Rose Growing online course. Practical course for horticulturists, home gardeners, enthusiasts and rose growers selling bare rooted or potted plants. Learn about the different uses for roses.

Course Code: BHT231
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Become a Rose Expert

  • Learn to identify and grow different roses
  • Learn to use roses in garden design, grow them as cut flowers, tub plants etc.
  • Follow your passion, or work with roses as a career
  • A course for nurserymen, plant breeders, landscapers, gardeners, or anyone with an enthusiasm for roses

Roses have been cultivated since as early as 2000 years BC.  Modern roses have largely originated as hybrids of the species roses which have been grown for centuries.

The exact origins of many of our modern roses is either complicated and difficult to follow; or in some cases difficult to track down at all.

  • Until 1975 the popular modern rose with the conical type flower was referred to as a Hybrid Tea. 
  • Hybrid teas are now called Large Flowered Roses by the experts.
  • Floribundas (until 1975) were roses which were produced as a hybrid between miniature roses (ie. True polyanthas) with larger flowering roses.  Floribundas are now called Cluster Flowered Roses by the experts.  'Hybrid Tea' and 'Floribunda' are still commonly used terms though.

Rose Growing Tips

There are over 100 species and thousands of varieties, grown as a bush, cut flower, a standard or espalier. They are often used as a feature against a backdrop of larger green shrubs; or behind a hedge of lower shrubs.

A beautiful bed of roses can be a gardener's pride and joy. Roses are generally very healthy plants and they live a long time if their health is maintained. Always buy healthy plants and choose a full sun site with well drained position to plant them in. As they have a shallow fibrous root system, avoid planting near large trees which have shallow spreading roots.

Roses are mainly deciduous, but occasionally evergreen, shrubs and ramblers. In warm zones like tropics and subtropics, roses tend to stay evergreen. The leaves usually odd pinnate & alternate. Stems are often very thorny. Flowers of most cultivars are large, colourful, and may be borne singularly or in clusters.

They are best in temperate climates; excessive heat and humidity will cause fungal problems.

In very cold snow prone areas; plants can be damaged over winter; but they will withstand some frost and even snow. Roses adapt to most soils, if drained, and can do well in clay soils where some other plants are difficult.

Providing good soil conditions will help ensure your roses stay healthy. Most roses will tolerate a wide variety of soil types, but prefer reasonable drainage. Adding gypsum to clay soils will help improve soil structure. Adding well rotted organic matter to the soil will help retain moisture, improve soil structure and nutrition, and help maintain soil temperatures at suitable levels for growth. If your soil has an acid pH adding lime will generally prove beneficial. The lime can be added to the soil prior to planting, or sprinkled onto the soil surface for establishing roses.

Roses respond well to feeding. A slow release complete fertiliser or well rotted manure is best.

Roots can be burnt if they come in contact with strong fertilisers.

Be careful to keep rotting material away from the base of the rose to prevent any possible disease infection.

Watering is essential if a rose is to flower well. Avoid watering the foliage - it's better to make a dish in the soil surface at the base of a plant and fill it with water to allow slow penetration. Don't let plants dry out.

Annual winter pruning is essential to rejuvenate the plant and encourage growth of young wood (flowers form on these young shoots...the more young shoots, the more flowers). In temperate climates at least half of the top growth is removed each winter. In snow areas cut plants back very hard (ie 95%) and cover with straw over winter. Roses are usually budded (grafted) so when you prune them do not cut below the bud. Plants pruned regularly can last more than 100 years.

Roses are largely sold bare rooted in winter. You will buy the best selection of plants early winter when they are first released onto the market. Roses sold at other times of the year are in pots and can be planted at any time.

Aphis and caterpillars are major problems. They can be controlled with insecticides such as pyrethrum. Black spot, mildew and rust are common fungal problems and should be controlled with a good fungicidal spray.

