Planting roses

 

The rose has been the nation’s favourite flower for centuries, prized for their fragrant blooms that make June the dreamiest month of the year. However late-autumn and winter, when these sleeping beauties are having their long rest, is the best time to plant. Then when spring arrives and reawakens them they will hardly have noticed being moved from pot to ground.

Plant in Good Weather

The golden rule is to get them in when the weather allows and do not plunge them into icy soil. Bare root roses can be ordered from late autumn to early spring and while you are waiting for them to be delivered, you should prepare the ground. Dig it over and add well composted organic matter if it needs a boost, then cover it with either bubble wrap, cardboard, an old carpet or anything else that will prevent frost penetrating the ground. Then the hard work is done. If this is an impossibility and your roses happen to arrive in hard weather, bide your time and keep them against the house wall until the frost and cold retreat. They will not mind at all.

When planting look at your rose carefully and position it so that the splaying stems can be seen to best advantage, because every plant has a front and back. The compost around the root ball will probably fall away, so add it to your planting hole. Don’t be afraid to trim any stems, BUT always back to an outside-facing bud. You can also shorten any over-long roots if it makes planting easier. Never add manure when planting as it may scorch the roots. Garden compost can be used, but generally well-dug garden soil is fine. If you’re replacing a rose with another, it’s best to replace the exhausted soil before planting. John Innes no 3 compost is a good, easy solution.