6 Easy Steps in Planting A Rose That Will Assure Its Success

If there is one thing I’ve learned about growing plants over the last 50 years it is to do things right. Try not to cut corners and learn from someone who has had success.

Below we share 6 quick tips on planting a rose and 6 care tips on making it grow in your rose garden.

woman planting a rose bushPin

6 Easy Steps For Success In Planting A Rose

Digging The Hole

  • Dig hole for a rose bush, by first removing soil to a depth of 24″ inches. 
  • Loosen soil in the bottom of the hole
  • Remove stones and debris
  • Work in manure or peat moss, compost, organic matter and bonemeal fertilizer. 
  • Remove dead and broken roots
  • Suspend the bush in the center of the hole.

If hole is too large for root system, build up a cone of soil in the bottom to support the bush at its proper height.

The swollen, knobby part of the stem should be just barely below the level of the surrounding soil.

Positioning The Rose Bush or Shrub

  • Hold the bush in the proper position, resting it on the cone of soil.
  • Then replace the soil in the hole
  • Remove all stones and debris from the fill as they appear. 
  • Work the soil in and around the roots, tamping it down firmly to prevent air pockets. 
  • If the bush has settled, pull it out gently
  • Remove the soil from the hole
  • Replant the bush, this time a little higher. 
  • But if the bush is at the proper height, add soil to the hole until it is half full.

Add Water To The Hole

  • Pour a bucket of water into the partially filled hole to speed up the settling of the soil and prevent the occurrence of air pockets around the roots of the rose bush. 
  • After the water has drained away – in just a few minutes if the soil has good drainage – add more soil to the hole. 
  • Carefully tramp it down by walking around the bush. 
  • Continue to add soil to the hole, firming it lightly, until the ground level of the surrounding area is reached.

Mound Soil High Around The Base

  • Mound soil high around the base of the rosebush to keep the wind and sun from drying out the canes while the plant is becoming established. 
  • A convenient method is to place the soil inside a high waterproof paper collar that has been placed around the bush. 
  • When the leaf buds swell and the first leaves appear, pull the soil away from the base of the bush. 
  • Do this with care so that no leaf buds covered by the mound of soil are accidentally broken off.

Trimming Up The Bush

  • Trimming up the bush is the final step in planting. 
  • If it has just come from the nursery, it was probably cut back to a foot or so before shipping. 
  • Trim the rose canes to the highest healthy bud. 
  • If the bush has been growing in the garden, cut out wood that was winter-killed, remove weak and crisscrossing growth and shape the plant.
  • Make all cuts 1/4″ inch above a well-developed, outside bud.

Removed All Faded Flowers

  • Remove all faded flowers that inadvertently escaped the pruning shears last fall
  • Do this promptly to prevent the bush from expending its stored energy in producing seed rather than more and bigger roses. 
  • Cut back the cane to the highest 5-part leaflet
  • Make a slanting cut 1/4″ inch above the nearest well-developed, outside bud. 
  • If only a few large, showy blooms are desired, remove secondary or side buds, leaving one strong bud per cane.

6 Tips On Making A Rose Flourish In Your Garden  

Fertilize Established Roses After Spring Pruning

  • Fertilize established roses soon after pruning in the spring. 
  • Newly planted bushes will not need extra feeding the first year if bonemeal was added in planting, as suggested above. 
  • Apply small amounts of a complete fertilizer often, until mid-August. 
  • Work the material in shallowly.

Mulch the Rose Bed

  • Mulch the rose bed with buckwheat hulls, ground corncobs, peat moss or other material soon after making the first application of fertilizer in the spring. 
  • Mulch will improve the appearance of the bed
  • Mulch will reduce water loss from the soil
  • Mulch decreases the incidence of black spot and discourage weeds.

Water The Rose Bed When Necessary

  • Apply irrigation to the rose bed when necessary
  • If covered with a mulch, water only during times of extended drought. 
  • Apply irrigation with a soaker hose, moistening the soil deeply. 
  • Roses should be watered early in the day so that the foliage has time to dry before nightfall.

Spray Or Dust Roses Regularly

Spray or dust rose bushes regularly with an all-purpose material so that insects, such as the tiny, sap-sucking aphids, and diseases are kept under control. The war against these pests should be begun when the plant first starts growth and leafs out in the spring.

Control Japanese Beetles

  • Control Japanese beetles before they can do damage. 
  • Weekly applications of Neem oil or diatomaceous earth dust, will provide control. 
  • Japanese beetles can be killed in the grub stage by treating the lawn with Diatomaceous earth or Neem oil drenches.

Prevent Black Spot

  • Prevent black spot, the most serious disease of roses in all parts of the United States except the arid West. 
  • An all-purpose dust or spray containing sulfur, regularly applied from early spring on, will prevent the disease. 
  • Aim to prevent black spot; do not wait until it has already done their damage.