Year Round Rose Care

Rose care requirements are different for each season. If you’re new to growing roses, it can be a little daunting knowing what to do when. We outline the rose care you should be undertaking in each season.


Roses are looking fabulous right about now with lots of colourful flowers and lush, leafy growth. But, even the easy-care shrub varieties need maintenance to keep them healthy and flowering into Autumn.


Roses will require watering during hot, dry weather. The actual amount and frequency depends upon weather conditions and soil type. In most garden situations, a deep soaking is much better than frequent shallow watering. The soil should be soaked to a depth of 25 – 30cm. Apply the water directly to the soil. Over-head watering wets the foliage and may increase disease problems. If overhead watering is unavoidable, the best time to water is early morning. This allows the foliage to dry quickly.

Adding mulch around your roses will help to conserve soil moisture and also help to control weeds. Spread 7 – 10cm of mulch around the base of each plant or over the entire bed.


To encourage healthy, vigorous growth and abundant bloom, roses need feeding as well as watering. Feed in Spring and Summer, when they are actively growing. Apply fertiliser in early Spring after pruning. Another application should be made during the first bloom period. We like Tui Rose Food which is specifically blended, containing high levels of potassium to promote healthy blooms. Thoroughly water the roses after feeding.


It is necessary to remove spent flowers to conserve the plant’s energy and encourage repeat blooms. Use a sharp pair of clean secateurs to deadhead your roses.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

Implement a rigorous spray program through the summer months to control pests and diseases.

Need to identify what pest or disease is affecting your roses? Click here


Giving your roses a bit of care in Autumn will ensure that they make it through Winter and come back healthy and full of flowers in Spring.

General Care and Maintenance

To prevent rot, snip off any soggy or shrivelled blooms and continue dead-heading until the end of March and leave for colourful hips to form. While you’re deadheading, check for any foliage that is showing signs of disease such as black spot, mildew or rust – do not put these in your compost. Collect any infected leaves that have fallen to the ground, as these can carry diseases from one year to the next.

Mulch beds for weed control and moisture retention.

If you are in an area that has high winds over Winter, you may like to reduce tall bush roses to reduce wind-rock during Winter gales. Make sure that your tall or standard roses are firmly staked.


Give your roses a final feed before Winter. Apply to moist soil.


If you’re planning to relocate your rose, Autumn is the best time for transplanting as they’ll have time to get established over Winter.

Preparing for new season’s roses

If you can’t wait for new season’s roses, you can scour magazines, websites and local public flower gardens for inspiration. Looking at local flower gardens gives you an idea on what varieties perform the best in your region.

If you’re planting new roses in Winter, you can start to prepare the soil for your new arrivals. Add compost and well-rotted animal manure, like Rooster Booster to the hole. For new garden beds, do the same and add some lime and a sprinkling of blood and bone. Don’t add any other fertiliser at this time.


The traditional time for rose pruning and the arrival of new season’s roses in store.

Add new roses to your garden

Winter is the time that new season’s roses hit stores. When purchasing your new season’s roses, look for plants that have at least three strong canes that do not show any signs of shrivelling (this may indicate that the plant has dried out and will not establish well).

Roses prefer a soil which has good water holding capacity but is never waterlogged. A clay loam is ideal but roses will grow in most soils. Improve light soils by digging in plenty of compost and prepare the ground by deep digging prior to planting. If drainage is a problem try raised beds (at least 30cm above ground level).

Roses love lots of sun but they will be fine with some afternoon shade. Five hours of sunlight is adequate. Most roses won’t do well in a very windy position but they do need good ventilation. An overcrowded situation makes them more susceptible to disease.

If you have roses that aren’t performing well in their current location, you can shift them in early Winter. Cut back by two-thirds and keep well watered.


In most parts of the country, the best time to prune your roses is July through to mid-late August. In the north, it is perfectly fine to start a bit earlier than this, and in the south a bit later. Don’t prune too early for your region as the new growth can be damaged by the last of the frosts.

Prune established plants to remove dead or diseased wood. Prune the remaining growth down by about one-third of its height. Roses are very forgiving, so if you cut off a bit much – don’t worry! Roses will live without pruning but as they are deciduous they respond well to a good prune in Winter, doing this will give you new shoots to replace the old ones. You can also prune to maintain the desired shape of your plant.

The exception is old-fashioned roses that flower only once a year in early Summer -prune if they are damaged, diseased or have unruly branches. These roses should be pruned immediately after flowering to give new flowering wood time to grow.

Cut on a 45 degree angle, about 5mm above the bud facing in the direction you want the bush to grow. Angle the cut away from the bud to prevent water running into it. Prune to ensure that the centre of the rose is open for maximum air circulation which in turn will help reduce the incidence of fungal diseases.

We also recommend a good Winter spray of lime sulphur followed by a copper spray to give your rose a perfect start to Spring.


New growth begins to show and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying beautiful blooms! It’s a good idea to reapply mulch to your roses which will help to suppress weeds and conserve moisture as the hotter months take hold.


As the weather begins to warm up, you will need to ensure that you’re watering your rose regularly – water heavily at least once per week.


Give your roses a good feed as they begin to emerge from their Winter dormancy, this will set them up for the season ahead. Fertilising your roses helps them to replace nutrients that are lost when plant matter is removed through pruning or de-heading.

Apply Tui Rose Food which contains high levels of potassium to promote large, vibrant, healthy blooms and added iron to deepen colour. If you have roses in pots or containers we recommend that you feed them with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

Spring is the perfect time to start a spray program. Aphids, rust, black spot and downy mildew will become more prevalent as the weather begins to warm, these can all be combated with Yates Rose Gun. Remember that prevention is also the cure, keep your rose healthy and it will be less likely to be struck by pests and diseases.

Collect all infected leaves and remove them from your garden.