Planting & Caring


  1. First locate a spot with full sun. Roses require a minimum of 6 hours of full sun. Morning sun will ensure leaves are dried early and result in fewer disease problems. The soil needs to have good drainage, roses love water but hate to stay wet! If you have a sprinkler system that runs at night, run it around 6 am instead so the roses do not stay wet overnight.
  2. Plant a rose at the same depth it is in the pot. Space roses 3-4+ feet apart from center to center (may need up to 5 ft, depending on the variety). To form a hedge with a shrub rose plant 3 ft. apart, continue up to the 5 ft. depending on how big the rose will grow, always leaving an area for maintenance, cutting blooms, and air flow. Dig a hole the size of the pot or slightly larger and add a bit of light potting soil (Osmocote fertilizer optional).
  3. Gently remove rose from pot so as not to disturb the root system and do not grab at the graft. Pack soil around rose and mud in. Make sure the soil from the pot is the same level in the ground. You can mulch about a bit around the rose, but do not mound mulch around the graft! Mulch helps reduce weeds, retain moisture and keeps the soil at a more even temperature. Again, do not pack anything over the graft.
  4. To use ground cover: prepare your area, roll out ground cover (aka weed cloth or weed mat), and secure the corners with landscape ties or stakes. Cut out crosses where you plan to plant the rose bush. Fold back the edges of the cross. Plant. Replace the edges. Mulch.


Water daily for at least 4 weeks to help establish the rose. After that, depending upon the weather, water approximately 1/2″ twice a week (everyday during the Spring/Summer in Central/South Florida).

Proper fertilization and watering will dramatically reduce disease problems. Use a premium fertilizer that includes the minor elements. You get what you pay for in fertilizer. We recommend Osmocote fertilizer, as it is a slow release and will not burn the root system. Please keep in mind – Over fertilization will kill your rose.

Blackspot can be a problem in rose growing. To treat blackspot ask your garden center for specific rose fungicides.

Pests come and go. Spider mites usually come around in Fall and Spring. Use a labeled miticide. Flower thrips might show up in the Spring and then in June will be eaten by a biological beetle.

Chili thrips are a microscopic foliar thrip that will eat the new growth and not allow your garden to prosper. The leaves curl up and turn brown and you will not see any new growth or blooms on your rose. To combat, we strongly recommend Conserve SC. Conserve is worth the investment to protect your roses. It cannot be used as  a preventative, only if you have the thrips in your garden. When using Conserve SC, coverage is important. You must almost drench the rose bush with the spray and get good coverage all over, including the underside of leaves. Conserve SC can be found at your upper scale garden centers or on As always, use product according to label.

PRUNING IS A MUST!  Don’t be afraid to cut back your roses fairly heavy around the week of February 14. This is for established roses only (in the ground for more than 1 year).  Throughout the year slightly trim your roses to “reshape” your bush.  This forces them to continue blooming througout the year.  Yes, with proper care, Nelson Roses will bloom throughout the entire year!

DO NOT USE ROUNDUP OR ANY SYSTEMIC HERBICIDE AROUND YOUR ROSES.  Tell your yard service not to use any Round Up around your roses. Tell your spouse/child/neighbor not to use any round up anywhere near your roses!


  • Yellow leaves generally indicate that the rose bush needs more water.
  • Your roses will get big!  Restake them as they grow for needed support.
  • To further reduce the possibility of blackspot, water roses in the morning to ensure that the leaves have amply time to dry after sunrise and before sundown.

We want our customers to be successful with their gardens. We ask that you email us photos and your care regiment in the event your roses aren’t looking so great. We can help you bring them back! Roses are not your average landscape item which can be planted and never tended; they require a certain level of care to continue thriving. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for care (we also love successful garden photos, share them with us!): If you do not receive a response within ~7-10 days, email again as we probably missed the first one.


Here is our FAQ/CARE SHEET we give out to our customers


Here is a product “do’s and don’ts”

Rose Product Guide

Please watch our Early Spring Pruning Video Below to a brief demonstration on how to hard prune in February/March