How To Plant Roses The Scoop On Planting Roses


How To Plant Roses The Scoop On Planting Roses

How To Plant Roses The Scoop On Planting RosesHow To Plant Roses The Scoop On Planting Roses

Where to plant your rose?

First, let’s look at that sunny (more than 4 hours direct sun; no skimping) spot in the yard or indoor house in containers. How’s the water situation? Plant Roses like plenty of moisture, but hate boggy situations and will express their distaste by simply dying! If the area is really wet I’d recommend that you plant roses in a raised bed, building a containment of rock, block or railroad ties that give another two feet or so of planting depth above the existing soil profile.

Just a little damp?

Adding sand can help slightly moist soil if it’s just a little damp, but unless more than 30% of the total soil volume is sand it will actually hold MORE water. And sand decreases fertility so I feel raising the bed is really the best way to go (unless you like the idea of native roses like R. nitida or R. palustris, both wild swamp specialists from the eastern half of the States and hard to find in the trade).

What if the soil isn’t wet but really dry?

We can amend the soil with peat, manure humus and compost (preferably all of the above) and till it into a good 12″depth OR we can build the raised bed again and have total control of what our soil is like! If it sounds like I like raised beds for roses there is a good reason. One, I do and secondly (and more importantly), roses are about as fussy as any plant out there about soil conditions. If we start by tilling, sure we have given them the fluffy, light soil they like but we’ve also tilled up dormant weed seed (Crabgrass, for instance, can lay dormant for 100 years!) and the last thing a rose wants is root competition from a hungry feeder like grass. Give raised beds a look.

Landscape roses

Groundcover roses like Flower Carpets or the Pavement series offer beautiful solutions for that tough hillside or narrow strip along the parking area that were the traditional haunts of Blue Rug Juniper. These and other landscape roses are just that; roses to be used in the landscape, not bedded down delicately like some of their sissy cousins. Certainly, it improves the plant to get some soil amendment but nothing more than you would do for an azalea or spirea. These tough guys don’t ask for any special treatment and they are ready to take on hard areas in your landscape so don’t overlook these roses, especially if you might miss a week or three of gardening on occasion.

How do I plant rose?

This is a fairly simple process but we first need to know what we’re planting. Roses are sold a few different ways. Bare-root roses (often called box roses) are found in many garden centers and this is the usual way to get them if you have them shipped in the mail. I maintain you must plant bare-root in the spring and give them a season to find their feet (Some feel you can plant roses in fall if the early winter is mild; why to risk it?)

Container or potted roses have a better shelf life, better root development and I might plant a container rose in fall (especially if it was a landscape rose). These are more expensive than bare-root, and the dramatic debate rages on over the pros and cons of each (it’s usually me and the guy on the corner with fifty roses).

Container roses are easier to plant; you just plant at the soil level of the pot the same as any other flower or shrub. Bare-root must be positioned carefully depending on your climate. Warm winter areas should plant with the bud union (the swollen joint between the rootstock and the scion or grafted cane) 1″ above soil level, moderate winter areas (Zone 7-8) at soil level and hard areas should bury the bud union 2″ below the soil to ensure the survival of the scion. Some roses today are being sold on their own rootstock (species usually are) so don’t panic if you can’t detect a bud union; there may not be one. And remember, bare-root MUST be planted while still dormant so watch your rose and the thermometer closely.

Ideal Rose planting time

  • Planting times vary all over the country but here’s a quick list.
  • Northeast, and Eastern coast
  • March until June, October, and November
  • North Central
  • April to June, October, and November
  • South Central
  • December to February
  • Southwest, and Pacific Coast
  • December and January
  • Pacific Northwest
  • January to April

Read your rose tag to find out about eventual height and width (if you haven’t already) and space plants accordingly. Remember to dig those holes twice as wide and half again as deep as the plant you are planting and to water heavily after planting to eliminate air pockets left from planting.

Angel Face

The Angel Face rose has a beautiful and well balanced Old Rose scent, the quintessential rose gardening fragrance. It was an AARS winner in 1969. Angel Face roses have ruffled lavender-pink blossoms and beautiful buds. It has a strong, old fashioned fragrance, very pleasant as a cut flower. The plant doesn’t grow very tall; it averages around 2-3′ tall.


The Bonica rose was voted the World’s Favorite Rose in 1997 by the World Federation of rose gardening societies, and an All America Winner in 1987. The Bonica deserves the acclaim. Bonica roses are easy to grow and are very colorful and disease resistant. This landscape rose gardening can be planted as a hedge, specimen, or focal point.


The Blaze rose is low maintenance rose that has pure red flowers. Blaze roses provide continuous bloom through fall. It has a mild fragrance with an average diameter of 3″. The Blaze climbing rose gardening repeats its bloom again later in the season.

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