How to Care for a Rose Bush Dry Root Stock Until it Is Planted


Roses are usually purchased and planted from established rose plants. One way the roses are sold is as dry root stock, also called bare root plants. Bare root roses are not sold in pots full of soil. Instead, the roses are sold in their dormant material with the roots wrapped in sacks full of wood shavings. Bare root roses may be purchased from plant nurseries or from mail order suppliers. Since they are not shipped in soil they are much more inexpensive to send. While it is best to immediately plant these in the garden, you may need to wait until weather or other conditions are suitable.

Step 1

Remove the wrapping around the roots of the rose plant. Unpack the wood shavings from the roots and place the shavings into a plastic bucket or plant pot.

Step 2

Add wood shavings or peat moss to the bucket until the depth of the shavings is equal to the size of the rose roots. Water the shavings or peat until it is as moist as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 3

Place the dry root rose in the bucket. Bury the roots in the moist wood shavings

Step 4

Set the rose plant in a cool, dark location, such as in a basement or pantry. Water the wood shavings if they begin to dry to maintain the moisture level around the rose roots.

Step 5

Remove the bare root rose from the wood shavings before transplanting the rose to its permanent location. Soak the roots in a bucket of warm water for one hour to completely rehydrate them, then plant the rose in the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Wood shavings
  • Peat moss


  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Roses
  • University of California-Davis: Selecting and Planting Bare Root Roses
Keywords: dry root roses, bare root roses, caring for roses

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.