Poets and lovers have sung their praises for centuries, and now you too have decided to proclaim your love for roses by planting a rose bush in your garden. You’ve heard the names of strange-sounding diseases that afflict rose bushes, and all the complicated pruning methods -it all sounds so complicated!
Fear not. Planting a rose bush in your garden is not nearly as difficult as you imagine. Follow these simple guidelines to plant a rose bush that will lend unmistakable beauty to your garden.
Before You Plant
While you’re waiting for spring to arrive, start thinking about what kind of rose bush you’d like to plant in your garden. There are literally thousands of varieties, and the choices can seem overwhelming. Try to pick a rose bush that will thrive in your climate. Visit your local nursery to inspect their selection.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your nursery is a great resource for learning about plants, and not just purchasing them. Also, keep an eye out for rose bushes that catch your eye in your very own neighborhood.
Does a neighbor grow a rose bush that you’ve always admired? Ask them what type of variety it is, and what kind of care it demands. Find out if their rose bush demands frequent attention or is prone to disease. These are things you will want to know before planting a rose bush in your garden.
Once you’ve chosen a rose bush that you think will suit your garden nicely, make sure you choose and prepare a good location. Ideally, you will want to do this even before purchasing the rose bush. Choose a location where the rose bush will receive six hours of sun light every day, where air circulation is good and the soil receives good drainage and is relatively fertile.
When to Plant
Most bare-root rose bushes should be planted in late winter. If you purchase roses grown in a container, plan to plant in early spring. You should avoid summer planting.
The stress of planting of hot weather is often too much for a new plant, but it is possible. If you do plant in the summer, be prepared to water your new rose bush every 1 to 2 days.
Preparing to Plant
You’ve chosen a good location and now you’re ready to prepare the bed. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the size of your rose bush’s container. Rose bushes have large, extensive root systems. Your rose bush will have an easier time putting down roots and extending its roots if you’ve dug a large hole.
Put the soil that you dig out into a wheelbarrow, and mix equal parts compost and topsoil into the soil. Return part of this soil mixture into the hole. You may also want to add a cup of phosphate fertilizer into the hole.
If you’ve purchased bare-root roses, it’s a good idea to soak them for a few hours before planting. After they have soaked for at least two hours, use sharp pruning shears to cut off the tip of the roots. Now you are ready to plant.
Planting Your New Rose Bush
Many rose bushes come with tags with instructions on how to plant them. A general rule of thumb is to shape a mound at the bottom of the hole and place the bare-root Rose bush over the mound, smoothing the roots over the mound. If the rootstock seems to fan out flatly, or if the ends of roots seem to curve upward, it is not necessary to form a mound.
Simply lay the rootstock gently into the hole, and begin to cover the roots with the soil medium. Once the hole is filled about 2/3 of the way, water the hole and let it drain. Once it has drained, fill the rest of the hole with water. Tap down the soil gently to get rid of any air bubbles.
Care for Your New Rose Bush
Most newly planted rose bushes require one inch of water a week, but you may need to augment this, depending on your climate. Learn to read signs of stress. If the leaves of your rose bush seem to droop, it probably needs more water. If the leaves become yellow and start to drop, you may be over watering.