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Growing Roses Successfully: Where to buy, plant, and tips for successful growth

how to grow roses in Phoenix Arizona home and garden blogger influencer Diana Elizabeth
David Austin Teasing Georgia Climber, about 4 years old

For zones 8-10 which is the warmest parts of the country, it is time to plant roses and place orders online, because bare root rose orders are about to get shipped and the weather is perfection! I wanted to give as much information and personal tips about roses from my own growing experience to help you grow roses successfully!

I’m going to share where I buy them, my favorite roses, and some tools I love. Also some big tips at the end that I’ve learned so this is a good post to save! 

David Austin Rose, Olivia Austin Rose Tree

Where to buy roses

You can buy roses anywhere really, online and at your nursery or Walmart nursery, they are everywhere. The difference will be the varieties and the guarantee.

How should i select WHICH rose. TO BUY?

Decide if you want a climber for a wall or trellis, a rose tree for a path, or a bush for the spots in your garden. You should know where you want to plant the rose first.

Then select a color palette. Yes, like a room, pick some colors you like. My garden palette is are white, pinks, purple and touches of yellow so I pick my flowers accordingly.

It is important to note if you want repeat flowering or a one time bloomer (like a lady banks rose) so the rest of the year it is a green vine. Because I love color and I want to see flowers all the time in my garden, I prefer a repeat bloomer. I get disappointed in a one time bloomer (but in Phoenix roses rest so don’t expect too much out of them during the summer). On the David Austin website they sort by zone and go into growing details.

Bare root or rose bush?

Doesn’t matter in my opinion, bare root is easier for rose nurseries to ship. Just know when you get a bare root rose you need to soak the roots in a bucket of water for 24-48 hours, and plant them in the ground as soon as you can. You can and will often get blooms the first season of a bare root rose, they might be small but it will still flower.

When should i plant roses?

In zones 8-10, now would be a good time. The latest I would plant a new rose bush in Phoenix would be mid-April. That’s my opinion because it can get hot really quick and if the roots haven’t established yet, your rose might struggle. Water, water, water!

Where is the best place to plant a rose bush?

All plants that flower need sun, so a sunny spot is ideal. You just need to be aware what is around – if it’s a hot box and against a wall, heat will radiate on it and kill your plant (or any plant). Plant closer to vegetation like grass, under a tree so there’s some filtered light, and definitely avoid too much cement or rock around the base if you live in a hot area, it will radiate the heat and cook your rose in the summer.

However, I do have a climbing rose that faces north against the brick house. I knew this would be a safe spot and not radiate heat and also not get direct sun so I wasn’t sure how my climbing rose would do, but it’s happy there and after 3 years, looks absolutely magnificent!

teasing Georgia climber David Austin roses, phoenix Arizona garden blogger Diana Elizabeth

David Austin rose, Climbing Georgia faces north, 4 years old

Do roses do well in Phoenix/the heat?

You would assume roses are my favorite flower. They are in my top 3, but because roses do well in Phoenix, that’s why you see them all over my garden and property. (Tulips and hydrangeas are in my top 3 and I would have them everywhere if climate allowed). The answer is yes, roses do well as long as you plant them in the right place.

is there a low maintenance rose?

Iceberg roses are a good introduction to roses that is low maintenance. I don’t prune them back like I do with my other roses. I will cut them back for height and they come back with more blooms every time. Because I have so many rose to attend to, I don’t focus on my icebergs, I actually sloppily cut them with long hedgers sometimes and they are happy with that. Icebergs line the front of my home and the ones by the grass do better in the summer in comparison to the ones on the corner which is by gravel.

Phoenix Arizona blog garden flowers how to grow, Diana Elizabeth

Any Rose CARE tips?

  • Fertilization is always a good idea (I like these stakes), but the first year I would hold back as they have just been planted to avoid shock. If you want to fertilize newly planted roses, I would use a natural fertilizer like a fish fertilizerworm castings, or a potting soil with (bonus if has manure) that will give nutrients, but won’t burn the roots.
  • Pruning encourages more blooms. YouTube videos will show you how to deadhead and look for outward facing buds and how to prune which will then create more shoots/flowers.
  • If you have a climbing roses, horizontal canes will encourage vertical shoots which means more roses! If you have all the canes going straight up you will only see blooms at the top.
  • You want to zig zag the canes back and forth on a trellis to encourage more shoots. Use zip ties or twine to keep them tied to the wires or trellis. 
  • Ties canes on top of the trellis not through the back.
  • Fertilize your roses immediately after the first big spring bloom so you can have a second bloom before the heat sets in (in hot climates).
  • Keep the tag of the name of your roses on the rose. I took some off and that was a bad idea because it would be great to know. My friend Jill Green taught me this and I wish I kept them. I will look back at my past online orders to figure them out and tag them.
Remember sometimes it might take your rose a few years to really take off and bloom! And as the season pass, you will learn more about how to care for your roses. It is OK if your plants die. Gardening is not for the budget conscious as plants are temperamental and nature is out of your control.


  • Some of my roses get sun bleached so they appear a bit more faint than usual, so you can either deal with it knowing that where they are positioned the sun will lighten the rose color, or put them in a different spot. Or you could get a darker rose pigment to compensate, which is what I have done.
  • Don’t plant in a pot, it gets too hot here
  • Cover roses in the summer, not a bad idea if they are still young. I put shade cloth up in May.
  • Water deeply and long in the summer, to make the roots go deep.
  • Mulch the base of the rose in the summer to prevent evaporation.
  • Don’t plant roses by cement or cover the roots with rock, it will bake your roses.


Queen Elizabeth rose

Do you have any additional rose tips? What’s your favorite rose? If you have any questions feel free to ask me on IG or leave a comment below, I love talking about gardening!


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


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