your roses off to the best possible start by choosing their growing
site carefully and then planting them using the techniques most suitable
for your climate. Bare-root rose plants--those sold without soil--offer
the best value and grow quickly after planting.
Water source, hose or bucket
Organic mulch, such as shredded bark
the planting site. Roses
need at least 6 hours of direct sun each day, although some afternoon
shade is best in hot climates. Plant them in a spot where air can
circulate and dry their leaves soon after a rain, and give them fertile
soil that drains quickly.
the depth to plant.
Most rose plants consist of two parts: the rootstock and the flowering
canes. The bulge where the parts join, called the graft union, gets
planted just at or below ground level, depending on your climate.
Where winter temperatures drop to -10F or colder, plant the graft
union 4 to 6 inches deep. In warmer climates, place it just at or
slightly above the soil surface.
Keep the roots cool and moist while you dig the planting hole. The
hole should be deep enough to set the graft union at the proper depth
and at least wide enough to allow the roots to extend without bending.
Put the removed soil in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp.
the soil. Very
sandy or heavy clay soils benefit from the addition of organic material.
Mix the soil from the planting hole with 25 percent compost and 25
percent composted bark plus a few handfuls of composted
manure. Mix well. Partially
fill the hole with the soil mix, making a cone or mound in the center
over which to drape the roots.
the rose in the hole.
height of the cone so that the graft union is at the right level,
as determined using the guidelines above. Spread
the roots evenly around the cone.
Holding the rose at the right planting depth, fill the hole with soil,
working it carefully around the roots. When the hole is nearly full,
water thoroughly to settle the soil. Finish filling the hole and create
a low ring of soil around the perimeter of the hole. Water again.
Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch in a circle around the
plant, taking care to keep the mulch 3 to 4 inches away from the canes.
Water as necessary to keep the soil evenly moist until the rose resumes
After your roses become dormant in the fall, protect them from severe
freezing weather by piling a mound of soil over the canes. Lay down
climbing rose canes and cover them, too. Buy non-grafted or "own-root"
roses if you live where temperatures drop to -20oF or colder. These
roses can often grow back from their roots if their tops die from