You may have stayed away from roses in your garden for years, fearing that they would be too difficult to grow. While it is true that roses do require light maintenance throughout the year, they are not as difficult to grow as you may have believed. In fact, there are many easy-growing varieties available today that are perfect for novices. As you begin down the path to your own brilliantly colored rose garden, follow these tips for buying and growing roses, and be sure to search for the perfect rose selection at Decker’s Nursery in Long Island

Buying a Rose Bush

Your first step in starting your rose garden will be choosing the best bush for you. If you are a novice rose gardener, stay away from older classical types, which can be more difficult to care for long-term. Instead, look for the newer hybrid varieties that are generally better able to stand up to cold winters and limited weekly care.

What to Look for in a Rose Bush

Most roses are sold either in pots or in bags with exposed roots. For a beginner, the potted bushes are definitely the way to go as they will require less intensive care to look their best. In addition, search for two-gallon potted bushes at minimum if you want to see beautiful blooms during your first season. Look at the stems and leaves to determine if they look healthy.

Different Types of Roses

When you think of roses, you most likely picture hybrid roses, which are those known for having dozens of tightly packed petals on each bloom. However, you will have many more from which to choose at Decker’s Nursery. Grandiflora and floribunda roses are similar to hybrids, but their flowers grow in clusters. Miniature roses feature smaller blooms that grow on shorter bushes. You can also consider shrub roses, which grow in a sprawling pattern, and rambler roses that prefer to grow up trellises.

Necessary Tools & Supplies

In order to plant and continue to care for your roses, you will need the right tools in your garden shed. Sharp pruning shears will help you get rid of dead blooms, cut back diseased portions of the bush and open up the bush. Rose fertilizer will help you grow healthier blooms. Finally, you will need mulch to cover up the roots. This is particularly necessary during the winter when you will need several inches of mulch to protect against Long Island’s cold temperatures.

Growing Your Own Roses

Growing your own roses will not only help you feel like a gardening professional but also will bring you and your garden a wide array of benefits.


When it comes to gardening around your home, you have dozens of flower and bush types from which to choose. Whether you choose roses because they have long been your favorite flower or because you want to experience a gardening challenge, you will discover a variety of benefits from them, including the following:

Great variety

As listed above, roses come in numerous varieties, allowing you to experiment with what style best suits your fancy and looks perfect in your garden. Whether you have only a small space that is perfect for a miniature rose or an arbor that you want covered in blooms each summer, roses offer you the diversity you crave.

Easy care

As long as you choose the right hybrid roses and are willing to fertilize them occasionally and prune them when needed, your roses should thrive.


Roses are also great choices for the environment. They require little rainfall and are not seen as invasive.

Growing How-to Tips

If you are ready to go beyond the basics, consider these easy care tips to get your backyard rose garden looking as lush and beautiful as possible.

Plant deep

The hole you plant the bush in must be able to accommodate the roots while allowing for significant drainage.

Plant at the right time

Ideally, roses should be planted in the spring on a day that is not particularly hot or sunny.

Plant bushes in the right spot

Most roses need at least six hours of sunlight every day.

Prune in the spring

By cutting away approximately a third of the branches, you will open up the bush to more sunlight.

Rose Bushes for Sale at Decker’s Nursery

Whether you are starting your first rose garden or you are an expert looking to expand for variety, our garden center should be your first stop for finding the perfect rose bushes and gardening supplies to ensure beautiful blooms. We have everything you need to get started with your first rose bush or to expand your backyard garden here in Long Island. Come in today to experience our legendary customer service and wide selection of plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rose Bush FAQs

Although roses have long been viewed as difficult plants to grow, this traditional lore is beginning to fall by the wayside as increasingly easy-to-grow hybrid varieties come onto the scene. Today, many varieties grow with very little help from you throughout the year. More classical varieties can thrive with a bit of extra attention. If you find yourself with questions about caring for your new rose bush, talk to a friendly gardener at Decker’s Nursery in Long Island, or look for the answer here.

  • Where do roses grow best?

    Virtually any rose variety requires a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day, and some require even more than this. However, to protect them from long periods of hot sunlight, consider planting them where they will receive gentle morning light. Because Long Island has a cold, wintry climate, consider planting your bushes on the south side of your home where they will be somewhat more protected from the winter cold. In addition, make sure that the area you choose has well-drained soil.

  • What are the best rose bushes to plant?

    Some quick research will show you that there are well over 100 types of rose species along with hundreds of types of hybrids. However, if you want an easy-growing variety that will bloom nearly effortlessly, consider one of the following bush types.

    • Knock Out
    • Honey Perfume
    • Orchid Romance
    • Bonica
    • Mother of Pearl
    • Mister Lincoln
    • New Dawn
    • Cape Diamond
    • Party Hardy
    • Julia Child
  • What is the best month to plant roses?

