How To Plant Roses

A guide how to plant roses to gain thriving results

Let us assume you already have chosen your rose, know the best location in your garden and you are ready to take off for the most stunning rose garden your neighborhood has ever seen.

The mail-order package has just arrived and you are eager to grab the shovel and dig the plant hole instantly.

Great, I am always excited too, when it comes to planting a newly arrived rose-delivery.

planting roses

However, you do not have to hurry, because before planting, freshly arrived roses need a little treatment. Depending on what type of plant you bought, the planting procedure varies a little bit.

How to Plant Roses For a Good Start Into a Long Roses Life

Gardener’s Advice

Make sure the planting hole is large enough (minimum 2feet x 2feet and 2 feet deep) to insert the roots without being crammed in. Also, make sure, the soil around the roots is well cultivated and not compacted.

The Materials, Tools and Time for the Job

Time requirement

About 20-30 minutes per rose

Tools and accessories

  • Support structure or stakes
  • A shovel and Wheelbarrow
  • Garden fork
  • Water-bucket and Watering Can
  • Pruning shears

Materials for the soil

  • Organic compost or well-rotted manure
  • Rock dust for light soil
  • Coarse sand for heavy soil

Bare Root Roses

They are offered from the fall to spring. As I have described the planting of bare root roses on a different page, this article will cover the other three possibilities how to plant roses.

Container Roses

Container roses or potted roses can be bought and planted nearly the whole growing season.

Ideally, plant the rose as soon as you get it.

  • Container roses come with root balls in plastic containers. Dive the whole set ten minutes in a water bath. After draining, remove the plastic container and the label carefully, to avoid harming the young roots (ingrown labels are underestimated threads to plants).
  • Put the rose in the center of the hole and check the correct depth. The graft union, which is the swollen part between the roots and the canes, should always be about 2 inches below soil level. In warmer climates without frost, the graft union can be equal to the soil level or 1 inch above.
  • Backfill the planting hole with garden soil mixed with some organic soil amendment (Never use fertilizers in the planting hole).
  • Make sure to water regularly. Especially in summer months, container roses suffer from water shortage.

Although container roses nowadays can be planted the whole year, I would recommend reading my article about when to plant roses.

Special Packages 

Special packages are the latest invention from some big rose breeders and perhaps the one that will help rose-beginners to an easy start.

The packages come with putrescible insets, which will dissolve in the soil.

All you have to do is to put the plant together with the inset in a water bath for few minutes. This will accelerate the dissolving process of the insets in the ground.

As every rose, plant roses with special packages in an about 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep planting hole, with the graft union located slightly below the soil level.

Proceed as I explained it before with potted roses.

Discount Store Packages

Although I will not recommend buying "bagged" roses, these flowers can sometimes grow nice. While the plants are bulk stock and you mostly do not know what you get, the results can be satisfying. The clue is to inspect the plants carefully when you buy them.

  • Don’t buy any package with dry soil
  • Examine the canes for garden pests and rose diseases
  • Buy plants with a good root system; no pruned roots or short roots
  • Buy them early in spring or late fall

The planting process for the packaged roses will be the same as for planting bare root roses.


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