Growing beautiful roses begins with proper siting and proper planting
techniques. The following information describes the first steps
in growing healthy and attractive roses.
Roses establish quickly and are more resistant to pests and diseases
when planted in an ideal location. Roses require at least six hours
of direct sunlight for optimal flowering and growth, though full
sun is preferable. An eastern exposure, which receives morning sun,
is ideal for roses. Choose a planting location that is not shaded
by buildings or trees to maximize the amount of sunshine the plants
receive. Avoid planting roses near trees and shrubs that will compete
for moisture and nutrients. Make sure the site is open to allow
for air movement. Also consider water drainage to or from the planting
site. Roses grow best in well-drained soil and decline with standing
water around their root system.
Roses can be planted from early spring into early fall. Earlier
planting is normally preferred to late planting. Spring or early
summer planting allows plenty of time for good root establishment
before winter. Other advantages of spring planting are that selection
of cultivars and availability of quality plants are usually better
than later in the season.
time varies based on how plants are packaged. Bare root roses should
be planted in early to mid-spring before the new shoots start to
develop--usually late March into early April, unless soils remain
wet. Potted roses can be planted anytime from spring to early fall.
Spring planting should be done after danger of killing frost, usually
late April to mid-May.
are available as bare-root plants or potted. Bare-root plants are
usually less expensive than potted plants, but potted plants have
a greater survival rate than bare-root plants. Both are graded to
insure quality, with Grade 1 indicating the highest quality.
Bare-root plants and potted plants require special handling prior
to planting. Plant bare root roses as soon as possible after purchasing
or receiving them through the mail. Unwrap plants from the packaging
and soak the root system in a bucket of water for about an hour
prior to planting. If planting must be delayed for a few days, keep
the plants moist and in a cool, dark location, or place them into
a temporary soil trench in a shaded location. Prune out any damaged,
dead or broken roots and stems before planting. Potted plants require
little pre-planting attention. Keep plants watered and in a sunny
location until they can be planted in the garden. Prune out any
damaged, dead or broken stems before planting.
Roses thrive in a loamy, well-drained garden soil with a pH of 5.5
to 7.0. Begin with a soil test to determine pH and nutrient levels
so that corrections can be made, if needed, as the soil is being
prepared. See GreenShare Factsheet on soil
testing for more information.
soils, whether clay or sandy, benefit from the addition of organic
matter which improves drainage, aeration, and nutrient holding capacity.
Spread a two to four inch layer of organic matter on the soil surface.
Organic matter sources include compost, rotted manure, leaf mold,
peat moss, composted sewage sludge, fine grain potting bark or other
source. Then, apply three pounds of superphosphate per 100 square
feet to encourage root growth. This is the only nutrient added at
planting. Finally, turn the organic matter and superphosphate into
the soil with a shovel or garden spade to a depth of 12 inches.
If planting a rose in an existing bed, dig out enough soil to form
a hole approximately 15 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Mix three
ounces of superphosphate and approximately three shovelfuls of organic
matter with the soil removed from the hole. This becomes the backfill
soil for the new plant.
spacing varies according to the growth habit of the rose plant.
Plants growing too closely together will be tall and spindly and
produce only a few small flowers. Follow these general spacing guidelines
for best results:
Hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas: 18 to 30 inches
8 to 12 feet for climbing fences; 3 feet apart for climbing walls
12 to 15 inches
Roses: As far apart as their mature height
the soil is prepared, dig a hole approximately 15 inches deep and
18 inches wide. If planting bare root roses, form a small mound
of soil in the center of the planting hole. Then, set the plant
on the peak of the mound and spread the roots down the sides. Begin
filling the hole with the prepared soil mixture, making sure that
the graft union or "knob" on the plant is just above ground level,
which allows for some settling. Carefully work the soil mixture
around and over each root. Add water to settle the soil around the
roots and finish filling the hole.
set, mound the canes with an additional four to six inches of soil
to prevent withering of the canes before the roots become established.
Once the new shoots begin to develop and the danger of frost is
past, remove this soil slowly, over a week's time. If planting a
potted plant, remove it from its container and hold it in the hole
so the top of the soil ball is at ground level. A common problem
is planting too deep; make sure the plant is placed at the same
depth it was previously growing in the container.
the hole with the prepared soil mixture. Water the plant well to
allow the backfilled soil to settle around the root ball. Add more
soil if necessary.
at planting as described above, making sure the entire root mass
is wet. Plants require an inch of water weekly. If rainfall is insufficient,
apply water by irrigation through the first growing season to aid
plant establishment. Soak the soil to a depth of 12 inches at each
watering to encourage deep rooting. Do not apply water from overhead,
which encourages disease problems; water at soil level.
is recommended after planting. Apply a two-inch layer of mulch to
reduce water loss from evaporation during the summer months. Mulch
also increases the organic matter content of the soil, moderates
soil temperature and suppresses weed growth.
from Jane Martin and Angie Eckert, Ohio State University Extension,