Bare root roses may look dead, but don’t be fooled. They’re just dormant plants sold without dirt around their roots. Planting them before they sprout gives them a good start in your garden, so there’s less chance they’ll suffer from transplant shock, the stress of being moved.
For happy roses, give them a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day, with soil that drains easily.
How to Plant Bare Root Roses:
- Unwrap your roses and soak them in a bucket of water for a few hours.
- Dig a hole 18” wide and 18” deep.
- Mix dirt from the hole with some compost. Use it to make a small mound at the bottom of the hole.
- Gently loosen the roses’ roots. Put it on the mound, gently spreading the roots over the sides.
- If you live in a warm climate, make sure the bud union, the knob between the roots and stem, is at or just above ground level. If your climate is cold, keep the bud union 1-2” below ground level.
- Refill the hole about ¾ full.
- Fill the hole with water and let it sink in. Repeat.
- If needed, prune the stems to 8” high. Make each cut on an angle, about ¼” above a bud that faces away from the center of the rose.
- Mound 6” of soil over the rose.
- When the buds sprout, remove the mound.
If you’ve got room, add more roses. Once you fall for their lush blooms and delicious fragrances, it’s hard to stop with just one!