To minimise pest and disease problems always remove and burn fallen leaves, prunings and mildew infected shoot tips. Ensure that plants won't be overcrowded. Good ventilation around your roses helps prevent fungal infections occurring.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Plant naming
    • Hybrids, varieties, cultivars
    • Genus Rosa
    • Understanding any confusion in naming
    • Rose Classification
    • Modern Garden Roses - climbing, non climbing, old world
    • English roses
    • Choosing roses - bush, standard, miniature,climbers, ramblers, patio roses, shrub
    • Resources, organisations
  2. Culture
    • Soils -texture, naming soils, pH, nutrient availability
    • Improving soils
    • Improving fertility
    • Soil mixes - propagating, potting
    • Plant nutrition
    • Nutrient deficiencies and toxicities
    • Preventing rose health problems
    • Rose pests
    • Rose diseases
    • Planting procedures -bare rooted, time of planting, staking
    • Rose Pruning - dead heading, rejuvenating
    • Selecting your secateurs
    • Watering roses
  3. Propagation
    • Sexual (seed) propagation
    • Asexual Propagation
    • Hybridising roses
    • Propagating cuttings - softwood, semi hardwood, hardwood
    • Treatment with hormones
    • Rockwool Propagation
    • Hardening off rooted cuttings
    • Budding and grafting roses
    • How a graft forms
    • Factors influencing healing a graft
    • Types of rose rootstock
    • Types of grafts for roses
    • General grafting hints
    • Propagating aids - greenhouses, mist systems, containers
  4. Hybrid Teas and Floribundas
    • Introduction
    • Review of cultivars
    • Roses by colour
  5. Old world, species and lesser known varieties.
    • Old roses
    • Sempervirens (wild rose)
    • Wichuriana
    • Gallica
    • Damask
    • Moss
    • Alba
    • Centifolia
    • China
  6. Climbers, Miniatures, Standards and Weepers
    • Climbers and ramblers
    • Miniatures
    • Standards and weepers
    • Pruning different forms
  7. Making the Best Use of these Plants
    • Designing rose gardens
    • Choice of rose - colour, type, garden style, maintenance
    • Roses in a cottage garden
    • Principles and elements of garden design
    • Characteristics of garden styles - formal, informal, natural
    • Using roses
    • Rose crafts and recipes -drying roses, roser perfume, rose recipes, rose water, rose tea tonic, rosehip syrup, rose vinegar
  8. Growing a Commercial Rose Crop
    • Greenhouse roses
    • Components of a greenhouse facility
    • Types of greenhouse
    • Control of environment
    • Measuring environmental factors - light, growing media, temperature, air
    • Carbon dioxide enrichment
    • Problems with greenhouses
    • Heating and ventilation
    • Hydroponic rose culture
    • Electrical conductivity
    • Planting roses
    • Container growing
    • Preventing moss and algae
    • Potting up


  • Distinguish between characteristic plant features in order to identify different types of roses.
  • Determine cultural practices for growing roses in different situations.
  • Perform all operations associated with pruning roses.
  • Distinguish between the culture of different types of roses, including hybrid teas, floribundas and species rose groups.
  • Plan the establishment of a rose garden.
  • Plan the production of a commercial rose crop.

What You Will Do

  • Distinguish between the morphology of different groups of roses.
  • Compile a resource collection of thirty contacts to assist with identification of roses.
  • Prepare a collection of 32 photographs or illustrations of rose varieties.
    • determine how to grow roses in your locality, detailing:
    • soil preparation
    • planting
    • fertilising
    • staking
    • watering in
  • Describe how to propagate roses, using various techniques including: •Grafting
    • Budding
    • Layering
    • Seed
  • Identify the pests and diseases afflicting rose plants.
  • Differentiate between the culture and use in the garden of different types of roses, including: •climbers
    • miniatures
    • standards
    • bush roses
  • Differentiate between the culture of roses in a greenhouse, and in the open ground.
  • Distinguish between the pruning of climbing, ramblers, bush, miniature and standard roses,
  • Compare the culture and application of Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and Polyanthas in a garden or nursery visited by you.
  • Determine appropriate rose varieties to be included in a proposed rose garden, in accordance with given
    • specifications.
  • Prepare a plan for a rose garden including: •Scale drawings
    • Plant lists
    • A materials list
    • Cost estimates.
  • Develop criteria for selecting rose varieties to grow as a commercial crop, for a specified purpose.
  • Evaluate rose flowers offered for sale.
  • Determine factors which are critical to the production of various rose products, such as: •Cut flower roses
    • Rose hip syrup
    • Rose oil
    • Dried rose petals
    • Nursery stock roses.



  • As a Garden Plant
  • For Scent -  Parts of a rose are scented- used for perfumes, oils, rose water for cooking, petals flavouring for cakes, desserts, drinks and as a colourful garnish/ decoration.
  • Cut Flower Production
  • An Edible Plant -    Parts of a rose are edible- rose hips are used in jams, jellies and as a rich course of vitamin C.
  • Medicinal Plant -   Parts of a rose have medicinal properties-rose oil for skin complaints, source of vitamin C, relaxing calmative oil for infusions and massage.

How to use Roses in the Landscape


The most wonderful thing about roses is that they flower heavily; and for long periods, some flower heavily only in spring, others can flower almost all year round.

This makes them most useful for adding colour to a garden. Like most plants, roses look best when massed (ie. the more you plant together, the better they look). If you want the best effect from roses, think carefully about the colours you use.

  • Consider the background to where the roses will be planted. If the backdrop is a dark wall or dark foliage; you need light coloured flowers for optimum contrast. If the backdrop is a white wall, there is not much point planting white flowering roses.
  • Consider also the contrasts of colours close to each other and how vibrant warm colours make an are appear warmer and cosier, cooler colours give a softer, more delicate, more spacious appearance ‘en masse’.

Our principal John Mason is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture

ACS Distance Education is a member of the Australian Garden Council, Our Principal John Mason is a board member of the Australian Garden Council

Member of the Nursery and Garden Industry Association since 1993

ACS is a silver sponsor of the AIH. The principal, John Mason, is a fellow. ACS certificate students are offered a free membership for this leading professional body.Provider.

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Adriana has worked in horticulture since the 1980's. She has lived what she preaches - developing large gardens and growing her own fruit, vegetables and herbs and making her own preserves.
In 1992 she formalised her training by graduating with a certif

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences.
Initially she worked with the Depart

Marie Beerman

Marie has over 10 years in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie has been a co author of several ebooks in recent years, including "Roses" and "Climbing Plants".
Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M.Hort. Dip. Bus. Cert. Lds

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