How to Plant New Rose Bushes


Although roses are some of the most popular flowers in the world, they have a reputation for being difficult to grow. Considering that the flower can be found throughout the northern hemisphere from the Arctic to the equator, this reputation may be undeserved. Gardeners who select the right rose shrub for their climate and give it the right start through careful planting practices will find that the shrub will thrive.

Step 1

Time rose planting based on the type of rose you have purchased. You must plant bare root roses in early spring, just after all danger of frost has passed. Container roses can be planted any time from fall to spring in locations where winter temperatures do not drop below 10 degrees. In colder locations, container roses should only be planted in spring so the shrub's root system can develop before winter cold sets in.

Step 2

Select a location for roses that receives full light and has well-drained soil. Roses cannot grow in standing water, and will develop root rot in poorly drained soil.

Step 3

Break up the soil over your rose planting location to a depth of 12 inches with a spade. Cover the soil with organic material such as compost and peat moss to a depth of 4 inches. Mix the organic material with the soil to a depth of 12 inches using the spade.

Step 4

Examine roses before planting. Bare root roses are already pruned, and do not need additional pruning. Remove any roots that are woody and brown instead of white and succulent. Place the roots in water for one hour before planting. Cut the sides of the container away from containerized roses to avoid damaging the root ball. Water the root ball to keep the roots moist. Prune away any broken canes that are the result of rough handling, as well as canes that cross the center of the plant, diseased or dead canes and weak growth that is smaller than a pencil.

Step 5

Dig a hole into the ground wide enough to spread out the roots of bare-root plants. The hole should be twice as wide as the root ball of container roses. Mound up the soil in the center of the planting hole for bare-root roses.

Step 6

Place bare-root roses over this cone and spread out their roots. Put the root ball of container roses into the planting hole. The bud union should be placed below the soil line to prevent it from freezing in winter.

Step 7

Fill the hole with water and allow it to completely drain. Use about a gallon of water.

Step 8

Fill in around the sides and over the top of the rose's roots with soil. Mound up the soil around the rose canes. Water the plant until the soil is as damp as a wrung out sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Peat moss


  • University of Missouri Extension: Roses: Selecting and Planting
  • Colorado State University Extension: Selecting and Planting Roses
  • Ohio State University Extension: Planting Roses

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Culture of Garden Roses
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension:Roses in your South Florida Landscape
Keywords: planting rose bushes, growing roses, raising rose shrubs

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."