What You Need to Know About Planting Roses

David Chandler

When spring arrives, and the ground is thawed, it is time to start planting
your rose garden. Roses date back to biblical times and have been a
considered a cherished aphrodisiac then and still are today. Roses hold
particular mystery and fascination, not to mention the fact that they just
look and smell good!

Roses require 4 to 6 hours of sunlight everyday. It is preferable not to
plant too many trees or other plants around the rose bush because most
of these are likely to either mix with the rose or stifle its growth. If you are
replacing an old rose bush, approximately 1 1/2 cubic feet of old soil should
be removed and fresh soil added to replace it.

When positioning your rose in the garden or landscape, consider the
growth habit of the rose. For example, place climbers and ramblers along
fences, trellises, or next to arches or pergolas. This location offers them
free range of growth, and optimal potential for the biggest and showiest

Roses also look beautiful in island beds mixed with perennials. Miniature
roses make great edging plants in front of their taller cousins. Planted
singly, shrub roses make excellent specimen plants or they can be
clustered to make a flowering hedge. You can also use them to camouflage
unsightly garden objects.

Dig a hole large enough for the root mass and loosen the bottom of the
hole. You should add bone meal, which is a slow acting source of
phosphorus that leads to healthy root growth in the rose plant. Special
care should be taken with the planting depth. It varies according to the
climate you live in. If you live in a colder area, plant a bit deeper and
consult with the people growing roses in your area. If you are buying
potted roses, you should plant them about 1 inch deeper than their potted

The plant should be placed in the hole carefully, and the hole refilled with
soil, covering the roots completely. Before making the final covering, water
the rose plant and let it absorb the water. After this, water the plant more
and mound the soil about 6 inches high. The dome will keep the stems
from drying out until the plant is rooted. Gradually remove the excess soil
as the leaves open.

The best time to plant roses varies depending on the winter temperature.
Where temperatures do not drop below -10 degrees F; either fall or spring
planting is satisfactory. If you live in an area where winter temperatures
go below -10 degrees F, spring planting is preferred. Plants should be
planted in a dormant condition if purchased bare root, but container-grown
plants may be planted throughout the growing season.

Spacing of the rose plant is highly influenced by the temperature. In
regions where winters are severe, the rose plant does not grow as large
as in mild climates. Taking this into consideration, hybrid tea roses should
be spaced 1 1/2 to 3 feet apart. Large vigorous growers, such as hybrid
perpetual need 3 to 5 feet of space, and the climbers need from 8 to 10
feet of space.

If the winter temperature is below 10 degrees F, roses can grow healthy if
proper care is taken. The gardener must prepare for that cold, wet reality
as he revels in the summer air conditioning.

In zones 7 and colder, the roses enjoy their last fertilization of the season
by August 15 to limit the emergence of new rose canes, which will almost
certainly not survive the winter.

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