Plant rose bushes in the garden. When can you plant rose bushes correctly?

Rose bushes live for many years, delighting our eyes and soul. Therefore, it is important to make sure you plant them correctly. Garden roses take root quickly - however, for successful planting, we must take into account some important aspects.


Bare root rose bushes are planted when they are in a state of vegetative rest: either at the end of autumn (in November), or at the beginning of spring (in March and the first half of April).

Due to frequent rains, the soil compacts very well around the roots and has enough moisture for the rose cuttings to root and develop new roots. During the winter, when the ground is not frozen, the roots grow and develop.

Thanks to rooting during the winter, the rose bushes will have more strength to develop in spring and then maintain vigorous plant growth for the rest of the year. Thus, the rose bushes will have a much more abundant flowering.

Here we present some simple but essential steps that must be followed for a successful plantation:

Rose bushes will grow and bloom abundantly if the location chosen for them is sunny and well ventilated. They prefer direct exposure to the sun's rays for at least 4 hours a day. If you plant a rose bush in a location with less than 4 hours of sun per day, it will not develop properly and will produce very few, if any, flowers.

Avoid soils that are too dry or too moist where water can accumulate. If a rose bush is exposed to soggy soil for too long, its roots will rot and the plant will dry out.

In autumn plantings, branches are left longer and shortened to 4-5 nodes the next spring.

Dig holes measuring 40 x 40 x 40 cm, so that the roots have more disturbed soil around them and new roots develop more easily, especially in compacted soil.


In fall plantings, DO NOT USE any type of fertilizer (no chemical fertilizers, no compost, no manure) to help rose bushes root if you live in an area with cold winters where night frosts are the norm.

If you apply fertilizer in the fall to encourage rooting, the small, white, hair-thin roots may develop too early and be damaged by December and January frosts.

In videos from the UK or other countries with a milder climate, you will see that the use of fertilizers is recommended to facilitate rooting in autumn plantings. In your case it is fine to do so, but in areas with harsher winters it is risky, because the ground can freeze up to about 30-50 cm during the winter.

Why do we not recommend applying fertilizers in autumn plantings?

Most fertilizers stimulate vegetative growth, but what we need first are well-rooted plants that can support such growth.

The basic rule is to apply organic or chemical fertilizers to any plant after it is well rooted.

Almost all fertilizers, including manure, contain nitrogen. Nitrates stimulate vegetative growth of plants.

Garden roses planted in autumn need to root, they do not need new vegetative growth that can be damaged during the winter.

If the plants have excess sap when the first frost comes (and they will if fertilizers are applied after mid-September), this sap will freeze, the ice crystals will break down the branch tissues, and the plant will die.

For spring plantings, which are done with bare root in March, we recommend applying fertilizers after one month of planting.

In spring plantings, fertilizers can be administered to help rooting.

For plants that are at least one year old, we recommend applying fertilizers starting in April.

We do not recommend applying manure to autumn plantings, because few of us know how to distinguish between well-fermented manure and incompletely fermented manure.

In autumn, rose bushes prepare for the vegetative dormancy period. It is not advisable to administer energizers and/or nutritional supplements.

Well-fermented manure (composted manure) or compost obtained from well-fermented, chemically balanced plant remains is obtained in a minimum of 5 years and can last up to 10 years.

For the same reason, we recommend applying manure or any other fertilizer to spring plantings after a month of planting, when we can consider that the rose bush is well rooted. The basic rule is to apply organic or chemical fertilizers to any plant after it is well rooted.

Why are fertilizers no longer applied with the arrival of autumn?

Root silting - an important operation

To better assimilate nutrients, it is important that the roots grip the soil well. To do this, prepare a mud from a mixture of water and soil with a consistency similar to that of whipped cream, and insert the roots of the rose bush into it so that they get well dirty.

Add fine soil to the bottom of the hole and then carefully place the roots in the hole, unrolling them well (it is very important that the graft is at ground level, and in colder areas 2-3 cm below ground level ); then fill the hole with soil and compact it well to eliminate any air pockets.

Then water abundantly (with at least 10 liters of water). If it does not rain, water each rose bush with 10 liters of water every 2-3 days for the first two weeks.

Attention: do not plant rose bushes in places where there were previously rose bushes without changing the soil at least to a depth of 30 cm and in an area of ​​one square meter!

The distance between plants should be at least 50 cm for rose bushes with large flowers and rose bushes with grouped flowers. Climbing rose bushes need a minimum spacing of 1.5 m, while weeping rose bushes and tall standing rose bushes are planted at least one meter apart.

Climbing rose bushes can be planted next to a wall, wall, fence or special support. If you plant them next to a wall, place them at a distance of 20 cm from it, in an oblique position, with the branches facing the wall and the roots facing away from the wall.

In the case of weeping and tall rose bushes, it is necessary to provide them with a support system, preferably a metal post that reaches to the last graft of the stem (to where the branches begin). To avoid damaging the roots, secure the post in the ground before planting the rose bush.

The bare root rose bushes are delivered in a plastic bag that, thanks to the greenhouse effect, maintains optimal humidity to avoid dehydration during transport.

If you delay planting rose bushes for a few days, place them in a cool place and keep them in the tightly closed plastic bag. This way, the rose bushes will not dehydrate.

VERY IMPORTANT: for autumn plantings you must make MOUNDS.

Making mounds is a very important operation to protect plants in very cold winters. In case the winter is very cold and there is no snow, the mound will protect the graft from freezing.

In late November or early December, when temperatures reach -2°C, cover the rose graft with a mound of soil to protect it from the cold during the winter.

Use well crumbled soil. Avoid clods. These form air pockets and do not provide effective protection in cold weather.

Make a mound of at least 20-25 cm if your area reaches temperatures of -10°C, or at least 30 cm if it is an even colder area. For the mounds, use soil brought from another part of the garden. Do not use the soil that is around the plant because it protects the roots from the cold.

Do not make the mounds too early when the temperature is below -2°C, as then tender buds/shoots will form under the mound and freeze during the winter.

If the area is at risk of severe frost, with temperatures below -15°C, cover the mound with straw, tree branches, corn cobs or wood chips.

Under no circumstances cover them with plastic. The plastic does not allow air circulation and the rose bushes will become moldy.

Do you know why fertilizers are no longer applied with the arrival of autumn?

Do not hesitate to contact us for additional information or whenever you think we can be of help.

Have a great day and good luck with your gardening!

The entire Famous Roses team.