How to Plant Shrub Roses


Shrub roses add old-fashioned charm to any sunny landscape area with their lush foliage and abundant blossoms. Shrub roses vary in size and color with most cultivars being energetic growers that are hardy to a variety of regions. Plant shrub roses in the early spring and nurture them carefully throughout the growing season to help them establish into healthy shrubs. With proper planting and early care, shrub roses should thrive for many years.

Step 1

Spread the tarp near the planting area.

Step 2

Dig a hole 1 foot deep and 1 1/2 feet wide and place the soil directly onto the tarp as you remove it. If you are planting more than one shrub rose in an area, dig holes 8 feet apart to grow specimen shrub roses (separate) or dig holes 4 to 6 feet apart to grow hedge roses (connected).

Step 3

Mix one part compost with four parts soil on the tarp to create a planting mix for the shrub rose.

Step 4

Place the container on its side and roll it back and forth to loosen the soil inside. Gently pull the shrub rose from the container and transfer it to the prepared hole. You must place the bud union approximately level with the surrounding soil.

Step 5

Fill the hole halfway with the compost and soil mixture from the tarp. Add water to the hole to fill it to the top and wait while the water absorbs into the soil (this will take only minutes). Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil and tamp the soil down firmly with your hands.

Step 6

Cut back the rose canes with the pruning shears so each cane is approximately 12 inches high immediately after you plant the rose. This will balance the root system and the canes equally for optimal growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarp
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Pruning shears


  • Montana State University: Growing Shrub Roses in Montana
  • Colorado State University Extension: Shrub Roses
Keywords: shrub roses, plant shrub roses, specimen shrub roses

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.