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A Guide to Planting Roses
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A Guide to Planting Roses

Many people just dig a hole, plant their roses and then wonder why their roses are not doing as well as they expected. There are some basics you need to know, below is a guide to planting roses, along with some tricks and tips that will help you grow beautiful roses.

Rose Planting

You need to know that you can get your roses two different ways. The first is barefoot meaning it is dormant, has no leaves and not in a container, most people get these roses through the mail. If you get your roses at a local nursery most likely they are in a container or pot. If you plant barefoot roses, they have different planting needs than container roses.

Preparing Roses for Planting

Barefoot Roses

When you order your roses through the mail most likely they are shipped when they are dormant. They need immediate attention as soon as possible, because they are not actively growing.

When you receive your rose remove it from the packaging and take a good look at it. Remove any of the broken canes (branches), leaves and roots you see that may have been damaged in shipping.

You will need to next soak your rose in a bucket of water. Make sure that the water is room temperature and all the roots are well submerged. Soak your rose for four to twenty-four hours before planting. Soaking the rose hydrates the roots and plant. Adding a stimulant to the water helps to reduce shock when transplanting and encourages the growth of your rose. Here are a few excellent bio stimulants that can be used ROOTS, SuperThrive or use a Vitamin B solution. These can be purchased at your local nursery or garden store. Follow the directions on the package carefully. barefoot rose

If you are not able to plant your rose right away, make sure you soak it for at least four hours in water and put it in a plastic bag. Leave the top of the bag opened and place your rose in a dark, cool place, anywhere from 40 to 50 degrease. You will want to keep your rose moist, making sure it is not soaking wet. You can do this by misting it on a daily basis until you can get it planted. It is also a good idea not to let your rose get overheated or to freeze.

It is best to plant your barefoot rose as soon as you get them, if at all possible. There are times when planting right away is not an option and you may have to store your rose. If this is the case and you have to store for a long period of time, plant your rose in a two gallon container,water your rose well and store in a place out of the wind.

Container Roses

A container rose are roses that have been grow in containers or pots and are actively growing at time of purchase. They have most likely been watered every day at your garden center or local nursery. Neglecting to water them is not a good idea. If you cannot plant right away make sure to water daily. They tend to dry out very quickly, also store them in full sun.

Finding a Place to Plant

Roses can endure quit a lot, but they need the right conditions to grow. Roses need six hours of full sunlight daily to produce a full show of blooms. Preferably the morning sun to help dry the leaves to reduce the hazards of getting foliage disease. Planting your roses under or next to large trees is not a suitable idea, so plan your rose garden well. The trees will be competing for the water, nutrients and sun.

Your rose garden site should drain water well, water should not stay more than a hour after it has rained. If it does you need to insure proper drainage, adding tiles, French drains or gravel below the planting hole will help.

Make sure the place you have chosen to plant your roses will be large enough for the mature plants. Give your rose plant about a foot more space than they will need, this increases air circulation and reduces foliage disease on roses.

Site Preparation

First, start with getting the planting site ready. Remove all the other plants in the area either by mechanical or chemical means. By doing this now it will help maintain your planting beds and will save you a lot of weeding time in the future.

Second, add organic matter to the soil and lots of it. Adding organic matter will improve the soil no matter what type it is. Using compost is a great source for organic matter for roses and it can be found in bags at your local garden center. Be careful if you decide to go with composted manure it is great for the soil, but make sure it is fully cured, so it will not burn the roots of your roses. Use plenty of compost, roses are hungry feeders, so be generous.


Digging Your Hole: Dig a hole for your rose plant at least one and a half feet deep and one and a half feet wide with a mound of dirt in the center of the hole, this is where you will place your rose. Placing the rose on the mound will spread out the roots and keep them from being bent or getting wrapped. Keep the first eight inches of topsoil and get rid of the rest.

Topsoil: Mix about 50/50 of the soil from the hole with well cured compost and 1/2 cup of phosphorous or bone meal. Blend the mixture together well.

Placing the Plant: Put your rose plant in the hole 1 to 2 inches below the top of the soil line. Drape the rose plant roots over the mound in the bottom of the hole, making sure the roots do not wrap around the hole. Here are a couple of things you can do if the roots begin to wrap: dig you hole a little deeper or you can prune the roots of the rose plant to fit your hole.

Fill: Replace a third of the compost and soil mixture around the roots of your rose plant, being care full not to harm the roots, press down the mixture . Add the rest of the compost mixture to the hole. planting roses

Watering: Pour 2 to 3 gallons of water around the base of the rose slowly until it pools on the top of the soil. Make sure the water is pooling and not running away from your plant. You want the water to pool and soak in, the water helps to settle the soil around the root system. If it runs, make a dam of soil around the plant, one foot away from the center. Remember the most important thing is water, it helps the roots move nutrients to the plants.

Important: This step is very often overlooked. Build up the soil around the crown of the plant to about 6 inches high letting 2 inches of the canes show. Leave the soil for 2 weeks, this helps to keep the new rose from drying out. In about 2 weeks remove the soil gently, being careful not to knock off new leaf buds.

Pruning: Now that you have the plant in the ground, you will need to cut back the top of the plant. Prune the canes three to four inches above the mounded soil. You will want to cut back to a rose bud that is facing out. This will make your new rose grow out, instead of growing into the center of your plant.

Mulch: Placing mulch around your rose helps keep the plant from loosing moisture, keeps weeds out and helps with cooling the plants roots. Here are some types of mulch that can be used: compost, wood chips, and even cocoa bean hulls. Place mulch about 2 to 3 inches thick.

It is very important that you keep your new rose plant well watered and out of the wind, they are vulnerable to the heat and dry weather.

Here is a great site that shows you how to plant roses in video format. It is interesting and very informative. It shows you exactly what to do with your roses when you get them home or through the mail and how to plant them in the ground afterwards. Visit the site at:


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