Roses are among the most popular flowers globally. They look exquisite, they’re fragrant and fairly easy to grow.
Still, a few gardeners prefer not to grow these flowers, citing that they’re difficult to grow. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Older varieties were a little hard to grow. But the latest rose varieties are bred to be disease-tolerant, and low maintenance.
The only thing you need to do on your part is to provide proper growing conditions, and you’re well on your way to creating a beautiful rose garden.
One of the conditions you need to get right entails its spacing requirements. So in the following post, we’ll address the question, how far apart should you plant roses?
Guide to Spacing Roses
Different gardening experts provide different answers to the spacing question. Some recommend spacing them at least 24 inches apart.
But given that different rose species grow to different heights, a better solution that has been recommended is to leave a space at least two-thirds of the flower’s expected height.
In that regard, roses fall into three different classes: miniature, medium-size and tall climbing species. Let’s take a look at each one:
Back in the 1930s, the practice of crossing two different rose species led to the creation of miniature roses.
These types of flowers have very compact structures, making them suitable for growing both outdoors and in containers.
Roses that fall under this category include the baby love rose that grows to a height of just 3 feet and sun sprinkles that grows to 2 feet tall.
Now, when spacing these roses, take their height into account. Let’s consider the baby love variety as an example. Since it grows up to 3 feet, compute two-thirds of that value, which comes to 2 feet.
It means you should leave a 2-foot distance between the roses.
One of the most sought-after roses on the market, the hybrid tea rose, is classified in this category. To be more specific, these roses tend to grow to between 4 and 6 feet tall.
For instance, the renowned peace rose, resulting from a cross between Rosa and hybrid ‘Peace’, grows to 4 feet tall.
The Grandiflora, which result from crossing hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses, also fall under this category.
They average heights of about 5 feet. A good example of a grandiflora is the Queen Elizabeth rose, which reaches a peak of 6 feet.
To space these roses, you’d also calculate two-thirds of the species’ expected height. In the case of Queen Elizabeth, the correct distance would be 4 feet, which is two-thirds of the expected 6-foot height.
The most popular examples of tall roses are those that grow in the wild.
These wild rose shrubs thrive in mild climates although they have a tendency of producing branches, which are covered in thorns.
The thorns create hooks that act as a defense mechanism. That is, they keep wildlife from walking over the bushes.
The majority of these rose shrubs grow quite tall, reaching a height of 8 feet. So in case you decide to grow these varieties in your garden, aim for a spacing of about 5 feet.
Also classified in this category is an exceptional variety that’s usually described as a climbing plant.
Climbing roses get their name from the fact that they produce ultra-long canes.
These canes can then be trained to grow on a support structure like a fence or trellis.
You will notice that climbers grow much taller, averaging heights of 10 to 20 feet.
As such, the correct spacing for these species would be 6 to 13 feet.
Key Considerations when Spacing Roses
Apart from the plant’s height, there are a couple of other things you ought to keep in mind when spacing roses. These are:
Pruning and deadheading
Ideally, you should leave enough room so that you’re able to move freely around the bush when pruning or deadheading.
And while the timing of the process differs from one rose variety to another, these flowers need a good pruning once every year.
Deadheading spent flowers is also crucial as it gets rid of the spent flowers; hence helping you achieve a gorgeous floral display.
Roses are quite thorny. Therefore, ensure you’re leaving enough space so you can access the plant from different angles and be able to make precise cuts without getting pricked by the thorns.
Mulching and fertilizing
Not every gardener applies mulch to their rose plants, but it’s a practice that can really benefit this flower.
I prefer to mulch my roses because that serves as an insulator.
The mulch protects my delicate flowers from drastic temperature fluctuations and improves the soil’s moisture retention ability.
Should you decide to mulch (which I highly recommend), you’ll need ample space where you can distribute the mulch.
There should be at least a 1-inch gap between the stem’s base and mulch layer.
You’ll also need to spread the mulch uniformly under the roses, over an area just as wide or slightly wider than the plant’s diameter.
You need as much room as possible to achieve this level of accuracy so remember to space correctly when planting your roses.
Another factor you should account for when spacing roses entails their lighting requirements.
It’s okay to plant these flowers reasonably close, but not too close that they start blocking the sun’s rays from reaching some of them.
Remember, roses thrive when provided with at least 6 hours of full sun.
So when you’re planting them, think about how the sun will rotate throughout the day? Will each of your rose shrubs receive a maximum of 6 hours of sun?
Modern rose species are a cinch to grow, but there are still a few points you should keep in mind. One of these is how far apart you plant your roses.
To find the right spacing, consider the plant’s height upon maturity. Now calculate two-thirds of this, and the resulting value is how far apart your roses ought to be.
Other considerations you should make when spacing these flowering plants are lighting requirements, air circulation, mulching and pruning.
In summary, don’t place your roses too close that they start robbing each of essential things.
Similarly, their proximity shouldn’t hinder you from pruning, deadheading or fertilizing them with ease.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.