Care of Central Texas Roses

Good soil

Roses must have well-draining soil. Most soils in Central Texas are composed of either clay or rocks.  When planting the rose, make sure to allow the first roots to be visible above the soil line.  This is the root flare.  Planting any deeper could result in a rotted stem.

  • For clay soils, add 4-6″ of compost and work it into your soil with a good sturdy shovel, garden fork, or tiller.  Gypsum is also a useful amendment for breaking up clay.  Add gypsum at a rate of 4 lbs per 100 sq ft.
  • For those with thin soil (such as those living in the Hill Country), create raised beds with a high quality, compost-enriched soil.  Raised beds must be at least 12″ deep, but 24″ is ideal.  The raised bed should also be a minimum of 24″ wide.
  • Alternatively, put your roses in big pots filled with a good potting soil.

6 Hrs of Sunshine

All roses perform best with at least 6 hours of full sun every day. Sunshine promotes lots of big, healthy blooms, helps dry out damp foliage early in the day (thus avoiding fungal diseases), and promotes lush, dark green, healthy foliage.  The Hybrid Musk class of roses will tolerate less sun, but they still prefer as much sun as possible.  If the site receives less than 4 hours of sun, plant something else.

With proper preparation and minimal maintenance, roses can be one of the hardiest and most beautiful plants in your landscape!

Don’t Overwater

For the first two years in the ground, roses may need a deep watering about once or twice a week in the summer, once a month in the winter – if we’re not getting rain.  After two years, a deep watering about once every two to four weeks should be enough in the summer; every four to six weeks in the winter.  Plants in the hottest, sunniest location will need a more frequent watering cycle.  Overwatering is one of the fastest ways to promote fungal diseases.  Also, avoid wetting the rose’s leaves when watering.

Room to Grow

It’s very important to give each rose enough space – check the label for the maximum height and width and provide no less than that.  Roses vary widely in growth habit, bloom shape, color, and leaf size. Choose the right one for your space. A rose is more likely to develop fungus if it is too crowded, since the foliage cannot dry out quickly after a rain or heavy dew. The fungal diseases most common in roses are black spot, powdery mildew, and rust.


Roses bloom nicely on their own with lots of sunshine, but if you want more blooms you can fertilize.  Apply a quality dry organic fertilizer in the spring and/or fall or use an organic liquid once or twice a month during the spring and fall months.  Roses also love compost.  Add 2-4″ over the root zone in the spring, and again in the fall.  Be sure to avoid covering the stem or the root flare with the compost or mulch.


The purpose of pruning is to control the growth of roses (especially climbers), to remove dead canes, and to stimulate new growth, which is where the blooms will be.  Pruning also makes narrow or sparse bushes thicker and more robust. The best time to prune roses in our area is around Valentine’s Day.  Use only clean, sharp, bypass pruners.  Sterilize the blades with Lysol or rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach).  It’s a good idea to sterilize the pruners between each plant to avoid spreading any diseases. 

Step 1 – Start by pruning out any dead canes. Then  remove any canes that are growing in towards the center of the plant. Your goal is to create a generally “upside-down umbrella” shape, with all the canes heading out from the center.

Step 2 – Cut each of the remaining canes back ⅓ to ½, cutting about ¼ inch above an outward facing bud.  This is to encourage outward-facing growth. 

Availability will fluctuate throughout the year, with our best selection seen in spring.
Some of our favorites are listed below, but it is not indicative of current stock.

Camille Pissarro

A striped rose combining tones of red, yellow, pink, and cream backed by dark green foliage.  Compact habit.

Cinco de Mayo

Fabulous floribunda with profuse blooms of a russet and lavender blended together.  Flower clusters hold well and are fast to repeat.  Glossy green foliage with a rounded, bushy habit and very good disease resistance.

Chrysler Imperial

A true classic long-stemmed red rose.  Pointed buds develop into extra large velvety red blooms that are perfect for cutting.  Notable for its powerful, rich fragrance.


An internationally renowned rose.  It is extremely disease resistant and prolific.  White blooms borne in multiple clusters.

John F. Kennedy

Large, elegant, pure white blooms with a strong fragrance.

Julia Child

Butter-gold blooms with a sweet smelling licorice fragrance.  Free flowering, hardy and disease resistant.

Julie Andrews

A sturdy hybrid tea rose.  It bears masses of pink-fuchsia blooms with a bright yellow heart and a strong perfume.

Mister Lincoln

One of the all-time best reds.  Buds borne one to a stem open to a large velvety-red blooms with a strong damask fragrance.


Iconic rose with creamy-yellow blooms that flush pink of long, elegant stems.

Plum Perfect

Deep lavender, fully double blossoms with a  light fragrance.  Performs very well in heat and humidity and has excellent disease resistance.

Queen Elizabeth

Strong stems with clusters of long buds and dawn-pink blooms.


Vigorous and free flowering, producing large coral-pink blooms with densely overlapping petals.  Intense fragrance.


Extravagant blooms that are neatly cupped and fiery red. Blooms in large clusters.

Don Juan

Plentiful ruffled, dark red blooms and attractive fragrance with dark glossy leaves.

Golden Showers

Elegant long buds and loose, ruffled daffodil-yellow blooms with maroon stamens.  Sweet honey fragrance.

Joseph's Coat

Striking kaleidoscope clusters of multi-colored blossoms that open yellow-orange then vary between orange, pink and red.


Stunning blooms with petals of citrus yellow that are gradually overlaid with vermillion and turn scarlet with age. A good repeat bloomer that can tolerate some shade.

New for 2022!

Knock Out Roses

These are easy to grow shrub roses that flower prolifically all season and need very little care.  Available in double or single blooms, in shades of cherry red, bubblegum pink, and yellow.  Plant them:

  • Individually in mixed beds and borders
  • In large groups to create a colorful hedge
  • Along a foundation to provide a bright border

Drift Roses

A cross between full size ground cover roses and miniature roses.  They are tough with a repeat blooming habit combined with a low, manageable size.  Suitable for in gardens, planters, or as an impressive mass planting.