Planting Roses

Your Webpage Title Plant your rose anytime from spring to early fall depending on the weather in your area. Roses need to be in the ground at least 6 weeks before your first frost in the fall to allow the roots time to establish before the weather changes and the plant goes dormant, or they can be planted after the last frost in the spring when the ground has warmed up to ensure the rose will establish quickly.

How To Plant Your Roses

Begin with a soil test to determine pH and nutrient levels so that corrections can be made if needed. A pH of 6.5 is the point where nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK), plus trace minerals are most easily available to your flowers. You can pick up a test at your local gardening center or send a sample to your local extension office.

Dig a BIG HOLE. It is the single most important factor in growing beautiful, large rose bushes. The hole needs to be 2’ x 2’ to give the roots room to spread since plant roots tend to stay inside the holes they are planted in. 

Prep the soil. Mix 1/3 peat moss with soil from the top 2/3 portion of the hole. Discard the soil from the bottom of the hole as it is normally not as fertile as the top. Add 1 cup of bone meal to the mixture, and then place aged cow manure in the bottom 6” of the hole. This fertilizer will provide food for the rose when the roots reach it after the first growing season. Manure and some compost material can be hot, so putting it only in the bottom of the hole will prevent the fine feeder roots from burning. Fill the hole with enough soil mixture so the rose will sit 1” lower than the level of the surrounding area.

Set the plant in place. Squeeze the sides of the gallon container to loosen the plant, place one hand over the surface and turn upside down, catching the rose as it slides from the pot, and then place the rose in the large hole you just prepared. Fill the hole with the remaining soil mixture and water well.

How To Water Your Roses

Water newly planted roses 2 to 3 times per week until established. Afterward, give them a deep watering, (2 inches) once a week, or if extremely warm, twice a week.

Always water at the base of the plants to keep the foliage dry and prevent diseases. Well-watered roses are more disease resistant, as water deprivation stresses plants and makes them susceptible to disease and pests. If you cannot water at the base of the plant, water early in the day making sure the rose has time to dry out before nightfall.

Water well before and after feeding or treating with anything.

How To Fertilize Your Roses

Feed your roses with a liquid-only fertilizer during the first season. Roses are heavy feeders and the granular fertilizers are too hot and will burn the fine baby roots and kill the rose. We recommend using our Founder's Fish Fertilizer every 4-6 weeks while blooming. Do not use any other fertilizer that starts in a granular form. A granular type fertilizer, like our Heirloom Boost and Bloom, can be used during the second season and beyond.