is very fragrant and blooms year-round in warm to hot climates.

Climbing Romantica® rose “Red Eden” and Madame Alfred Carriere grow well in dry parts of zone 9 with intense summer heat. Many other options are available, so check at a local garden store for more ideas.

Growing Roses in Zone 9

In zone 9, rose care involves proper site selection and maintenance. Roses need at least 6 hours of sun every day, and they require well-drained soil with a significant amount of organic matter to be healthy. Amend the soil with compost, peat, or well-rotted manure to increase the level of organic matter. This is especially important if you have sandy soil or live in a dry climate. Plant roses in raised beds if your soil is poorly drained.

To keep formal roses healthy, water them weekly, deadhead to remove all spent flowers, and spray with fungicides as recommended for the variety. Formal roses in zone 9 should be fertilized once a month from early spring to late fall and pruned in the spring.

Many roses will grow larger in zone 9 than they will in cooler regions. Give them extra space to grow, and plan to prune more frequently if you want to keep them smaller.

In coastal parts of zone 9, like Florida, be sure your water supply is suitable for growing roses. They cannot tolerate water with more than 1800 ppm of salt. Also, consider salt spray: beach rose (Rosa rugosa) and Flower Carpet roses are the best choices for gardens exposed to salt spray. Most other roses should be planted in sheltered locations where exposure to salt spray will be lessened.

For more difficult conditions, select a rootstock that does well in your region within zone 9. For example, Fortuniana rootstock is excellent for grafted roses in Florida conditions, while Dr. Huey rootstock also produces acceptable results.

Are you confused about the selection of most fragrant roses to grow in your garden? Well, roses are a diverse group of flowering plant. So, the selection of best fragrant roses can be a difficult job. Never mind, here the list of 10 Intensely Fragrant Roses To Plant In Your Garden

10 Memorial Day

credit of image : wendy cutler flickr

It is an exceptionally fragrant hybrid tea rose with beautiful pink petals. According to the experts, one bloom to perfume an entire room. Undoubtedly, everyone will love such a strong old rose fragrance from a memorial day bloom. It is an easy to grow rose. The large, fully double blooms will have more than 50 pink petals.

Memorial Day Rose – Additional Info

  • Class : Hybrid Tea Rose.
  • Size : 5-6 inches across.
  • Blooming period: Throughout summer/early fall
  • Flower color : Clear pink.
  • Blossom type : Fully double blooms with more than 50 petals.

9 Sunsprite

credit of image : homeinsalem wikimedia

The sunsprite is probably one among the best yellow roses in the world. The strikingly deep, yellow color of this rose last throughout its lifetime. The strong, sweet fragrance is another great feature of the Sunsprite rose. It can be a perfect addition to your cutting garden.

The attractive bushy plant of sunsprite rose will grow up to a height of 2.4 feet. It can be planted on the ground or in a flowerpot. The bright, yellow blooms normally have 25-30 petals. Luckily, they are saturated with intense, sweet fragrance.

Sunsprite Rose – Additional Info

  • Class : Floribunda
  • Size : 2.8-3.2 inches across.
  • Blooming period : Late spring to frost.
  • Flower Color : Bright yellow.
  • Blossom type : Solitary or small clusters, between 25 and 30 petals.

See Also:

10 Most Beautiful Roses For Your Garden

Roses have been celebrated for centuries for their beauty, fragrance and to represent something. You… Nature

8 Secret

credit of image : audrey flickr

The secret rose is an ideal flower for scenting your house. Its flowers produce intense, fruity fragrance. In addition, the blossoms are so attractive, the creamy petals are edged with bluish pink. The blossoms have an average diameter of 4.75 inches. Spring is the best to plant the secret flower. The plant bears mostly the solitary flowers, also comes in small clusters. Each bloom normally has 26-40 petals.

Secret Rose – Additional Info

  • Class : Hybrid Tea.
  • Size : 4-5.7 inches across.
  • Blooming period : Late spring/early summer
  • Flower color : Creamy petals edged with bluish pink.
  • Blossom type : Solitary or small clusters.

