The Best Method for Planting a Rose Bush

Overview

Roses can grace your garden with beauty that invites visitors to stop and admire. Roses can be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 through 10, as long as winterizing care is given to roses in the colder climates where temperatures remain below freezing for an extended period of time. Choose a sunny, well-drained location for your rose bush, with late afternoon shade.

Container-Grown Rose Bush

Step 1

Plant roses anytime, from spring to fall, with fall the optimal time as the plant's energies will be spent in root development instead of producing blooms or foliage.

Step 2

Saturate the container plant with water, giving the roots time to absorb the moisture while you dig the hole.

Step 3

Dig the hole twice as deep and three times as wide as the container. Digging the hole larger loosens the soil, making it easier for the roots to expand.

Step 4

Fill the hole with water. After the water has seeped from the hole, add a few inches of organic matter to the bottom of the hole. Organic matter can be household compost, leaf mold or a commercial product.

Step 5

Remove the rose bush from the container. If the roots are tightly bound, use a knife to make about eight downward cuts around the sides of the root ball. Use your fingers to lightly loosen the roots on the bottom.

Step 6

Place the root ball into the hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is about 1 to 2 inches below the level of the ground. Placing the root ball below ground level will ensure that the bud union, where the stems meet the graft, is beneath ground level for optimal growth. Backfill the hole as needed to raise the root ball into the proper position.

Step 7

Backfill the sides of the hole with the amended soil, pressing it down as you go. Add soil across the top of the root ball, to cover the bud union.

Step 8

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch. Water thoroughly and every 7 to 10 days thereafter when there is no saturating rain.

Bare-Root Rose Bush

Step 1

Plant bare-root rose bushes as soon as the plant arrives or is available at your local garden nursery. Remove the root from the bag. Place the root in water to soak for at least 8 hours to rehydrate the plant.

Step 2

Dig a hole 24 inches wide and deep. Mix about 25 percent organic matter (50 percent if you are working with clay soil) with the removed soil. Backfill the hole about half way with the amended soil.

Step 3

Create a cone in the center of the hole using some of the amended soil. The point of the cone should reach the top of the hole.

Step 4

Remove the bare-root from the water and spread the roots over the cone. The bud union should be 1 to 2 inches below ground level. Adjust the height of the hole as needed. Backfill the hole with the amended soil, pressing it down as you go.

Step 5

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch. Water thoroughly and every 7 to 10 days thereafter when there is no saturating rain.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Planting Rose
  • Rose Gardening
Keywords: rose bush, planting roses, roses

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.