Many shrub roses grow like a bush with picturesque overhanging branches and flowers at the ends. They do well as a solitaire in the right place, but also good in a duo or in larger groups. These roses also go well in a perennial border and with summer flowers. Some shrub roses are also strongly scented. They belong to the fragrant roses. It is important to choose very healthy varieties. The wild roses also belong to the shrub roses, but once again form a closed group.

Shrub roses impress with their impressive stature without losing their grace and enchant with their abundance of flowers and variety of shapes. Many varieties have a great long-distance effect, they really shine and do well as solitaires.

Care of shrub roses

Shrub roses have similar requirements to their location, the plant substrate, the planting, watering and fertilizing as other classes of roses. The cut differs somewhat, whereby you have to differentiate again between varieties that bloom once and more often. Otherwise there are no major differences.


The location is a big part of how well the rose will thrive. If it’s not good, all care is useless. So before you buy roses, you have to see that you can offer them the right place. Under no circumstances should roses be planted in a spot on Kramp that is not made for the queen of flowers. As an alternative, you can choose varieties that have quite flexible requirements for the location. You don’t have that many varieties to choose from, but at least they thrive.

  • Most shrub roses like a sunny spot. Midday sun is usually not liked that much.
  • The place must not be too hot, so not necessarily in front of a wall or in a corner of the garden without air movement, where the heat builds up.
  • A somewhat airy location ensures that wet leaves can dry off quickly, which is important.
  • However, draughty places are unsuitable.

plant substrate

Roses need the right soil to thrive. It shouldn’t be too heavy and not too light either. If it is not good for roses, it can be processed accordingly.

  • Deep, humus-rich, medium-heavy soil is ideal
  • It is recommended to mix in compost

The planting

Planting is not difficult. The best time for this is autumn. Then the much cheaper bare-root roses are offered. The offer is very large, especially on the Internet. I have had very good experiences with rose breeders, especially with Kordes roses. Bare root roses are easily available online.

  • It is important that the bare-root roses are planted quickly in the ground.
  • They are first placed in water for about 24 hours and completely submerged.
  • In the meantime the ground can be prepared.
  • He is deeply relaxed. The planting hole must be sufficiently deep so that the roots are not compressed.
  • The shoots of the rose are shortened to 20 cm. Five eyes should remain per shoot.
  • The root is also cut. Remove damaged and dead parts!
  • Shorten the root by about a quarter!
  • The finishing point must be five centimeters below the surface of the earth!
  • The excavation is mixed with a third of compost or rose soil.
  • It is good to put a handful of horn shavings in the planting hole.
  • Distribute the excavation evenly around the root ball!
  • Tread the earth carefully! Deepen the resulting hollow a little so that the water goes directly to the roots when watering!
  • watering!
  • When planting in the fall, immediately pile up the roses. This protects them from drought and frost.
  • In March, it will be heaped up again.
  • When planting in spring, top off after 8 weeks.
  • The procedure for planting container roses is similar.
  • The planting hole must be large enough to accommodate a handful of space around the root ball.
  • The bale is also placed in water for some time.
  • After that, the roots are loosened up a bit, but carefully so as not to damage them!
  • Then proceed as with bare-root roses.

watering and fertilizing

Roses are taproots. They can fetch water from great depths with the help of their roots. But first they have to grow properly. In the year of planting, they still have to be watered regularly, and in the case of autumn planting also in the following year. After that they get by with very little water. It is important that you never water the leaves, otherwise you encourage fungal diseases. It’s enough if rain falls on the leaves. There doesn’t need to be more water on it.

  • Water early in the morning or in the evening to reduce evaporation!
  • Be especially careful in the evening to keep the leaves dry, otherwise the rose will be wet all night.
  • Older roses only need to be watered if they are dry for a long time and not every day. Twice a week is enough.
  • Young roses need a little more water,
  • Always keep the surface of the soil nice and loose. Rose roots like it airy and the evaporation of soil water is restricted.
  • A three to four centimeter thick layer of mulch made from chopped bark products, raw compost, lawn clippings or shredded garden materials is inexpensive and easy to care for. This keeps the soil moist, loose, and crumbly.
  • A handful of horn shavings must be spread under the mulch and worked into the soil around the rose. Bark mulch binds nitrogen. Roses need a lot of it. Otherwise there may be deficiency symptoms.
  • Good fertilization is necessary for a rich flowering and a high resistance to diseases and pests.
  • Organic fertilizer or special long-term fertilizer is best. All of these fertilizers release nutrients continuously and as needed over a long period of time.

Cut shrub roses

When pruning shrub roses, a distinction is made between varieties that bloom once and more often. If you cut off the one-flowering plants at the same time as the more frequent flowering ones, you cut off the flower bases as well. Therefore, the date of the cut and the cut itself are important.

