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Outdoor Plants, Spring, Blog

Choosing and Caring For Roses

April 25, 2022


Roses are loved for their delicate beauty, stunning colour, and the fragrance of their blooms. Roses vary in size and shape, from compact shrubs with small flowers to tall climbers with large, vibrant colours; roses make an excellent focal piece in any garden.


As one of the first growers to introduce roses to the region, Sheridan Nurseries is proud to offer one of the largest selections of roses in southern Ontario.


The first entries of hardy roses into the Sheridan catalogue were the FJ Grootendorst red and pink varieties in 1924. Later in 1939, Sheridan trademarked six Hybrid Tea Rose varieties and continued cultivating new varieties well into the late 1940s.


By 1952, people were buying houses in the post-war era, and it was the beginning of the Baby Boom. Homeowners wanted gardens, and no garden was complete without roses. Sheridan was again at the forefront and began offering the newest “All American Rose Society Award Winners” varieties.


The Sheridan Nurseries’ collection of roses has continued to grow and expand over our long company history. Today we offer over 60 varieties at our garden centres across the GTA.

Getting Ready to Plant


Sheridan Nurseries carries a wide variety of hardy roses that do well in our Canadian climate. Generally, all roses are best planted in the spring after the last frost or in early fall, at least six weeks before the first frost, to allow time to establish roots before going dormant over the winter.



Plant roses in a location that gets at least six or more hours of full sun and is somewhat sheltered to protect from strong winter winds. If you are planting multiple roses, be sure to provide lots of room between plants and allow for good air circulation.



Planting Container Roses


Roses will thrive in soil that is loose, well-drained and full of nutrients. Use compost, peat moss or other organic matter and natural fertilizers. The soil should hold onto the moisture so the roots can absorb it but provide enough drainage not to become waterlogged.



When it comes time to plant, you will want to dig a hole at least 15 to 18 inches wide. Grasp the base of the plant securely, turn the pot upside down and gently slide the plant out of the pot. Be sure to loosen the roots with your fingers and then place the plant into the planting hole and cover with soil mixed with compost or manure. Mound up the soil around the plant, so it settles in and climatizes to its new site. Water liberally.



The well-drained soil should be kept moist, and the amount you water will depend on how much rainfall is received. What would be equal to one inch of rain a week is usually enough, but shrub roses are much more drought tolerant and may not need quite so much water.


Try to keep the water stream focused on the base of the plant and not oversaturate the foliage. If the leaves are wet for long periods, it can lead to fungal rose diseases.



Roses require a good mix of organic nutrients such as compost, composted manure, and natural fertilizers that can be applied monthly as it will contribute to healthier plants and abundant flowers.


You can also use a prepared fertilizer formulated for roses. Follow the recommended instructions and stop feeding about six weeks before the first frost.



Choosing a Rose Variety





Large-flowered climbers bloom continuously throughout the season. They are a perfect way to add vertical height to your garden on a trellis, arbour, pergola, or fence. These roses were developed for hardiness, dense growth, and low maintenance and will last for decades if maintained properly.


In the first few years, as the plants establish themselves, they will have long branches, and you may need to gently tie off the branches with soft twine to the trellis or fence to train them to grow horizontally and hug the vertical surface.


To encourage new growth all summer long, remove ‘deadheads’ once the flowers dry out to allow for fresh blooms.







Floribunda is defined ‘as a class of roses characterized by a long blooming period and the production of large flowers often in thick clusters.’


Floribunda roses produce compact shrubs with profuse clusters of flowers all summer long, right up until the first frost. They are a cross between a polyantha rose and hybrid tea rose and are an excellent choice for your garden when you want large sprays of colour with multiple blooms.


Floribunda roses have somewhat smaller blooms, and their flowers are mostly enjoyed for show as opposed to cut varieties like Hybrid Tea Roses. They require a fair amount of space and should not be planted too closely to multiple plants.







Hybrid Roses are some of the most loved roses with their big, beautiful blooms on single stems and always make a stunning focal piece in any garden.


Hybrid Tea roses are ideal for cutting and come in a beautiful array of colours. This variety benefits from regular pruning as it will help ensure that the plant repeatedly blooms year after year.







Grandiflora roses are a cross between hybrid teas and floribundas and can produce clusters of multiple blooms on 3-to-5-foot-long stems.







Shrub roses are very hardy and disease resistant and require very little maintenance. While their flowers are not quite as showy as other roses, they will usually bloom prolifically throughout the season and are ideal for hedges. These plants will tolerate partial shade but produce the best blooms if planted in full sun.


This variety has vigorous upright growth, allowing them to fit well with other perennials and shrubs and these plants produce large, showy clusters of blooms on each stem.


We invite you to visit any of our garden centres for the best selection of roses in Southern Ontario. Our professional gardening experts can help you find the best products and plants for the perfect rose garden.