    To understand the best time to plant roses, you must know your USDA Hardiness Zone. Long Island lies in Zone 7a & 7b, which has minimum winter temperatures between 0 to 5 & 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that the last frost date here is in midApril, and you should wait until the end of April to plant tender, new rose bushes. In addition, you will want to wait until the ground has thawed enough so that you can easily work with the soil and dig a large enough hole for your rose bush roots. Roses are best planted in the spring rather than in the autumn when many other shrubs and perennials are frequently planted.

  • Do roses need full sun?

    While roses do not necessarily need full sunlight to thrive, virtually no varieties do well in full shade. Therefore, look for a growing spot that has direct sunlight for approximately six to eight hours each day. In Long Island, try growing your bushes on the east, southeast or south side of your home to give the plants that gentle yet direct morning sunlight that they like best.

  • What soil is best for roses?

    Overall, loam is the best type of soil for roses because it is lightweight and allows for air and water to get to the roots easily. However, if your yard does not naturally have loam, you can alter your clay or sandy soil to create ideal growing conditions. 

    If you have heavy clay soil, consider adding gypsum to it to lighten it up and improve water drainage. If you have very sandy soil, you will need to water the area more frequently to make up for its quick drainage. You may also need to add organic matter to increase the acidity. Finally, if you have highly organic soil already, it may be too acidic, and you may need to add some lime to balance it out. Finally, add some compost to the soil for natural fertilization.

  • How do I get more flowers on my roses?

    While lush foliage certainly fills in your garden, your primary reason for planting rose bushes is to enjoy their bright, full blooms. If your bush is struggling to bloom, there are a few things you can do to increase growth and new buds.

    First, be sure to deadhead your bush as soon as blooms die. This signals to the bush that the growing season is not yet over. Second, use disease-controlling sprays to eliminate fungal issues on your bush as soon as you see them.You may also want to spray with a pesticide or mix a pesticide powder into the soil around the bush. Third, you should fertilize each bush at least three times per year while adding nourishing mulches to the soil around it. Finally, choose rose bush varieties that bloom all season long, such as the following:

    • Bright Melody
    • Carefree Delight
    • Knock Out
    • Fourth of July
    • Touch of Class
  • What is the best fertilizer for roses?

    Roses require a different type of fertilizer from what you would use on your other garden plants. This is because they require specific amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for strength, healthy roots and stems and protection from bacteria. In addition, roses thrive with smaller amounts of magnesium, sulfur and copper. At Decker’s Nursery, we can help you find the best blend for your needs, but the following brands are generally ideal for most rose bushes.

    • Miracle-Gro Rose Plant Food
    • Bayer Advanced Rose Care Granules
    • Scotts Super Bloom Plant Food

    Looking to take your gardening to the next level? Then consider making your own plant food for even better results.

  • How often should roses be watered?

    All roses need plenty of water to thrive. Without sufficient water, roses will not have the strength and nutrition to create large, gorgeous blooms. However, the exact amount of water that your rose bushes need will depend on many variables, including your soil type, the amount of sun they get each day, the variety of bush you have planted and the amount of recent rainfall. In general, you can rely on once-weekly waterings in most cases, making sure to spray water mainly at the roots rather than at the foliage. Spread mulch around your bush to prevent evaporation.

  • What is the difference between shrub and bush roses?

    Rose bushes are the most frequently seen variety and usually grow no more than 36 inches tall with patio varieties coming in at less than 24 inches tall. On the other hand, rose shrubs grow in a more sprawling fashion, filling in larger spaces in gardens. In fact, some of them make excellent hedges. However, rose shrubs are generally thornier varieties but typically feature highly scented flowers.

  • When should roses be cut back?

    Pruning your rose is an important task for helping it thrive for years to come. While some light pruning may be necessary throughout the growing season to get rid of dead blooms and diseased portions, the majority of your pruning will be done early in the spring before the plant comes out of dormancy. 

    In Long Island, this translates to late March or early April. Look for dead wood on the plant, and cut it back to help the bush maintain its natural shape. The way you prune will determine the type of blooms you have that season. Heavily pruning your bush to only a few canes will produce few but large blooms while moderate pruning will create a fuller bush. However, light pruning will produce many short flowers.

  • Why did my rose bush turn yellow and die?

    The most common causes of yellow rose bush leaves include underwatering, overwatering, and highly acidic soil. In addition, incorrect fertilization of your rose variety may limit nutrients that the plant needs. Finally, some pests and diseases, including spider mites, rose leafhoppers and black spot can lead to this undesirable look. Pesticides and fungicides may be able to check these problems.

  • Where is the best place to buy rose bushes on Long Island?

    There is no better place to buy rose bushes of all varieties on Long Island than at Decker’s Nursery. We have traditional rose species as well as numerous hybrids to help you get just the look that you want for your backyard garden. We can also help you find the right supplies to keep your bushes growing all season long and to improve blooms this season and next.