Planting bare-root roses during the dormant season allows the plants to establish quickly because this is when the soil is moist. Bare root plants are available to buy in winter and are more economical than planting pot-grown roses if you need lots of them.
- Dig out a hole in the soil to the depth of a garden spade and the same width. Put the soil to one side of the hole.
- Fork the base of the hole and add half a handful of granular fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure. Lightly firm the base of the hole with your foot.
- Set the bare-root rose in position and use a bamboo cane placed across the top of the hole to judge the final soil level around the plant. Aim to set the base of the stems just slightly below this level.
- Add a spadeful of compost to the soil dug out of the hole and mix it together. Use this to fill in around the roots of the rose, firming in layers with the heel of your foot.
- When the hole is full, add a mulch of well-rotted compost to the surface of the soil to help conserve moisture. Water the rose well.
Don’t plant during frosty weather as intense cold can kill the roots of the rose. Keep bare-root plants in a frost-free shed until daytime temperatures are above freezing.
This video tutorial will walk you through the process of what to do when your bare root roses arrive, how to “wake up” your bare root roses from dormancy and get them growing, as well as how to keep your plants dormant for a little while longer if you aren’t ready to plant yet.