How to grow Roses

mordenblush shrub rose

Modern Blush shrub rose at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

There have been volumes written on how to grow roses, but for most home gardeners the rules are pretty simple: Choose the right plants for your soil and climate; keep them watered and fed adequately; give them enough air circulation and pruning to stay healthy; watch for pests and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of America’s favorite flower.

Choose the right roses and the right spot. You can grow hybrid tea roses and other more delicate roses in Minnesota, but you will have to provide winter cover and a bit of fussing. If you do not want to do that, choose one of the many shrub, climbing, rugosa or old-fashioned roses recommended for northern climates. The University of Minnesota has done rose breeding over the years, and their Northern Accent roses—Sven, Ole and Lena—are pretty and hardy. The Northern Earth-Kind Rose Project is developing a list of great roses for our area, too. If you aren’t sure what you want, ask your local nursery or garden center owner: they usually know which plants do well in our area.

bridal pink

‘Bridal Pink’ rose

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About Tom McKusick 30 Articles
It is the mission of MSHS to serve Northern gardeners through education, encouragement, and community. Through a variety of educational programs, classes and conferences, and by publishing an award-winning magazine, Northern Gardener, MSHS helps its members and the general public to be better gardeners in USDA plant hardy Zones 3, 4 and 5. MSHS’ plant donation network, Minnesota Green, started in 1988, serves the greening efforts of volunteer gardeners throughout the state. Minnesota Green promotes grassroots efforts to revitalize communities by coordinating the donation and distribution of nurseries and greenhouse’s flowers and trees to be planted in public spaces statewide. MSHS was formed in 1866, as an association of fruit growers who took on the challenge of growing apples and other fruits in a northern climate. Two years later, the association became the Minnesota State Horticultural Society to recognize the importance of all phases of horticulture development in rural and urban Minnesota. In 1873, the Minnesota Legislature approved an act providing for the publication and distribution of 2000 copies of all the transactions of the society. 1894 marked the birth of one of the longest continually published horticultural magazines in the country: Northern Gardener, formerly known as Minnesota Horticulturist.