Roses planting period extends from late October to late April, with the exception of periods of severe cold or heavy rain. The fall planting brings a more beautiful and earlier flowering the following year.
It is preferable to plant roses before winter if you are planting in a soil which quickly dries out in the spring and in less-visited gardens. The shrubs have time to root in winter and early spring before the heat period arrives and they are able to resist the lack of water, in your absence.
The roses in containers or in pots can be planted all year round, even in the middle of summer, provided that they are watered sufficiently until their good recovery.
Where to plant roses
To flower well, the roses need air and sunlight. Book them a well-kept location. In shady or north-facing places, close to tall trees, they grow with difficulty and give a poor blossom. Also avoid very sunny, burning exposures, for example, near a south-facing wall.
Without being particularly demanding about the soil, they prefer open grounds, with a little heavy soil. They do not like soils that are too calcareous or too acidic.
Preparing the ground
Prepare the ground a little in advance, 2 to 3 weeks before planting. Drill at a depth of about 20 inches.
Incorporate good manure including humus as well as special fertilizer for roses. Especially do not put manure or fertilizer in direct contact with the roots, at the time of planting you may cause serious burns to the plants.
Best Fertilizers for Roses:
If you have a soil that is not suitable for roses, change it with important amendments or replace it, which is possible for some shrubs.
In case a trellis is necessary (climbers or weepers), make it before planting.
For a single rose, you can settle for a cubic planting hole of 20 inches. However, do not forget that the roots quickly exceed these limits and reach the rest of the ground. If the latter is of poor quality, the shrub can suffer and even fade quickly.
Steps to plant a rose
Before setting up the bushes, trim their roots slightly and remove those that are broken or damaged. Cut the branches 9-10 inches from the graft. Then:
- Dig a hole in the prepared soil in advance enough for the roots to feel comfortable. Place the rose so that the stem (graft) is very slightly below ground level.
- Fill the hole so that the roots remain well spread out. They must be separated by light soil. Press down without exaggerating so that the rose will fit well into the soil.
- Water thoroughly even in wet weather.
- After a few hours, when the water has penetrated the ground and the soil has returned to a normal appearance (it has been pressed again), hump about 9 inches in height. The start-up takes place in the spring, starting from the vegetation.
In case of late planting
Late planting in the spring (March-April) requires additional precautions due to the risk of branches drying out before the roots have had time to perform their functions:
- Cut the very short branches, about 5 inches from the base. It is enough that two or three buds remain per branch or even one.
- Cover the twigs completely immediately with loose soil or, better yet, wet peat. The plants are thus protected from the sun and from the winds. The buds develop in the shelter. As soon as the shoots come out, cover the feet with soil gradually.
For long stem roses and weeper roses, bury the roots from 9 to 11 inches and attach the stem to a stick placed in advance. In harsh winter areas, the heads of these roses should be protected with straw (or insulating material) and covered with a cap of kraft paper or plastic. The branches are pruned like the bushes.
For climbing roses, cut the twigs to a length of 20 inches and make a mound of about 10 inches.
There are cases where you cannot plant your roses as soon as they are in your possession (sudden frost period, unprepared ground, etc.). If the frost is involved, place your roses in a cool place (cellar for example) and cover them with sand or slightly damp peat, by simply letting the end of the twigs uncovered. If it is the ground that is not ready, lay your roses in a long ditch in your garden, and cover them with soil. In one way or another, you can keep your roses for several weeks without risk.
The planting distances
Planting distances vary by variety. To achieve a nice mass effect while allowing a normal development of the shrubs, observe the following spacings in all directions:
- 8 to 10 inches for miniatures,
- 15 to 20 inches for bushes,
- 20 to 30 inches for shrubs,
- 30 to 40 inches for stems,
- and 2 to 3 m for climbers.
In garden beds, plant the roses in staggered order to avoid voids.
How to replace a rose?
If you want to put one rose in the place of another, you must change the soil on a large volume, at least on a surface of a diameter of 25 to 30 inches and a depth of 20 inches. If the removed rose was sick or dead, it is better to wait a few years before putting another one back.