Planting a Bareroot Rose

Treat your roses like an investment for your garden. Prepare the planting site well, and your shrubs will provide you with years of luxurious blooms.

  • Bareroot roses are shipped in a dormant state and without soil. In comparison to potted roses, the bareroot is our preferred method for planting roses as we find that the bushes suffer virtually no transplant shock.
  • Roses are shipped in a sealed plastic bag in order to maintain optimal moisture levels. It is important that roses remain sealed in this bag until you are ready for planting, as roses must not dry out before planting. Store roses in a cool, dark place until you are ready for planting as you do not want roses to break dormancy before they are planted. You may also choose to “heel in” your roses, temporarily planting them into the ground, until you are ready for planting.
  • Plant your roses in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. When you are ready for planting, remove rose bush from plastic and give the root system an overnight soaking in a bucket of water. This will ensure that the rose bush is well hydrated.
  • In the meantime, prepare the planting site. Select a site in full sun and rich, well-draining soil. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rose’s root system, approximately 12-18” deep and 24” wide. Incorporate two heaping spadefuls of compost or well-rotted manure into the planting hole.
  • Form a cone in the bottom of the hole and evenly spread the root system out over the cone. The rose should be planted so that the bud union (swollen area above the roots and below the branching portion of the shrub) is just below the surface of the soil. Backfill the remainder of the hole, gently firming the soil to remove any air pockets. Water in very well.
  • Mound approximately 12” of soil around the canes. This will prevent the canes from drying out from exposure to wind and sun. The mound can be removed once new growth begins to emerge from canes, about two weeks after planting. At this point, you can apply a slow-release organic fertilizer.


Watch rose growing tips with Antonio on CTV's Your Morning: