How to Grow and Care for Stunning Tree Roses

In this video our Head Gardener, Steve, will show you how to plant a potted standard tree rose.

With their tall, graceful stems and beautiful blooms perched atop, tree roses make a gorgeous addition to any outdoor space. Getting these unique roses established and helping them thrive over time does take some specific care. Follow this guide to learn key tips for successfully growing tree roses.

Choosing a Spot

When selecting a location to plant your new tree rose, there are a few important considerations:

  • Sunlight: Tree roses need at least 6 hours of direct sun per day. Morning sun is ideal. Insufficient light will result in fewer blooms.

  • Space Allow 3-4 feet of space all around the tree rose for adequate air circulation and room to grow

  • Soil Well-drained soil enriched with organic matter is ideal. Heavier clay soils may need amendments to improve drainage

  • Support: There should be room for a staking system to support the tree rose, at least for the first couple years.

Take time to choose the perfect spot before planting your tree rose. This will give it the growing conditions it needs

Options for Planting

Tree roses can be planted in a couple different ways:

  • In pots or containers: Use a large pot, at least 18-24 inches wide. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom.

  • Directly in garden beds: Prepare a planting area at least 2 feet wide and 12-16 inches deep.

Think about your landscape design and whether you want the tree rose as a movable patio plant or permanent garden bed fixture.

Planting a Bare Root Tree Rose

Bare root tree roses are often sold during the dormant season. Here are tips for planting them:

  • Soak bare roots in water for a few hours before planting.

  • Dig a hole slightly wider than the root spread and deep enough so the graft union sits just above soil level.

  • Sprinkle root stimulator or mycorrhizae fungi over the roots.

  • Spread roots evenly and fill in the hole with native soil, lightly firming it down.

  • Water thoroughly after planting.

Follow any specific planting instructions that come with the bare root rose.

Planting a Potted Tree Rose

Potted tree roses can be planted spring through fall. Follow these guidelines:

  • Water the plant well the day before planting.

  • Carefully remove from the container, keeping the root ball intact.

  • Set in planting hole so top of root ball is level with surrounding soil.

  • Backfill around root ball with native soil, watering well after planting.

  • Stake initially to support the tree until established.

Take extra care when handling potted roses to avoid damaging the root system.

Providing Support

Young tree rose plants need support to keep them standing upright:

  • Use a tall wooden stake or metal rebar rod pounded at least 1-2 feet into the ground.

  • Attach the tree rose stem to the stake using plant ties or soft twine.

  • Support for at least the first 2 years is ideal, or until well established.

Proper staking prevents damage to the graft union from the rose blowing over.

Ongoing Tree Rose Care

Keep your tree rose thriving with excellent care:

  • Watering: Supply 1-2 inches of water per week. More in hot, dry weather.

  • Fertilizing: Use a balanced rose fertilizer according to label directions 2-3 times per season.

  • Pruning: In spring, prune any dead or damaged branches. Remove suckers emerging from below the graft.

  • Protection: Surround with mulch and wrap graft union to protect in very cold winters.

  • Pest control: Watch for common rose problems like Japanese beetles and aphids. Treat promptly.

  • Deadheading: Remove spent blooms to encourage continuous flowering.

A well-cared for tree rose will grow more spectacular every year!

Troubleshooting Issues

Here are some common tree rose problems and how to resolve them:

  • Leaning plant: Stake more securely or switch to a larger support post.

  • Sparse blooms: This indicates insufficient sunlight. Move to a sunnier location.

  • Wilting: Increase watering if soil is dry. Or check roots for rot in overly soggy soil.

  • Insects: Identify pests and use appropriate organic or natural pesticides.

  • Black spot: Improve air circulation and use a fungicide. Remove diseased leaves promptly.

  • Dieback: Prune damaged canes back into healthy wood. Improve care practices.

Catching issues early makes them easier to remedy before lasting damage occurs.

Amazing Varieties to Try

Many beautiful tree rose varieties are available from rose hybridizers like David Austin. Some top options include:

  • A Shropshire Lad: Intensely fragrant, fully double blooms of deep pink with yellow stamens.

  • The Poet’s Wife: Gorgeous, large yellow blooms with a strong, fruity fragrance.

  • The Generous Gardener: Lovely rose pink flowers on a vigorous plant. Strong myrrh fragrance.

  • Lady of Shalott: Charming orange-apricot blooms fade to yellow. Tea rose fragrance.