7 Mister Lincoln

credit of image :javier martinlo wikimedia

Mister Lincoln is probably the most fragrant red rose in the world. This well known hybrid tea rose produces a sweet, classic rose scent. Mister Lincoln is a right choice for your cutting garden or exhibition. You can smell its large velvet, deep red flowers from almost 10 feet away.

Mister Lincoln is a continual blooming flower plant. Normally, its first blossom will appears in the month of June. Then it blooms repeatedly until the arrival of winter. The large blossoms have an average diameters of 5 inches. In each blossom, you can see 30-35 violet, deep red colored petals.

Mister Lincoln Rose – Additional Info

  • Class – Hybrid Tea.
  • Size – 5-6 inches across.
  • Blooming period – Late spring to frost.
  • Flower color : Violet, deep red.
  • Blossom shape : double, 30-35 petals.

6 Louise Odier

credit of image :hamachidori wikimedia

Louise Odier is one of the most beautiful bourbon roses in the world. It is also a best cutting flower plant you can grow in your garden. Its blossoms are clustered and have intense, sweet fragrance. They have very attractive deep pink coloration with 25-55 petals. Louise Odier will bloom at first in June. Then, it blooms again and again throughout the summer.

Louise Odier – Additional Info

  • Class : Bourbon.
  • Size : Average diameter of 3 inches.
  • Blooming period : Continual blooming.
  • Flower color : deep pink.
  • Blossom type : Fully double, 25-55 petals.

5 Royal Highness

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The royal highness is a very fragrant exhibition quality rose. It produces large, soft pink colored blossoms. Probably, no other roses in hybrid tea class have such an attractive pink coloration. The Royal Highness plant grows best in sunny climates. The long pointed buds will come at first. Gradually, they turn into large, high centered blooms with 40-50 petals.

Royal Highness – Additional Info

4 Fragrant Plum

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The fragrant plum is one among beautiful flowers with an unusual color combination. At first, the plant produces long and attractive buds. They gradually unfurl into large, elegant blossoms. The fully bloomed fragrant plums have lavender coloration at the center and edged with plum-purple. The fragrant plum is also a heavily scented rose. They spread a strong, fruity fragrance into the surroundings.

Fragrant Plum – Additional Info

3 Heritage

credit of image : drew avery flickr

The heritage rose is one of the most attractive flowers from the English roses. It is a classic-cup shaped rose. This near perfect shape itself makes the heritage rose so unique among the rose family. Heritage rose is also renowned for its color and fragrance. It has a gorgeous light pink coloration. In addition, the heritage roses spread a pleasant, lemon fragrance.

Heritage Rose – Additional Info

2 Honey Perfume

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The honey perfume is an intensely beautiful cluster-flowered rose. This rose bears large clusters of apricot-yellow blossoms. Apart from its striking appearance, honey perfume also has a strong, spicy fragrance. It blooms from spring to fall. Each blossom has 25 to 30 petals. The honey perfume plant has dark green foliage. Thus, each flower of this looks more attractive and shining.

Honey Perfume – Additional Info

  • Class – Floribunda.
  • Size – 4-4.5 inches across.
  • Blooming period – Spring to autumn.
  • Flower color : Apricot-yellow.
  • Blossom type : Double.

credit of image :Arashiyama wikimedia

Undoubtedly, the double delight is the most beautiful bicolored rose in the world. The large creamy blossoms are edged with striking red. The double delight rose is also renowned for its intense spicy fragrance. It is a great exhibition quality flower and a perfect choice for the cutting gardens. This brilliantly colored, strong scented roses bloom throughout the summer and fall.

Double Delight – Additional Info

  • Class : Hybrid Tea.
  • Size : 4-6 inches across.
  • Blooming period : Summer and fall.
  • Flower color : cream, red.
  • Blossom type : Double.


Undoubtedly, roses are the most fragrant flowers in the world. There are 100-150 species of roses in the world. The majority of them are renowned for their beauty and fragrance. To select the best fragrant roses from such a large group is not an easy job.

The above is just a short list of some of best fragrant roses in the world. Your opinion can be vary from this list. So please free to share your opinions on this topic in the comment section below.

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