Your roses can be bought either in containers or bare-rooted.
Bare-rooted roses are sometimes sold by mail order nurseries - the lack of
soil keeps down the weight and therefore the cost. Unlike
containerised roses, which can be planted throughout the year, it is
best to buy and plant bare-rooted rose either in mid April or
The best way to buy roses is as pot plants, normally in
3 to 4 litre pots. They are more healthy and will transplant more easily at any time of the year.
Examine the rose's top and bottom. First, ease the plant out of the container and
examine the root ball. There should be fine white roots around the edge
of the soil. Do not buy plants where the roots have grown through the
container into the soil below.
Examine the body of the plant. The leaves should be healthy-looking with no
black blotches (black spot) on them. The foliage should also be free of
black and white fly.
Make sure the size of the plant is roughly one and
a half to two times the height of the pot. If it is any larger, reject
the plant because it has been in the pot too long and may be root-bound.
The soil should be moist rather than dry.
How to Plant Roses
Roses prefer a site in full sun, but will be successful in partial shade,
especially if the shade is during the afternoon. The best soil will be
free-draining, slightly acid and medium in texture - neither sandy nor
clayey. If your soil is not ideal, improve it by digging in lots of
organic material. Aim for the best soil, but remember that roses are
tolerant plants. The best planting time is
mid April or
midSeptember. Don't plant roses where other roses have grown in the last
three years - this will greatly increase the risk of 'Rose Sickness'.
Prepare the soil by digging it well to at least a spade
and half's depth - more if you have the energy. During digging, sprinkle
the soil with a good amount of rose fertiliser or general purpose
fertiliser. Leave the soil for four weeks before planting in order to let it consolidate.
container-grown roses is simple if the soil has been prepared. Simply
dig out a hole a little wider than the root ball, remove the plant from
the container and place the plant into
the hole ensuring that the surrounding soil is level with top of the
container soil. Fill in around the plant with soil and gently firm it down. Water well if
the conditions are dry.
Bare-rooted roses need to have their roots spread out and then placed in the
planting hole with the bud union 2.5 cm (1in) below the surface of the
soil (see diagram).
Fill in with soil and gently firm it down. Water well if the conditions are
dry. If frosts occur soon after planting, it may be necessary to firm
the soil down again.
The planting method for climbers and rambling roses is as described above,
with a few points to note.
The planting hole should be about 40cm (15in) away from the wall or fence in
order to let rain get to the roots. When planting against a wall, be
sure to secure the supports against the wall before planting. Finally,
water well throughout dry periods for the first year or so.
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