Gardening tips: The Helpful Gardener brings the pleasure of gardening
to your home. You will find our rose
gardening articles collected in one spot. Check back often because
we are constantly adding new tips, profiles, and spotlights on roses.
Give your Roses a Head Start!
Planting Requirements for a New Rose
A new rose bush can provide decades of beauty and enjoyment if properly
planted and tended. The planting requirements for a new rose are both
simple and important. The first months in a new home are crucial for
the plant’s survival. While it’s true that roses will grow
and thrive without the benefit of your expertise, a little knowledge
can go a long way.
When you receive your new rosebush, chances are it will be un-planted
and its roots wrapped in moss. It is very important that you keep the
plant moist and cold until you are able to plant it properly. For example,
a basement is an ideal place for an unplanted rose bush. While a rose
bush can survive outside of the soil for an extended time, it is also
very important that you plant it as soon as possible.
Rose bushes are usually sold in the winter while dormant. They begin
to grow and bloom in the springtime and it is crucial that they are planted
before this occurs. Your rosebush should be securely rooted in the ground
before springtime, when new shoots begin to grow. Generally, March and
April are ideal months for planting.
The first step in planting your new rose is finding a good place to
put it in the ground. Your rose should get at least 6 hours of sun each
day, and should be planted in soil with good drainage. You can check
the drainage of your soil with a simple test: dig a hole that is 12 inches
deep, fill it with water and wait for the water to drain. Once the water
has drained, refill the hole, if it is empty in less than two hours your
soil has excellent drainage!
In addition to drainage, roses have other specific soil requirements.
They prefer a more acidic soil with a pH ranging from 5.8 to 6.3. If
your soil is too acidic—or too basic—you may ask your local
nursery what you can add to the soil in order to correct the problem.
Pine needles and lime are both acidifying agents that you may find in
your own home or garden shed!
If you are planting more than one bush in your garden, be sure that
they are reasonably far apart. Remember, they will grow and air will
need to circulate between them to keep them disease free. Rose bushes
will crowd each other out if planted too close together. The distance
between the bushes ranges from two to ten feet, depending on the type
of bush. Ask about the specific spacing for your new rose bush at the
nursery at the time of purchase.
Weed your garden bed and clear it of plant debris and waste before planting.
A clean garden bed means less likelihood of pests and disease ravaging
your beautiful roses. They will not tolerate root competition, especially
from heavy feeders like grass. Also, if it has not already been done,
prune back the roots of your rose bush one half inch; this will encourage
Soak your new rose bush in water for 24 hours before planting in order
to prepare it for the change. Make sure to dig a hole that is at least
two square feet for your rose. Build a small mound of dirt in the center
of the hole and spread the roots out on top of it. In colder climates,
the roots should be buried slightly deeper than in warmer Southern climates.
Once you have planted your rose, mulch the area surrounding it. Remember
to leave a space of several inches around the rose clear of mulch. If
mulch is placed too close to the plant, rotting can occur. Mulch is organic
plant matter that spreads nutrients to the soil surrounding the rose
as water runs through it. It is a natural and simple way to improve your
The first few days after transplantation are the most crucial. You should
build a small basin of dirt around the base of your rose bush in order
to help it to retain water. Water the rosebush daily for the first week
after transplantation. After this week, water every three days adjusting
to the weather.
Once you begin to see new shoots coming out of the mound of dirt surrounding
your rose, it is time to wash the mound away. Your rose bush is growing,
this is good! But you must continue to care for your rose throughout
its life. Rose specific fertilizers can be found in any drug store and
should be added to the soil around your rose bush every two to three
By following these planting instructions you are ensuring a healthy,
stable rose bush that will beautify your garden for years! A new rose
bush is like a baby, while it requires a lot of love and attention at
first, it will grow stronger and more independent with time and you will
surely be proud of the results!