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How to Plant Roses
are about as many variations to planting instructions as there are
recipes for apple pie. Ours are based on our own experience, teamed
up with a good understanding of how soils and plants work.
All of our instructions can be slightly modified to fit your situation,
except for two things:
- Don't neglect your plants between the time
you receive them and the time you plant them! Open the box and
make sure they don't dry out.
- Don't forget to water them in well after they
are planted! And don't let the soil that they are planted in dry
out anytime during the first three months after planting!
Planting Bareroot Roses
This is a typical grade #1, two-year-old bareroot rose plant
that you'll receive from Spring Valley Roses.
When to Plant. Bareroot plants are best planted
in early spring as soon as the ground has thawed and you can dig
a hole. Bareroot plants are dormant and can handle light frosts
since they don't have any foliage. The roots grow well in cool weather
and help the plant start growing under the ground before the air
Plant Preparation. When you’re ready to plant,
soak your dormant plant in a pail of room-temperature water
(keep all roots immersed) for at least four hours and no
more than 24 hours before you plant (remember, the roots are alive
and need to breathe!).
Pruning. Prune off any broken canes or roots. Then, prune
back the top of the plant so the canes are about 8-10 inches long.
Prune back to a bud that faces out—this encourages the new growth
to grow out rather than into the center of the plant.
Site Preparation and Planting. First, a word about soil:
No matter what type of soil you have, you can improve it with organic
matter. Compost is one of the best sources of organic matter and
it is readily available either in bags from your local garden center,
or from your neighborhood leaf-composting center, or you can make
it yourself. Composted manure is one of the best soil amendments;
however, make sure it is well-cured so it doesn't burn the roots.
Roses are heavy feeders, so be generous with compost.
Spacing Between Roses. If you're planting multiple
roses, here's how to determine spacing between roses. If the mature
width of your plant is 4-feet, then plant each plant 4-feet apart.
That gives each plant 2-feet on either side of the plant's center.
That's enough room for each plant to grow to mature size. If you
want a dense hedge, then space the plants closer. This will cause
the branches to grow together. If you want to see individual plant
shapes, then space the plants further apart.
- Prepare the planting site by removing all other
vegetation—either mechanically or chemically. A little extra work
now will save you a lot of weeding time later.
- Dig a hole. The hole you dig for your rose
plant should be at least 1½ feet deep by 1½ feet wide (yes, that's
big) with a mound in the center of the hole on which to place
your rose. A large hole allows you to spread out the roots without
bending or wrapping them. Keep the topsoil from this hole (first
eight inches of dirt) and discard the rest.
- Mix the topsoil that you took out of the hole
with well-cured compost or very good black soil (50:50 ratio)
and one-half cup of bone meal or phosphorous (0-20-0). Blend this
the plant in the hole to a depth that will keep all the
roots about one or two inches below the soil line after the hole
is filled in. Spread or fan the roots over the mound in the bottom
of the hole. If the roots wrap around the bottom of the hole you
can do two things: a) dig a deeper hole to accomodate the roots,
or b) prune the roots to fit the hole (as long as the hole is
at least 1½ feet deep).
- Refill one-third of the hole with the amended
soil, and lightly firm the soil around the plant (no stomping,
please!) Then fill up the rest of the hole with the remaining
soil and gently press down.
- Water, water, water. Slowly pour about two
or three gallons of water over and around the base of the plant
or until it pools on top of the soil. If the water is running
away from the plant and not soaking in, make a one-inch-high wall
of soil around the circumference of the plant about one foot from
the center. This will keep the water from running away and allow
it to soak in around the plant. The most important thing you can
give your new rose is water. Water settles the soil around the
root system, and helps the roots transport nutrients to the plant.
- IMPORTANT STEP THAT IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED: Mound
up soil over the crown of the plant to about six-inches
high so that at least two inches of the canes show. Keep the soil
there for about two weeks—it will help keep the newly planted
rose from drying out. After two weeks, gently pull or wash away
the soil mound. Be careful with this process—new leaf buds can
be easily knocked off.
back the top of the plant so that there are only 3 to 4 inches
of canes showing above the mounded soil. long. Prune back to a
bud that faces out—this encourages the new growth to grow
out rather than into the center of the plant.
- Place mulch around the base of the plant about
three inches thick. Some good types of mulch include: wood chips/bark,
compost or cocoa bean hulls. Mulch reduces moisture loss, adds
organic matter, suppresses weed growth and keeps the feeder roots
of your roses cool.
planted, your roses should break dormancy in about one to two weeks.
The plants are very vulnerable at this stage, so shelter them from
wind so they don't dry out. Don't let the soil dry out that your
rose is planted in for the first three months!
planted roses are very vulnerable to heat and dry weather so shelter
them from wind so they don't dry out.
Tools to Help You Grow Your Roses