Choose a site that receives a minimum of six hours of sunshine a day. Certain types of shrub roses adapt to semi-shaded exposure (four hours of sunshine), like albas and musk rose hybrids (groundcover type).
The chosen site must also be well-aerated to prevent fungal diseases, and be protected from cold, drying winds so that in winter your plants will be less exposed to sudden temperature changes.
With their pivoting roots, conifers can live close together with roses. On the other hand, to prevent competition for water and minerals with deciduous trees, arrange your new plantings outside the cover of large trees with wide-spreading roots.
Most roses prefer deep soil that is rich in organic material and has a slight clay component. Rosa rugosa and R. spinosissima hybrids grow well in somewhat sandier soil. A pH of about 6.5–7 promotes assimilation of minerals. The soil should drain easily but at the same time retain moisture, since the majority of roses are not drought-tolerant.
To improve soil structure, you can modify it with compost or composted manure. An improper pH can be corrected by applying lime (soil too acidic) or sulfur (soil too alkaline).