How to care for Floribunda roses
- Latin name: Floribunda is Latin for ‘many flowers’
- Hardiness: Fully hardy. Suitable for growing across the UK and Ireland.
- Height: Up to 80cm in summer
- Spread: Up to 90cm
- Flowering: Summer until first frost
- Planting: Throughout autumn and late winter to early spring
- Ideal for: Borders and plant beds
- Also suitable for: Pot growing
- Difficulty: Easy
Floribunda roses grow their flowers in large sprays and flower continuously from summer until the first frost, so they make a beautiful addition to the garden. Floribunda roses like a lot of sunshine and will do better if kept somewhere with good air circulation but protected from strong winds.
Autumn (October - November) and early spring are the ideal times to plant your roses. If you receive your rose in summer, remove all packaging immediately and place the potted rose outside in a sunny spot. Keep well watered and plant as soon as you can into the ground or into a large pot. Please note that the height of summer is a key growth time for your plant and there is more risk of damaging the roots when planting or potting. Please take extra care.
If you receive your rose in winter, remove all packaging and make sure the soil is damp. Store your rose in an unheated shed/greenhouse to protect the plant from frosts until early spring, the perfect time for planting.
How to Plant Floribunda Roses
An hour before planting your rose, water it thoroughly. Create a mix of soil, compost and organic rose food in a separate container. Dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plant's container in the sunniest spot in your garden, somewhere with well-draining soil that won't become waterlogged. If the soil is poor quality or clay-like, it's advisable to add a layer of compost to the subsoil. Also, if you tend to get a lot of wind, pick somewhere that will provide your rose with shelter.
Remove the entire rose plant from its container and gently tease out the roots. Prune any that are damaged or broken, then plant the rose with the bud union at ground level. Backfill any gaps with the soil mix you made earlier but don't pack the soil too tightly around the new rose.
If you plan to keep your rose in a pot, please note that Floribundas, like most other rose varieties, tend to have very long roots. To grow successfully, they need to be planted in deep containers with drainage, giving the plant plenty of space for the roots to spread out and establish.
Some tips for repotting
- The soil of the rose should be slightly moist. Stand the rose in water for an hour beforehand, or water thoroughly to achieve this.
- Loosen the soil around the edge of the pot.
- Pull the rose out by the base of the main stem.
- If you are moving your rose to a bigger pot, add some extra soil into the bottom of the pot before you insert the plant.
- Add a handful of superphosphate to encourage healthy roots and then fill in with a mix of soil and compost.
- Water the plant thoroughly with a super thrive solution and keep the plant well watered for several weeks.
Containerised roses will need to be repotted every three to four years. Look out for the following signs that your rose is ready for a new home:
- Does your rose look less healthy than it used to?
- Does it seem to dry out quicker?
- Are there roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pots?
- Have the roses been in the same pot for three years or more?
Roses have healthy appetites, so feed them every spring with a powder or granular rose fertiliser, and again in June or July.
Mulching is the term used for the layer of organic material that is placed on top of the soil around your plants every year. It has a whole host of benefits, including keeping the soil moist throughout summer and discouraging blackspot and weeds. The best time to do this is in late spring (April-May) or autumn (October).
First, prepare the ground by removing debris and weeds and water the surface of the soil if it's dry. If mulching in spring, apply the spring feed if this has not been done, then hoe the ground lightly to mix in.
Apply a thin layer of well-rotted manure or good garden compost all around the roses - we suggest using John Innes No. 3.
Roses can be thirsty plants. However, Floribundas are noted for being particularly hardy so will not need as much care as other varieties. We recommend you water the base of the plant only, and avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can encourage leaf scorch and disease.
We advise you to water your rose regular watering until the plant is established. Once this point is passed, the plant will only require watering through spring and summer. When the weather is temperate, water deeply once a week, but in the height of summer, Floribundas may require water every day.
When roses are grown in containers, they will have more restricted access to water than those growing in the garden so will need watering regularly. As a rule of thumb, stick your finger into the first inch of topsoil and if it feels medium dry, water immediately.
How to Prune Floribunda Roses
Prune your rose in February or March to encourage better growth in the summer.
When pruning newly planted Floribunda roses (planted for less than a year), cut back the rose bush to a to around 15 cm from the ground, leaving short sturdy stems. This method is called Hard Pruning, and should never be used for established Floribunda roses.
When pruning established Floribunda roses, we favour the easy care method as it's virtually fool-proof, and results are generally as good as traditional pruning methods. Using secateurs, cut your rose bush back to half its height. Cut out any remaining brown dead wood from what is left of your rose.
How to Deadhead Floribunda Roses
This is the process of removing flowers from your plant once they are dying or dead. This will help your rose to redirect its energy into making new flowers. With Floribunda roses, the easiest way to carry this out is to remove the entire spray of dead flowers, cutting just before the second or third leaf down.
Floribunda Roses in Winter
Britain is a mild country, and our average winter weather conditions will not seriously affect Floribunda rose plants. However, if you live in an exposed location (e.g. very far north), or if weather conditions are expected to be extreme, you should provide your rose bushes with some protection. You can use sacking, horticultural fleece or even some bin liners to make sure your bushes don’t get frost damaged. Remove this protection when the worst of the winter frosts have passed.
If you need more guidance on caring for different plants, see our other care guides.