Roses: where to plant roses

Find out where to plant roses – a must for English country gardens and pretty courtyards

David Austin rose gardens
Head to David Austin for expertly grown blooms
(Image credit: David Austin)

Knowing where to plant roses is essential if you want them to bloom and flourish. So, finding the best spot in your garden is very important or you could waste time and money on roses that are destined to fail. 

There are lots of ways to grow roses – climbing up an arbour or building, in bushes, or even pots – but don't let the location be dictated by design. Let the roses influence your garden layout by following these simple tips. You won't be disappointed as you are rewarded with healthy, beautiful roses, year after year.

For more advice, read our full guide to growing a rose garden. Or, head to our garden hub for more garden inspiration.

Where to plant roses

Find a spot in your garden that matches the following criteria.

Prepare the soil

Roses need moist, but well-drained soil. If this doesn't sound like your plot, you might want to grow them in a raised bed or large pot where you can control the soil type and enhance drainage. Dig in plenty of manure before planting to prepare your soil.


There are shade-loving roses such as David Austin's Princess Anne and Phyllis Bide (see more roses for shady areas on the David Austin site), but most roses long for a sunny spot where they will get at the very least. four hours of sun a day. Look for a spot with six hours of good sun a day if you can. If planting in a hot or Mediterranean climate, make sure they have partial shade to avoid scorching.

Sheltered/protected spots

Although they need good sun, don't plant your roses anywhere where they will be exposed to high winds or extreme frosts. A sheltered spot with good light is the best place (think south-facing with some large structures nearby to act as wind breaks).

Other plants

Roses need plenty of moisture so planting them in crowded places will mean they have to compete. They could also get overshadowed by other plants and not get the sunlight they crave. Plant your roses 1m away from other plants and 60cm or more from other roses. For an arch like the one pictured above, this could mean planting a climber at 60cm intervals along the vertical struts.

Read more garden advice: