When it comes to romance, few flowers express your passion like a red rose. The beautiful rose has held the honored place as the flower of love since the Roman period, when large rose gardens were grown for their beauty and fragrance. Cultivation dates to 5,000 years ago. According to the University of Illinois Extension, roses they have existed for 35 million years. Yet, roses continue to hold a fascination today as gardeners strive to grow these hardy shrubs in gardens. Typically planted from bare roots, roses thrive for years and adorn backyards across America.
Select a location for roses that receives at least six hours of direct sun a day. Even though roses will grow in less light, growth is inhibited and blooming is decreased.
Test the soil to determine the pH and condition of the soil. Follow instructions included in the kit for fertilizing and amending the soil. Adjust the pH to 5.5 to 6.5.
Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil and work in well. Roses prefer rich soil high in organic matter.
Soak the root ball of the rose bush by placing the rose in a bucket of warm water. Allow to soak at least three hours, but no more that 24 hours. Roots are typically packed tightly in wood chips or mulch that falls away from the roots with soaking.
Remove from water and loosen the roots with your hands. Prune roots by 1/3. Prune tops back to 12 to 15 inches.
Dig a hole 12 inches deep and 18 inches in diameter in the prepared soil. Mound several inches of loose soil in the bottom of the hole. Spread the roots of the rose over the mound and fill in around the roots with soil.
Position the bush so the bud union--the section where the stems meet the roots--rests just above the soil level. Firm soil down with your hands to secure the rose bush.
Water thoroughly to moisten the soil to the root level and keep soil moist until new growth appears. Reduce watering to once a week.