Planting Roses into Your Garden

Planting Roses into Your Garden

Picking the Right Location

The most important thing you will do with your rose when planting is to choose the final planting position very carefully. Choosing a position in the garden that doesn’t get wet and boggy, with plenty of room around the plant and at least half a days sunshine that is not too sheltered so that winds can filter through the branches is perfect and will make a massive long term difference to the performance of your roses. 

You may have previously heard the term “Rose Replant Sickness” which refers to roses not being able to be planted where ones were previously. However it is now perfectly ok to plant a rose where one was before if you use Rootgrow Mycorrhizal Fungi at planting time in the hole.

Struggling to find the right position for your new rose in the garden? You could either dig up some lawn or clear an overgrown area making sure all weed roots are removed from the newly created border before planting or why not use a large heavy container patio pot for your rose. The larger the rose, the larger the pot needed, so our smallest Patio Roses can be successfully grown for many years in a container thats 12-18” deep and wide going up to a half barrel size pot for a large Climbing or Rambling rose. 

What Soil Type is Right?

Garden roses will perform well in almost all soil conditions tolerating all kinds of growing medium including sandy, chalky and heavy clay soil. Ideally you should first check the PH soil acidity levels of your planting position as roses prefer soils that are around neutral to slightly acidic or with low alkaline levels, if your soil is heavily acidic then a heavy application of garden lime into the hole with an annual top up of a good handful sprinkled all around the base of the plant will give great results.

If your garden soil is poor, sandy, chalky or heavy clay, enrich the planting area before planting your roses ideally by digging in plentiful amounts of well rotted manure or garden compost.

How to Plant Garden Roses in Garden Borders

Soak Bareroot Plants Overnight
Step One

Soak Bareroot Plants Overnight

Bareroot bush roses (including Climbers and Rambling Roses) should be root soaked in a bucket of water overnight before planting. Bareroot Standard Roses (supplied March only) should follow the same steps.

Hole Preparation
Step Two

Hole Preparation

Using a garden spade, dig a hole big enough to incorporate all the roots of the rose approximately to a depth of the spade, loosen up the bottom of the hole with a fork to improve rooting and drainage and if your soil is poor add some well rotted manure or compost and blend in to the soil at the bottom of the hole. Then add a good handful of granular rose feed to the bottom of the hole and dig in with a fork. If planting conditions are dry or its been a long time since heavy rain water the hole in advance of planting with at least 5 litres of water and leave for a few hours or overnight before planting your rose.

Feed & Rootgrow
Step Three

Feed & Rootgrow

Rootgrow, using this product at planting time will benefit all roses leading to quicker and stronger establishment and is particularly beneficial if your soil conditions are poor, dry or sandy and essential if you are planting a rose where there was one in the same position before to prevent problems with rose replant sickness.

If your soil is good and fertile then it’s not an essential product but will give added benefits and is well worth the small investment per plant needed. Before adding rootgrow into the planting hole add a few inches of unfertilised soil over the fertilised and enriched soil at the base of the hole as Rootgrow works best if not in direct contact with fertilisers other than Empathy Afterplant Rose Food.

Planting Bareroot Bushes

Planting Bareroot Bushes

Bareroot bush roses (including Climbers and Rambling Roses) should be root soaked in a bucket of water overnight before planting.

Wearing thick gloves, hold the rose over the planting hole and sprinkle Rootgrow if used over the wet roots and into the sides and base of the hole, place the roots of the rose into the hole and spread them out, hold the rose securely around the neck above the roots so the neck is just above ground level and half fill the hole with soil, with the heel of your foot firm the new soil in moderately around the roots then repeat filling and heel in one more time so the planting hole is full and level with the surrounding soil borders and gently rake and level  the soil surface around the rose when finished.

Planting Bareroot Standard Roses

Planting Bareroot Standard Roses

Bareroot Standard Roses supplied between November and February should initially be planted into 10 to 15lt plastic nursery pots, see below for full instructions. Keep in this pot until fully rooted and well established with plenty of leaves for final planting late Spring or early Summer. This is because the root system of a Standard Rose is much more vulnerable to frost damage and loss in its first year after planting, once potted keep outside and watered over winter until fully rooted, if severe winter weather occurs with spells of freezing day and night weather place the potted rose in a cold greenhouse, shed or garage whilst the severe weather persists moving back outside once normal winter weather returns (normal winter night frosts to minus 5c should not be a problem).

Bareroot Standard Roses supplied in March should be root soaked in water overnight when received and planted outside into their final planting position the day after.

Ensure all Standard roses are staked and tied on the north side of the stem with a 4 to 5ft stake to help avoid wind and frost damage immediately after planting using a strong pressure treated wooden stake and a thick tie screwed to the top of the post. Consider protecting established outdoor planted Standard Roses in severe winter weather with fleece on the flowering head and foam pipe lagging around the stem

Planting Potted Roses

Planting Potted Roses

Before attempting to plant a potted rose you need to ensure that its fully rooted into the compost in the pot that it was supplied in. If the rose is in full leaf and/or with flower buds forming then it should be fine and ready to plant, if it’s a dormant plant or with few leaves then it’s probably not yet ready to plant, to be certain put some thick gardening gloves on and with one hand spread over the top of the pot and around the neck of the pot, gently turn the pot upside down and slowly remove the pot whilst in the upside down vertical position. If you can see a system of new roots going all the way round the outside of the compost ball and the compost is a solid firm lump then it is ready to plant, if the compost begins to fall apart then quickly replace the pot and keep outside and watered in the pot for a few more weeks until fully rooted and testing for planting again.

If fully rooted and ready to plant, remove pot and gently place into the prepared hole (pre-water rose and hole night before if dry) to make sure its at the right depth so the base of the plant where the stems are shooting from is just above ground level, once you have the depth right, remove the rose from the pot and ideally add a scoop or 30g of Rootgrow into the bottom of the hole and sit the rose peat ball back on top of the rootgrow so that the roots are in direct contact with the granules. Half fill with soil and heel in moderately to firmly around the roots, then completely fill the hole and firm in again and gently rake and level  the soil surface around the rose when finished.

Water Well
Final Step

Water Well

Water in well avoiding any leaves where possible, immediately after planting with at least 5 litres of water and using a shower attachment on the watering can or water gun.

Be very aware that in hot dry conditions in the border or if planted close to sunny walls, other large plants, trees or hedges these conditions can quickly remove the moisture around the roots of the newly planted roses and cause severe wilting.

Be vigilant and always ensure the ground around the roses remains moist for a few months until the roses become established and rooted into the soil. Daily watering may be needed during very hot weather until fully established and all roses old and new will benefit from watering during prolonged spells of hot and dry weather.

Minimum Planting Distances between roses

Front Border/Patio Bush Roses 60cm / 2ft apart
Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Bush Roses 90cm / 3ft apart
Shrub and David Austin Roses 90-120cm / 3-4ft apart
Ground Cover Roses 90-180cm,/ 3-6ft apart
Climbing & Rambling Roses 180cm / 6ft apart
Standard Roses (Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Patio) 90cm / 3ft apart
Standard Roses (Weeping) 180cm / 6ft apart