The Ultimate Guide to Grow and Care for Drift Roses 

Drift roses are a beautiful and versatile addition to any garden or landscape. These rose bushes, known for their low-maintenance nature and abundant blooms, are an excellent choice for both experienced gardeners and beginners alike. In this ultimate guide, we will explore everything you need to know about drift roses, from how to plant your drift roses, care for and creative ways of using them in your landscape design. 

Introduction about drift roses 

Origin of drift roses  

Drift roses are a relatively new addition to the rose family. They are a cross between groundcover roses and miniature roses, resulting in a shrub-like plant that spreads and grows low to the ground. 

Dwarf-sized drift roses were created in response to the increasing demand from customers for smaller, continuously blooming plants. These types of shrub roses hold a distinct position in the market. Although not considered “everblooming,” Drift roses produce a remarkable amount of flowers throughout their blooming cycles, from early April until November.  

Typical features 

Drift series have several distinguishing features that set them apart from other rose varieties. They have a wide range of colors, including shades of red drift, coral drift, apricot drift, pink drift rose, and peach drift rose. Due to their timeless appearance, drift roses are suitable for all types of landscapes.  

Secondly, drift roses have a long blooming period, producing flowers continuously throughout the growing season.

They have inherited their compact size and ability to bloom repeatedly from the miniature roses, as well as their strength, disease resistance, and ability to withstand winter, making them a low-maintenance option for any gardener. 

Comparison with other rose varieties

While drift roses share similarities with other rose varieties, such as the need for full sun and regular watering, their compact size and low-maintenance nature make them popular with many gardeners. Unlike other roses, drift roses require less space and pruning, making them an ideal option for those with limited gardening experience or space constraints.

Growing conditions 


Proper watering is essential for the health and vitality of drift roses. Typically, watering your drift roses once to twice a week is adequate. 

During the first growing season, it is essential to increase the frequency during dry spells, ensuring that the water reaches the base of the plant, but avoid excessive watering as it can lead to root decay. As the plants mature, you can reduce the watering frequency but ensure that the soil remains consistently moist.


Drift roses can be cultivated throughout the year. Opt for a sunny spot for these roses as they thrive in sunlight and perform best when exposed to 6 – 8 hours of direct sunshine daily. Flowers flourish when exposed to direct sunlight.


To thrive, roses require a well-drained, originally rich soil acidity level between 6 and 6.5. To prevent weed growth and rot, keeping the soil as a layer of mulch measuring 1 -3 inches is advisable. 


Unwanted plants have the potential to contend with drift roses for essential elements and water in the ground. Thus it is crucial to monitor them and eliminate them when required. 


As the attractiveness of rose blossoms diminishes, you may have the urge to discard these less appealing, wilting flowers. However, roses don’t require pruning as they can shed their spent blooms without any effort from you. 

Pruning drift roses is relatively simple compared to other rose varieties. It is recommended to prune your rose bushes towards the end of winter or early spring before new growth commences. Prune any dead or damaged branches. Additionally, you can lightly trim the plant, approximately one-third to one-half of the plant, to maintain its desired shape. Avoid heavy pruning, as drift roses bloom on old and new wood. 


Fertilizing is essential to ensure roses grow healthy and abundant blooms. Use a balanced fertilizer formulated explicitly for roses. Fertilize your roses around the base of the plant, following the instructions on the packaging. 

In the springtime, opt for a slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer for your drift roses instead of applying it only in late summer. Regular fertilization, especially during the blooming season, will promote vigorous growth and vibrant blooms.

Planting drift roses in a container

Time to plant

The ideal time for planting Drift Roses is in the spring season. However, they can also be planted in the summer or autumn. Planting these roses in the summer can be more difficult due to higher temperatures and drier conditions. If you choose to plant them in the summer, it is important to regularly and thoroughly water them to promote their growth.  

Choosing container 

The drift rose, a shrub that requires little maintenance and is of small size, has a maximum height of approximately 2 feet. When choosing planting location in containers, a right-sized pot that allows for proper root development is essential. A container at least 12 inches in diameter and equally deep will provide sufficient space for the roots to grow. 

If you plan to place drift roses in a container, decorating for your deck or patio, we suggest using a container at least two times bigger than the original pot. This will provide enough space for their growth. Additionally, it is crucial to consistently water them as pots tend to dry out faster than plants in the ground. Also, ensure that the container has drainage holes to prevent water logging. 

Growing process 

Planting drift roses in containers is similar to planting them in the ground.

Step 1: Fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix, leaving enough room for the root ball.

Step 2: Gently remove the rose plant from its nursery container and place it in the pot.

Step 3: Backfill the container with soil, ensuring the plant is at the same level.

Step 4: Water thoroughly after planting.

Drift roses care in winter

Preparing drift roses before wintertime

To ensure the survival of your drift roses during the winter months, it is essential to prepare the winter care accordingly. Stop fertilizing the plants in late fall to help them harden off for winter. Remove any fallen leaves or debris from around the base of the plant to prevent pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew, from taking hold.

Frost and other winter treats

Frost can be damaging to drift roses, especially in colder regions. Cover the plants with a layer of mulch or burlap to protect them from frost. This will give your drift roses insulate the roots and prevent frost damage. Additionally, avoid pruning drift roses in late fall or early winter, as this can stimulate new growth vulnerable to frost. 

Winter pruning

During winter, it is crucial to perform minimal pruning and maintenance on drift roses. Remove any dead or damaged branches and any suckers that may have appeared. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on growth and blooming in the coming spring.

Drift roses bloom application in life

Creating stunning ground cover roses 

One of the most popular uses of drift roses is as a ground cover. Due to their low-growing nature, drift roses can quickly form dense garden beds of blooms, adding beauty and color to your landscape. Plant them in a mass alongside pathways or under larger shrubs and trees for a stunning visual effect.  

Strategically incorporating drift roses in your landscape design

Drift roses can be strategically incorporated into your landscape design to create focal points or accentuate existing features. Place them in mixed borders or flower beds to add pops of color and texture. Consider planting drift roses near seating areas or windows for their fragrant blooms and ability to attract pollinators.

Drift roses are low-maintenance, colorful alternatives

Drift roses are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a low-maintenance and colorful alternative to traditional landscaping plants. Their compact size and long blooming period make them ideal for adding vibrant color to any space while requiring minimal care and maintenance.