Planting Rose Bushes


Roses are a popular landscaping choice, but planting them yourself can be a risky endeavor. Rose bushes can be quite particular about their growing conditions, so it's important to choose an appropriate spot when planting them. If the location has poor drainage or doesn't get enough light, the plant is likely to die. However, the good news is that with a little extra work, it's fairly easy to scout out a good spot for your rose bush. Physically planting the bush is the easy part and requires little more than a few simple gardening tools.

Step 1

Find a spot in your yard or garden that is clear of other trees and plants and gets direct sunlight at least six hours per day. Rose bushes need several feet of space around them to branch out, and they must have ample sunlight to grow.

Step 2

Check the drainage capability of your selected plot. Dig a 12-inch-deep hole in the spot and fill it with water from the hose. Wait until all of that water drains from the hole, then fill it again. If the water drains from the hole in less than two hours, the soil drainage is excellent. If it still has some standing water, choose a different spot to test.

Step 3

Round out the test hole so that it is just slightly larger than the pot that's holding the rose bush's root ball. Sprinkle a handful of bone meal into the bottom of the hole, then add an inch or two of compost to increase drainage.

Step 4

Mix the soil you removed from the hole with several shovelfuls of compost. This provides extra nutrients to the plant and further aerates the dirt.

Step 5

Turn the potted rose bush onto its side and gently tap the root ball out of the container. If the plastic pot is packed too tightly, use a gardening knife to carefully slit the side of the container.

Step 6

Place the plant, root-ball-down, into the hole and fill in the hole with soil. Mound the soil slightly around the bottom inch of the stem.

Step 7

Water the rose bush thoroughly, soaking the soil but leaving no standing water on the dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hose
  • Bone meal
  • Compost
  • Potted rose bush
  • Gardening knife


  • "Rose Magazine": Planting Roses
  • University of Illinois Extension: Our Rose Garden
Keywords: planting rose bushes, rose bush planting, rose bushes

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.