How to Plant Bare Root Flowers


Growing flowers from transplants saves you the time and space it takes to start flowers from seed. Perennial flowers are sometimes sold as bareroot plants. These plants are not sold or shipped in soil but instead are shipped while the plant is dormant with the roots packed in slightly moist peat moss or a similar packing. Roses are often sold as bareroot plants, but other perennial flowers, such as althaea and phlox, are also sold as bareroot stock. Planting these promptly and correctly is necessary or they might not survive.

Step 1

Prepare a well-draining garden bed in an area that receives the amount of sun required for the particular flower variety you are planting. Lay a 1- to 3-inch layer of compost over the bed and till it in to the top 8 inches of soil to add drainage and nutrients to the garden.

Step 2

Fill a bucket with lukewarm water. Set the bareroot flowers in the bucket so just the roots are underwater. Leave them to soak for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole as deep as the roots and twice as wide. Build up a 1- to 2-inch mound of soil in the bottom of each hole. Space the planting holes at the distance recommended for the flower variety.

Step 4

Spread the roots of each flower plant. With a clean pair of shears, cut off any roots that are broken or damaged.

Step 5

Set the plant in the hole, spreading the roots around the mound in the bottom. Arrange the plant so it sits with the crown just above soil level. The crown is where the leaves and stems emerge from the root system. Refill the hole with dirt, firming it around the plant with your hands.

Step 6

Mix 1 tbsp. 20-20-20 analysis fertilizer with 1 gallon of water. Water the plant with this solution immediately after transplanting to encourage quick, healthy root growth.

Step 7

Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch around the plant, taking care not to cover the crown. Water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Shears
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Perennials: Transplanting
Keywords: transplanting bareroot flowers, perennials plants, new flower garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.