What Are the Best Tips for Growing a Rose Hedge?

Jennifer D'Alessandro

When planting a rose hedge, one should start with the best plants for your geographic location, find the sunniest location possible, be sure to have good drainage and use fertilizer. A rose hedge can be grown for many reasons, including privacy or to add graceful beauty to a landscape, but successful planting requires planning at the start. Generally, a rose hedge includes floribunda or shrub roses; hybrid teas are more typically found as specimen plants.

A red rose.
A red rose.

Determining the growing zone for a site is the first step. If necessary, one can perform an Internet search for the phrase "growing zones." Certain plants are hardier in different regions, so for the best results, one should choose the hardiest plants for the region. For a low maintenance rose hedge, disease-resistant plants can be chosen, or ever-blooming varieties can be chosen for a colorful display. Employees at a nursery can provide information about specific types of roses.

A yellow rose.
A yellow rose.

Next, the correct location for the rose hedge must be found. Roses love sun, won't grow in shade and do not like sitting in water. They need at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, with an eastern exposure being ideal. Roses should not be planted near trees and shrubs, which might cause them to compete for water. Although it's best for rose hedges to be established during the spring, they also can be planted in the early fall.

A bouquet of roses.
A bouquet of roses.

After the ideal site is located, the next step is determining how long the hedge will be. Roses planted in warmer climates will grow larger than those in cooler locales. To help visualize its placement, one can sprinkle flour to outline on the grass where the rose hedge will be.

Next, the soil must be prepared. Roses like a rich, loamy, well-drained soil, with a potenz Hydrogen (pH) rating of 5.5-7.0. A soil-testing kit can be obtained at a hardware store. If the soil is too acidic, lime can be added, or if it's too alkaline, peat moss or ground rock sulfur can be added. When it's time to plant, one should dig a hole for each bush that is about twice the size of the rootball, leaving about 12 inches (30.5 cm) between each hole.

The bottom of each rose bush should be mulched with material such as pine needles or wood chips. Mulching keeps away weeds and helps the plant retain water. After the hedge has been planted, it should be watered thoroughly. Roses require 1-2 inches (2.5-5.1 cm) of water each week. They also require nitrogen for growth and blooming, so many gardeners choose to feed their rose hedges with a good source of nitrogen fertilizer.

Growing a rose hedge requires planning, a bit of research and some attention to detail. The results, however, can be worth the effort. When planted correctly, a rose hedge will provide years of colorful pleasure.

A pH test. Roses grow best in soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 7.
A pH test. Roses grow best in soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 7.

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