Skip to content

Planting ground cover roses: How to grow and care for these flowering shrubs in the garden should be

Ground cover roses are low-growing shrubs with a strong spreading habit and are considered by some people to be landscape roses. Their canes run along the surface of the ground and form a beautiful carpet of flowers. They really do bloom brilliantly! Find out how to plant and care for ground cover roses in the garden in this article.

Table of Contents

Where to plant ground cover roses

Prune ground cover roses - remove damaged wood out in March

Roses are hardy plants that can cope with unfavorable conditions. However, to thrive, ground cover roses prefer a sunny spot in well-drained, fertile soil. Some can also handle partial shade. Ground cover roses will also do well in a large container, as long as it is generous in size and the soil is well-drained.

Ground cover roses make the perfect gift. With their long blooming season and neat growth, they look enticing in the garden center when grown in a pot. If you buy them as potted plants, don’t leave them in the sale pot. Transplant them into a larger pot or directly into the garden.

Bare root plants are purchased in the fall and winter. Plant bare-root roses on a dry, frost-free day. Dig a hole at least twice as deep and wide as the root ball, and put in well-rotted organic material. Pull out the roots and place the plant in the hole. Make sure they are planted at the same depth as in the pot, or use a soil mark on the plant as a guide.

Backfill the hole, secure it with the heel, and water well.

Propagation and varieties

Roses are hardy plants that can cope with adverse conditions

Because groundcover roses spread in the ground, they can take root as they grow. The easiest way to propagate them is to look for a rooted shoot in the spring or fall, cut it off the mother plant, dig up the new roots and pot them. To encourage the stems to root, stick a piece of the stem into the ground and cover it with soil.

Did you know. For a seamless cover, you can tie the stems to the ground with bent wire. These roses are an ideal attraction for wildlife. Birds feed on the autumn rose hips, and the low branches provide shelter for many small creatures.

Roses should not be planted in soil where another rose has previously lived

Groundcover Rose Varieties:

  • Rainbow Happy Trails – beautiful mixed pink and yellow blooms.
  • Sunshine Happy Trails – incredibly radiant, with lemon yellow color.
  • Sweet Vigorosa – deep bluish pink with white
  • Electric Blanket – cozy warm coral red color
  • Red Ribbons – long lasting bright red color
  • Scarlet Meidiland – bright red
  • White Meidiland – pure white
  • Happy Chappy – blends of pink, apricot, yellow and orange
  • Wedding Dress – pure bright white
  • Beautiful Carpet – deep pink
  • Hertfordshire – cheerful pink

Tip: There are many other varieties you can find on the Internet, but be careful and be sure to read the growth habit of these rose bushes. To make your life easier, visit a rose garden, admire the scents and note which varieties you liked.

Problem solving and care

Since ground cover roses spread in the soil, they can take root as they grow


Problem solution: roses should not be planted in the ground, where previously lived another rose. Graft disease in roses is a little-known problem, but plants often struggle with it. Like all other roses, ground cover varieties are susceptible to black spot disease, aphids and powdery mildew. However, good garden hygiene can reduce the risk of infection. Remove fallen leaves and prune plants with clean secateurs. Because many ground cover roses are modern varieties, many are resistant to common rose problems.

Find out how to control aphids on roses here !

Care – Pruning Ground Cover Roses: Shrubby varieties require very little, if any, pruning. Cut out dead, diseased and damaged wood in March. Some gardeners simply go over the plant with pruning shears after blooming.

Rambler roses, which produce yard-long shoots, may require pruning after bloom. Shorten the length of the shoots by cutting them just above an upward-facing bud. This will keep the plants in their allotted space.

If space is not an issue, you can forgo regular pruning.

Planting ground cover roses - this is an attractive option to cover bare ground in between

Planting ground cover roses – Conclusion:
These sprawling shrubs are ideal for an embankment, rock garden or the front of a border. They are an attractive option for covering bare ground between other plants.

  • Appearance: They form low, billowing carpets of mostly single flowers that form along the flexible stems. They either bloom repeatedly or form attractive red rose hips in the fall.
  • What they like: Give them a sunny location in soil that drains easily. They do quite well in poor soil and are very tolerant of exposed sites.
  • What they don’t like: Avoid waterlogged soils and shady locations.

You can read more care tips for roses here !