  • The Lady Gardener: Neat, rosette-shaped blooms in apricot to soft yellow. Light tea scent.

Do some research to select your favorite tree rose varieties that will flourish in your specific growing zone.

Key Tips for Growing Tree Roses

Follow these guidelines to successfully grow stellar tree roses:

  • Select a spot with at least 6 hours of direct sun daily
  • Give newly planted tree roses proper staking for support
  • Water tree roses regularly during the first year to establish
  • Apply protective mulch around the base over winter
  • Fertilize tree roses 2-3 times per season.
  • Prune out any dead wood and remove spent blooms
  • Keep an eye out for pests like Japanese beetles or black spot fungus
  • Enjoy the graceful form and abundant blooms for years to come

With the right care and maintenance, tree roses make a beautiful focal point in any garden and provide seasons of spectacular blossoms!


Water the pot generously.

Dig a hole measuring 2ft wide by 16″ deep, removing any weeds or large stones as necessary.

Use a fork to break up the ground at the hole’s base, and then mix in a spadeful of well-rotted farmyard manure that is at least two years old.

Take extra care when removing the plant from its pot, especially if early on in the season. Put one hand on the rose stem and the other on the pot’s edge. Tap the pot twice with your palm. Make sure to keep the root ball and soil together as you take it out. This will help your rose grow.

Sprinkle Mycorrhizal Fungi over the root ball.

Place the rose upright in the centre of the hole. A bamboo cane can help you figure out how high the top of the hole is. The stems should be 2″ below the top of the hole.

Place the stake about 4 inches away from the stem of the rose and drive it into the ground 8 inches below the hole’s bottom, being careful not to hit the roots. This should leave the stake 1 m above ground level. The best place for the stake’s top is to be level with where the tree’s trunk splits into branches. The height of the stake supplied is designed to allow for 3-5 years of growth.

Fill in the area around the rose with the soil that was used to dig the hole, adding two more spadefuls of soil improver or manure. Then, lightly firm the soil around the rose with your foot.

Using the tree ties, attach the standard tree rose stem to the top of the stake.

Water the rose well.

WATERING: Roses in pots will require more frequent watering than roses planted in the ground.


Potted standard tree roses can be planted between April and October. We only tell people not to plant when the ground is frozen, wet, or dry.

Tree Rose Pruning (Rose Standard)


How long does it take to grow a rose tree?

Roses are fairly rapidly growing perennials. Depending on the variety, you will usually see blooms in their first year of growth. However, the quantity and size of blooms will be less impressive than those displayed at maturity, which takes 3-4 years on average.

Can you grow a rose tree from a stem?

The easiest way to propagate roses is by taking stem cuttings. Cuttings can be taken from softwood or hardwood, but softwood is the easiest. You can propagate roses in the springtime or in the fall.

Do tree roses need full sun?

Give them what they need– Generally speaking, roses require at least 6 hours of full sun a day (preferably in the morning), a well-drained and nutrient-rich soil, and moderate amounts of water. Water should only be applied directly to the root zone, not to the leaf surface.

Do tree roses need to be staked?

Tree roses should always be staked. They are topheavy and the wind can catch the top and bend or break the stem. Use a metal stake (I use a piece of rebar for mine) and drive it down into the soil a few inches away from the main stem.

How do you plant a bare root rose?

Hammer or mallet How TO plant a bare root STANDARD tree ROSE Step 1. Rehydrate the roots of your standard tree rose in a bucket of water for a minimum of 2 hours prior to planting. Step 2. Dig a hole measuring 2ft wide by 16″ deep, removing any weeds or large stones as necessary.

How do you stake a rose tree?

Position the stake around 4″ from the rose stem and drive it down into the ground by 8″ below the bottom of the hole, avoiding the root structure. This should leave the stake 3ft above ground level. Ideally, the top of the stake should be level with the point at which the trunk of the tree splits into branches.

How do you plant a rose in a hole?

Place the rose upright in the centre of the hole. The stems should be 2″ below the top of the hole – use a bamboo cane to help to identify the level of the top of the hole. Step 6. Position the stake around 4″ from the rose stem and drive it down into the ground by 8″ below the bottom of the hole, avoiding the root structure.

How tall should a rose tree be?

Different heights and rose sizes are available to suit your purpose. Miniature roses are generally grafted to one or two foot trunks, which are perfect for patio trees in containers. Floribundas, grandifloras and hybrid tea roses are grafted to trunks about 3 or 4 feet tall. At that height, a rose standard can be used just about anywhere.

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