Container grown plants can be planted at any time of the year but must be kept well-watered if planted in summer.
In autumn and winter roses are often planted bare-root. Discover how to plant a bare-root rose. Shrub and species roses need plenty of space so be generous as growth is fast. Dig a hole at least twice the depth and width of the root ball and add in some well-rotted organic matter. Tease out the roots and drop the plant into the hole ensuring that the graft union is at soil level. Backfill and firm in place with your heel and water in well.
Shrub and species roses are most successfully propagated by taking hardwood cuttings taken in autumn. Remove a piece of stem of the current season’s growth that is pencil thickness and about 30cm long. Remove the soft tip cutting just above a healthy bud at an angle that is cut away from the bud as this will prevent water from settling around the bud and causing rotting (this will also help you identify the top of the cutting).
Dig a shallow trench in the garden in a sunny sheltered spot and place a layer of horticultural sand in the base. Insert the cuttings so that two-thirds of the cutting is below the surface and backfill. Ignore them and you should see sign of growth the following spring. Pot on the following autumn.
Read more about taking rose cuttings.
Shrub and species roses require very little, if any, pruning. The majority flower on old wood so if they are hard to reach or too thorny for comfort you can get away with leaving them.
If accessible, remove any dead, damaged or diseased wood and prune back to size just above a healthy bud in February or March once the show of hips has been enjoyed. Remove very old wood that is congesting the centre of the plant to let in light and if growth is slow rejuvenate the plants by cutting a few old stems to the ground to encourage a new flush of growth.
Those that only flower once in summer and don’t offer impressive hips can be pruned after flowering by shortening side shoots by a third if required. Watch Monty Don prune shrub roses.