How Much Sun Do Roses Need ?

Roses are beautiful to look at, and they are easy to grow in many cases. The amount of sunlight that they need depends on the type of rose. While almost all roses require at least four hours of sunlight a day, there are rose varieties that need much more to thrive.

Roses That Grow Well in Full Shade

Some pale-colored roses will look washed out in the full sun and seem to glow in the shade. When choosing roses for shady locations, consider choosing those that are prolific bloomers. Most of these roses will bloom prolifically in full sun conditions, but they will still bloom when placed in a shady spot. Most heirloom roses that grow well in full shade grow naturally in forest or thickets around the globe. For your roses to thrive in the shade, you need to fertilize them and make sure that the soil drains properly. Since shade-tolerant roses tend to grow taller, keeping them pruned can cause them to put on more blooms.

Many shrub roses do particularly well in full shade, but it is still essential to check the growing requirements of each variety. While gardeners have loved bare-root shrub roses for a long time, they require a lot of care to get them started. If you are looking for a shrub rose that requires less attention, consider a container shrub rose. These roses should be planted in a hole that is twice as wide as the container. Then, carefully unwrap the roots from the root ball and place it in the hole. Water well in the early morning at least twice a week. As your shrub rose grows, prune it by cutting away dead or weak branches. As your shrub roses bloom, cut off the most beautiful blooms as this will encourage your rose bush to put on even more prolifically.

Roses That Grow Well in Partly Sunny Conditions

Some roses do quite well when they get between four and six hours of sun each day. Many old garden roses grow beautifully in partially shaded conditions. Breeders developed these roses before 1867, and they usually have fewer diseases. As with those grown in full shade, you should expect fewer blooms, and they are likely to be smaller in diameter. Old garden roses have a particular growing season, so it is crucial to choose roses that will bloom throughout the year so that something is always adding interest to your garden. Most old garden roses are incredibly fragrant. These roses come in a variety of shapes, so you can find short ones that spread quickly through underground runners to tall ones that grow over 20 feet tall.
Another type of rose that you will want to consider for partially shaded locations is floribundas. These roses were created as early as 1907 by crossing hybrid tea roses with polyantha roses. These small, stiff shrubs tend to put on blooms in large sprays. While breeders are continually trying to breed more fragrant options, most floribundas have very little fragrance. These roses tend to put on multiple roses per branch, and most bloom prolifically from early spring until the first frost in the fall. These roses that first became popular in the 1940s seldom grow taller than three feet.

Roses That Grow Well in Full Sun

Almost all classes of roses thrive in full sun, so this is usually the best option when you have a choice. One type of rose that thrives in full sun is English tea roses. You can find varieties that will thrive from zone 2 to zone 11, and there are many different choices available. Bare-root roses do best when planted just as the weather is starting to warm up while container roses can be planted during warm weather. When planting these roses, be sure to plant them in soil mixed with lots of organic matter to achieve a pH balance between 6.0 and 6.5. The soil needs to drain very well. You can prune these roses to encourage more blooms after the first blooms are fading. It is also essential that you prune them so that air can flow around and through them to prevent fungus problems.

If you live in an area where temperatures get hot in the summer, consider roses that do not crisp in the summer heat. Shrub roses, like the knockout, often handle the heat better than other options. These roses rely on their mass blooms to produce their beauty as opposed to having beautiful individual blooms. Shrub roses often grow up to 5 feet tall and can be as wide as they are tall. Many gardeners and landscapers commonly use these roses as borders, and you can find formal and informal options.

How to Care for Cut Roses

One of the great ways to enjoy your roses is to cut them and bring the blooms inside. When you cut your roses, be sure to use pruners or scissors with very sharp blades as this will allow you to cut them without damaging the plant. Flowers are better hydrated in the morning so that is the best time to cut them. Try to cut roses when the outer petals are open slightly, but the center is still tight as they will last longer in a vase. You should immediately put the stems in water as soon as you cut them.

Once you have the roses inside, cut the stems again while holding the stem under running water. Remove any low-hanging leaves as they can cause bacteria growth when left in water. Be sure that your vase is spotless and put your roses in them along with water and fresh flower food. Lift the stems back up and cut them again every other day.

Growing roses does not have to be complicated. While almost all roses enjoy full sun, many types of roses will tolerate partial sun or complete shade. Read the labels carefully and consider your growing zone. Once you have grown beautiful roses, cut them when they are just beginning to bloom and bring them inside for you and your family to enjoy.