Once blooming shrub roses

The shrub roses that bloom once include a number of old roses and the species Rosa centifolia, Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa rugosa and Rosa spinosissima hybrids. They bloom very profusely, but only a few weeks a year. They must be cut back immediately after flowering so that they can still form blossom wood for the next year. The flowers develop on two-year-old wood. In order not to reduce the flowering splendor, these roses are only cut in the summer when they are leafy.

  • Only remove diseased and dead shoots in spring!
  • In the case of mature plants, it is advisable to occasionally remove one or two old shoots entirely.
  • In summer it is usually sufficient to shorten overly long, disturbing shoots.

Shrub roses that bloom more often

Shrub roses that bloom more often are kept in shape by pruning. This is particularly important when space is limited. These roses also bloom on new wood. Pruning back in spring promotes strong budding and rich flowering. Shrub roses that bloom more often include all modern varieties, including many English roses that bloom all summer long, and historical roses.

  • As with once flowering specimens, one or two old shoots are removed annually to rejuvenate the rose.
  • Shorten strong shoots by about a third!
  • Shorten shoots that have not bloomed by two thirds!
  • Shorten the side shoots in the outer area to about 5 buds so that many flower buds form!
  • If you like, you can reduce the overall height by a third.

Particularly beautiful shrub roses

  • ‘Eden Rose 85’ – silky pink to bright pink, densely filled nostalgic flowers, blooms more often, late blooming, light fragrance, 150 to 200 cm high, 80 cm wide, upright, arching and overhanging, can also be used as a climbing rose, also suitable for containers, good to very good resistance to fungal diseases and my absolute favorite in the garden
  • ‘Westerland’ – bright copper-orange double flowers with an open centre, continuous and plentiful flowering, good fragrance, high luminosity, large flowers – up to 12 cm in diameter, ADR variety, 150 to 200 cm high, 80 cm wide, is well suited for background planting , as it towers over many other roses and perennials and on the obelisk in the bed.
  • ‘Lichtkönigin Lucia’ – light yellow to lemon yellow, slightly double flowers up to 10 cm in size, blooming continuously until frost, up to 150 cm tall and bushy upright growing, very healthy and resistant to diseases, ADR variety, very robust, good as hedge plants and in Background from discounts.
  • ‘Schneewittchen’ – white double flowers like hybrid tea, blooms profusely and until frost, flowers in large umbels and up to 9 cm in size, when the flowers fade, the flowers become flat, 100 to 120 cm high and around 70 cm wide, grows with slightly overhanging shoots, densely branched, suitable as a solitaire or for borders.
  • ‘Grandhotel’ – bright blood-red, velvety flowers, strong long-distance effect, large, densely filled flowers, blooms more often, unfortunately no fragrance, up to 180 cm high and 70 cm wide, upright bushy growth, classic with flowers similar to hybrid tea roses, very resistant to fungal diseases, very rainproof, also suitable for large tubs.
  • Damask rose ‘Rose de Resht’ – dark pink, very full pompom flowers, rather small but very rain-resistant, fragrant rose – pure, strong Damask scent, flowers from May, flowers more often, 100 cm high and just as wide, closed, compact habit, extremely hardy and my second favorite in the garden

diseases and pests

Unfortunately, roses are plagued by a lot of pests and diseases are also quite common depending on the variety. But you shouldn’t be put off by that. Beneficial insects in the garden help contain pests. Plant strengtheners ensure leaf health.

rose aphid

  • Spray on with a water jet or wipe off with your fingers!
  • Use ladybugs and lacewings!
  • Fight ants!
  • Neem-based spray for heavy infestations

rose leaf scroll wasp

  • Remove and discard affected leaves
  • Chemistry is not necessary.

Rose petals

Fight only with approved pesticides!

Heavy pruning in autumn is usually sufficient to combat it.

spider mites

Spray with nettle broth!


  • Collect caterpillars!
  • Cut back roses!
  • Spray caterpillars! Means based on rapeseed oil

Rose shoot borer

Cut off and dispose of affected shoots!

rose gall wasp

  • Doesn’t have to be fought!
  • Cut out shoots if necessary

Common rose chafer

Collection in the morning!

Combat all only with approved pesticides. They must be directed against stinging, sucking and biting insects, because then you fight rose sawfly, rose saw scroll wasp and aphids in one spray.

  • Powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • blackspot
  • Rosenrost
  • Prevention is better than cure, so strengthen roses and ensure a good location!
  • Otherwise use spray! Always according to instructions!

Shrub roses are grateful and beautiful plants. Two of my three favorite roses in the garden are shrub roses. I’m less of a fan of Hybrid Tea roses and prefer the double varieties. There are some great ones among the shrub roses. In terms of care, these roses are quite undemanding and fit into almost every garden. Shrub roses in bright colors are particularly eye-catching. They have a good long-distance effect and look great as a solitaire or in groups of the same rose. There is something for every taste. Some varieties are somewhat susceptible to fungal diseases. You just have to choose the right varieties, not just go by the beauty of the flower, but also pay attention to health.

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