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Course CodeBHT231
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


This Rose course is suited to the professional as well as the amateur grower.

The value of  rose blooms extends beyond the ornamental garden; roses are grown for many reasons including: the cut flower trade, for perfume extraction, to harvest the hips and for rose oil. This course covers all these aspects and much more. Learn the history of the rose, the confusing rose classification system, how to identify the different species, their general cultural needs (soils, pests and disease management and pruning), how to use roses in garden design and how to produce a commercial rose crop.

Roses, often referred to as 'The Queen of the Garden', are one of the most popular and prized ornamental plants. They are included in the greatest gardens in the world and many claim roses to be the most beautiful flower in existence.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction - identification & classification (modern and species roses are considered).
  2. Culture - pruning, nutrition, pests & diseases, planting, watering, etc.
  3. Propagation - seed, cuttings, layering, budding & grafting, etc.
  4. Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.
  5. Old World Roses.
  6. Climbers, Miniatures, Standards & Weepers.
  7. Using Roses - cut flowers, tubs, hydroponics.
  8. Special Assignment.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • 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.


You will learn a wide variety of things, through a combination of reading, interacting with tutors, undertaking research and practical tasks, and watching videos. Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • 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
  • 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.

Tips for Growing Roses


Roses come in various shapes and forms. The main types of roses are:

  • Climbing Roses –These are rambling plants, which can grow very large, and will require training. It is very important to train them into the framework you want while young. Prune off unwanted growths every few weeks at first. Once a framework is established, the strongest growth will often be from the highest parts, and it can be difficult to initiate new shoots from lower on the plant. Many can grow stems 4m or longer from the base, upwards or outwards (whatever way you train them).
  • Bush Roses –Most of these will grow between 1 and 2m tall and 0.5 to 1m diameter
  • Standard Roses –These are bush type roses that are grafted onto upright stems, producing plants around 1-2m tall (sometimes taller or shorter).
  • Ground Cover Roses –These are creeping, or low growing plants that do not grow much more than 20-60cm tall, and usually grow much broader than their height.
  • Weeping Roses –These are ground cover (creeping types), or scrambling types grafted onto tall upright stems, to produce an umbrella-like form.
  • Miniature roses –small compact growing plants; with smaller flowers proportionate to their size.

Species of roses have been widely interbred over the centuries to produce a number of broad groupings. Some of the more commonly grown groups are:

Hybrid Teas
Hybrid Tea roses are the most popular group of roses. The flower stems are long and the blooms are usually on single stems or with several side buds. The flowers are very shapely, of medium sized or larger with many petals forming a central cone. They flower from late spring to autumn and make excellent cut flowers.
Floribunda roses are often said to be more colourful then the hybrid tea rose as their flowering is more profuse, and they stand up to wet weather better, and are unrivalled for providing a colourful bedding  display. The floribunda bears its flowers in clusters or trusses and several blooms open at one time in each cluster. It can be grown as a bush or as a standard rose and flower continuously from late spring to late autumn.

Heritage or Old World Cultivars
Some of the earliest cultivated roses. A renewed interest in these roses has increased their availability. Long flowering periods and scents are the main attractions. They come in a variety of forms, mainly climbing or non-climbing.


Choose roses of a form or shape that is proportionate to your garden. Small gardens will usually only accommodate smaller roses; but larger gardens can accommodate all sizes and forms. Climbers can be grown against a wall, over a pergola or arch; or used to create a tunneled walk. Weepers or standards make good features in the centre (or the back) of a garden bed, with lower forms in the foreground.
For humid climates choose those varieties known to have high disease resistance.


Roses are commonly grown to be sold as bare rooted plants in winter. Rose nurseries dig their plants early winter as soon as the leaves fall; and send them off to the retail outlets. Plants can be held for months like this (as long as the roots are covered with a moist material such as sawdust), but as soon as the top starts growing, they need to be potted into soil. If you purchase roses early in the season, you will get a full range to choose from; but as the winter progresses, the available plants may only be are those left behind. If you buy roses in spring; you will often be paying extra for the soil and pot they needed to be planted into.

When you purchase a bare rooted rose; look closely at both the roots and the stems. Don’t buy a plant which has diseased wood; large swellings on the roots, malformed roots (indicating disease or pest damage), dead root tips, or very uneven root growth. Look also for signs of insects and other pests.



The most wonderful thing about roses is that they flower heavily; and for long periods. 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.


  • Mulch heavily in winter with lucerne hay or a seedless straw (This generates heat and insulates roots).
  • Plant close to a wall –this protects from severe cold


  • Mulch well in summer (insulates roots from overheating & protects from drying)
  • Use drip irrigation, or only water roots…if leaves get wet, this promotes black spot & other fungal problems.


  • Plant in an open position, and leave lots of space between plants for ventilation –if the plants are not well ventilated, disease develops rapidly over summer.
  • Spray regularly for both insects & fungus. If you don’t like using sprays; roses can be difficult if not impossible in a hot humid climate.
  • Do not prune as heavily in winter as you would in a cool temperate climate … you are better to prune more often, and less each time (picking flowers frequently may be sufficient)


Roses eBook

We also offer a eBook on Roses that any Rose enthusiast will find useful reading.

There are few things as uplifting as being greeted by the sweet fragrance of roses from your own garden. If you have always wanted to grow roses, or perhaps improve an established rose garden, make sure you are armed with the right knowledge! Learn from the masters in horticulture. This wonderfully colourful ebook will teach you everything you need to know about the passion of growing roses.

Meet some of our academics

Marie BeermanMarie has over 7 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. Ldscp.
Rosemary Davies Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
Bob JamesHorticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC

Check out our eBooks

Growing and Using Perennial PlantsWhen designed and grown well, a perennial garden produces a blaze of colour for many months – starting in spring, flourishing through summer, and beyond into autumn.
RosesThe rose is the “queen of flowers” - classic and ever popular! Explore the richness of roses over six chapters covering: cultivation, soils, pruning, pest control, types of roses (hybrid teas to old world), using roses (from landscaping to cooking and perfumes), and an A-Z of cultivars. 56 rose cultivars described and illustrated with stunning photos. 81 colour photos 59 pages
Scented PlantsScented plants can be either a delight or a curse. For many people, there is nothing more pleasing than a garden filled with fragrance, but for others who suffer allergies, certain plants can make them physically ill; sometimes very seriously.
Getting Work in HorticultureFind out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.