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Planting Roses

You choose your rose bush - now what? Planting your rose in the right sized hole at the correct depth could determine if your rose grows for years to come or if it dies after the 1st winter. Is it a grafted rose or own-root? Is it a climbing rose, a ground cover, miniature, or a large shrub? You must know what your planting and how to plant it.

There are two basic kinds of roses to plant - grafted or own-root. They can already be in pots growing or bareroot just leafing out.

Check the first picture for a rose that's grafted with a bud union where the grafts meet. You can tell grafted roses from own-root by looking at the base of the plant, its looks like a big knob. Many roses planted today, including Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras are grafted (although some are own-root). Grafted roses have traditionally done well in many areas of the country, from zone 5 - 9. > In zones 3-4 plant grafted rose with the bud union 3-4" below ground level - In zone 5, plant the bud union just below ground level, and in zones 6-9 plant the bud union above the ground around 2".

Check the second picture for a rose that's own-root. It will just look like all the stems coming together at the base of the plant. In northern growing zones 2,3 and 4 grafted roses have a harder time surviving winter, so many people choose to plant own-root roses as they come back year after year on there own roots and many of the hardier roses will come back even if they die-back to the crown at ground level! In zones 3-9 plant own-root roses right at ground level where the crown meets with the stems, at ground level.

Before you plant, test the soil to see what you need to add to amend the soil. More information is available on this is the fertilizers article. Remember roses need 6 hours or more of sunlight daily, 1" of water weekly, and protection from strong winds. Roses grow best in clay-slightly sandy loam at a ph balance of 6-6.5. Organic fertilizers are perfect for roses as they improve the soil as well as grow beautiful roses. There are also good chemical fertilizers for roses. Check with your local Nursery and decide if you want organic or chemical fertilizers, and carefuly follow directions for fertilizing.

For large rose bushes, including climbing roses that are potted, dig a hole 2' x 2' feet deep so you can spread out the roots nicely in the hole. Add lots good soil and fertilizer to the hole. Tamp down the soil to get out air and water everyday for 2 weeks to get your roses off to a good start.

For medium rose bushes 2-4' that are potted, dig a hole close to 2' x 2', follow other directions above.

For small rose bushes 1-2', dig a hole 1' x 1'. follow other directions above.

Roses also come bare-root grafted or bare-root own root. Follow the Nurseries directions for planting bare-root roses. Each rose will come with directions, but still dig th1e holes as mentioned above to get your roses off to there best start for years of beautiful blooms.