How To Plant Bare-Root Roses
If you live in a part of the country where the ground doesn’t freeze, the best time to plant is in winter.
Providing your garden is not in a frost pocket, where the ground freezes during the winter months, the best time to plant bare rooted plants, including roses is during the winter months. Failing that planting in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked is also a good time to plant. There are several plant nurseries that supply a range of bare rooted plant material. Many of these hardy plants will be field grown, dug up with as much of the root as possible. Bare rooted plants may have soil-free roots packed in moist material and sealed in plastic. If you order roses mail order or online it is likely they will be posted in a similar fashion.
To get your new roses off to a good start, follow this step-by-step procedure:
Where possible always try to purchase good quality plants from a reputable nursery. If unsure of quality, variety, disease resistance it may be an idea to contact the nursery directly if sufficient information is not provided in their literature or website.
Before planting carefully remove the rose from its packaging and place the roots in a bucket of muddy water (the mud will cling to the roots and help prevent them from drying out after planting). Let soak at least overnight. If you can’t plant immediately, keep the packing around the roots moist until planting time. If you are not able to plant out for several weeks then plant termporarily in a container and keep the soil moist. If you have several roses that cant be planted for a while they can be 'healed' in in an area of the garden which is out of full sun, until ready to plant properly.
When ready to plant choose a sunny planting site. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. If they get any less, expect fewer blooms and more disease problems. Roses like to be in soil with a pH range of between 5.5 - 7 pH. Soil pH tester kits can be purchased from garden centres. When planting preparation is key - dig a hole deep and wide enough to comfortably accommodate the plant’s roots. Before lowering the roots into the hole fill the hole with water and allow this water to drain away before placing the rose in its planing hole. By doing this you are ensuring that the surrounding soil is throughly wet which will stop the plant and root system from drying out once planted.
Mix the soil dug out of the hole with an equal amount of organic matter and a handful of granular plant fertiliser. Place some of the mixture in the bottom of the planting hole, creating a cone-shaped mound. Examine the rose carefully. Prune damaged or dead roots.
Spread the roots of the rose over the mound and check planting depth and position. The rose should be planted at about the same level as it was grown in the field (you’ll see a color change on the stem) and with the bud union (the swollen part of the stem) above ground. In colder climates, plant several inches deeper so that the bud union is covered with soil. Back fill the hole with soil, and create a watering basin around the plant. Water well. If necessary, adjust the planting level by grasping the lower trunk and gently pulling upward. When happy ensure that the rose is firmly in place. Mulch around the rose to reduce evapouration and to discourage weeds. Pile the mulch up high enough to cover the canes several inches above the bud union. Covering the canes will help prevent them from drying out. Once the plant begins to leaf out, pull the mulch away from the stems and fertilize with Toprose. Protect from insect pests and disease with a product labeled for use on roses. Be sure to follow label directions. Such as Provado Ultimate Bug Killer - Ready to use and concentrate, Multirose 2 ready to use and Multirose Concentrate.