When you buy a rose, you want it to perform well in the same year you buy it. The roses you purchase from VW’s home and garden are special because of all of the attention we give them when they arrive at our greenhouse before the season starts.

These are all U.S. Grade A roses. The USDA grades rose on the quality standards of the product according to their Ornamental Crops guidelines.

When choosing look for a rose with more canes and at least three healthy canes. Before the season starts we bring in all bare root roses. We then hand trim them and put them in a 10×10 inch pot of locally made high-quality potting soil. This allows for a larger roots system at the start of the season which in turn means a better performing plant right out of the gate.

In Whatcom County, roses can be planted any time you can get a shovel in the ground. But there is a bit of a supply and demand on the best selection of roses. It is best to get in early in spring before the selection drastically goes down by July.

How to Plant Roses

  1. Water all roses to be planted while still in containers. Do not remove pots at this time.
  2. Select a planting site with at least 5-6 hours of sunlight good air circulation is also beneficial.
  3. Dig a planting hole at least twice the width of the container.
  4. Amend the soil removed from the planting hole with generous amounts of compost such as Black Gold or Malibu Garden Compost.”
  5. Place some of the amended soil back into the hole.
  6. Carefully remove the rose from the container; (we do not recommend planting the ”pot and all” when roses are in fiber pots.) The bottom of the graft should be at ground level.
  7. Hold your rose straight and carefully backfill your amended soil into the planting hole.
  8. Build a berm with the remaining soil around the newly planted rose. This will hold water when you ”water in” your rose.
  9. Slowly add water at the base of the rose filling the berm with water. Ensure the soil is saturated.

Care After Planting Your Roses


Roses need ample water to grow and flourish especially during the dry summer months. Provide at least 1 inch of water per week (more if your soil is sandy). This is accomplished most effectively by use of a soaker hose. This will ensure deep watering without a lot of water waste. You can also put your hose under each rose and turn on just a trickle and let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Try to always water your roses in the morning and avoid wetting the foliage especially at night.


Roses are heavy feeders so feed every 4-6 weeks with a good rose fertilizer. We recommend- Down to Earth Rose Fertilizer.” Use of ”Bayer All in One Rose and Flower Care” will feed your roses and help to keep aphid populations to a minimum as well as help control disease.


When a flush of bloom finishes, cut spend roses back to the first set of 5 leaves. This will encourage more blooms. In the fall cut your roses back to about 24” to avoid canes breaking in the strong winter winds. Wait to do hard pruning until about the first of March. This will encourage new wood, which is where your blooms for the year originate. Climbing roses vary on pruning depending on variety so ask us regarding your variety for pruning advice.

Pests and Disease

Even in optimal conditions roses are prone to insects and disease. Proper timing, application, and the right material can keep these problems to a minimum. See us with any problems you have for tips on control or correcting problems.

Winter Protection

To give your roses protection from cold winter periods, apply bark sawdust or other mulch at least 10” over the crown of the plant. Water lightly to hold mulch in place. Be sure to pull away the mulch in the Spring.