Buying and Planting

New Rosebushes

 

Bare-root Roses

 Packaged Roses

 Potted Roses

 General Planting Tips

On-line Rose Vendors

"Pristine"

 

 

If your purchase is a “bare-root” rosebush...

In winter and early spring, dormant bare-root rosebushes are available from area nurseries and from mail order businesses. Buying a rose in dormant condition with roots bared gives you the opportunity to review not only the canes but also the root system for health and vigor. Choose a bush with two to three strong canes and multiple good-sized roots. Clip off any broken or damaged root ends before planting.

Planting suggestions for a bare-root rose in late fall, winter, or early spring:

  • Option 1: Best! Plant it now!  Soak the bare-root bush in a bucket of water for a few hours after purchase to ensure proper root hydration. Place the crown of the bush (the lump at the base of the branches in a grafted bush or the base of the main stem in an own-root bush) level with or an inch or two below the surface of surrounding soil.  Water well. Then temporarily mound soil or mulch up over the lower 6-12 inches of the stems to provide protection against drying winds until the root system becomes established.  Pull mounding back from base as weather becomes more mild and rose has begun to grow.

  • Option 2: Heel it in a temporary garden location. Bury deeper than normal to help conserve moisture until the bush is placed in its permanent home.

  • Option 3: Immerse the roots in a bucket of water for a week or two as you prepare the new bed.  As soon as possible, tuck the bushes into their permanent home.

 

 

If your purchase is a packaged rosebush...

Packaged rosebushes are available from most local nurseries and many department stores in late winter through spring. Recognize that rosebushes sealed within narrow plastic packaging have had their roots severely trimmed in order to fit within the packaging, while boxed roses like J&Ps -- with more room -- usually have larger root systems. Many growers pack moist sawdust around the roots within the cover, while others, especially those that use the cardboard packaging, pack the roots in moist soil.  Shop at stores where nursery personnel take good care of this nursery stock, where roses have been watered properly and displayed in shaded areas to protect vulnerable roots.

Planting suggestions for a packaged rose:

ALWAYS remove the packaging completely! Even when the rose seller states on the label that the packaging will deteriorate over time and can be planted with the bush, roses that have been planted within the shipping box intact often grow spiraling roots within the box area that tend to strangle each other at the base of the plant.  

  • Option 1: Best! Plant it now!  Soak the now bare-root bush in a bucket of water for a few hours after purchase to ensure proper root hydration. Place the crown of the bush (the lump at the base of the branches in a grafted bush or the base of the main stem in an own-root bush) level with or an inch or two below the surface of surrounding soil.  Water well. Then place a temporary mound of soil or mulch up over the lower 6-12 inches of the stems to provide protection against drying winds until the root system becomes established. 

  • Option 2: Heel it in a temporary garden location. This means planting the bush in a not necessarily perfect fashion into loose soil for wintering over until you provide a permanent location early in the new growing season. Bury deeper than normal to help conserve moisture until the bush is placed in its permanent home.

  • Option 3: Immerse the roots in a bucket of water for a week or two as you prepare the new bed.  As soon as possible, tuck the bushes into their permanent home.

 

 

If your purchase is a potted rosebush...

A potted rosebush can be purchased and planted almost any time of the year with little stress to the newly bedded bush if certain precautions are heeded. Instructions for planting vary depending upon the weather and season.

Planting suggestions for a potted rose:

  • Option 1: Best! Fall and early spring, plant it now!  Clip off any lingering leaves from the past year’s growing season and discard in the trash.  This helps remove a source of fungal disease spores come next growing season.  Don’t fertilize the bushes at planting time.  If desired, a handful of potassium may be mixed into the soil at the bottom of the planting hole to help with root growth and to help prepare the bush for cold weather.  (The third number in a fertilizer rating. For example, you might stir in ¼ to ½ cup of  0 – 0 – 15 below the roots.)

  • Option 2: Late winter and very early spring, “heel” it into a temporary bed.  This means planting the bush in a not necessarily perfect fashion into loose soil for wintering over until you provide a permanent location early in the new growing season.

  • Option 3: Leave it in the pot over winter and plant in mid to late February or March.  Exercise caution when leaving plants in pots over the winter months. Keep them well watered but not standing in water. Protect from deep freezes in our area - those below 25° - especially if the temperature drop is sudden.  The cold could damage the vital root system in a pot by freezing and breaking their tender cell walls.  It would help to shelter the pots under mulch, next to the foundation of the house, or in an unheated garage during these cold spells. This may sound strange, but be sure to keep them watered during extended dry periods in winter.  It will help them better withstand the cold.

  • Option 4: During warm weather, take special care with transplanting potted roses, waiting for a rainy period, if necessary. Water well in days before transplant and have the pot's soil moist the day of the move. Prepare the hole ahead of time. When removing the bush from the pot, maintain as much soil around the roots as possible. Water the new bush in its new home thoroughly, pulling extra soil up above planting level to help maintain moisture within the bush as it becomes established. A temporary shade cover over the bush will also protect it from excess loss of moisture during very warm weather.  Continue to water regularly, daily if necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

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This Website last updated on 11/21/2014