Planting Guide
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Container Grown vs Bare Root Roses
Bare Root Roses
Container Grown Roses
Planting Bare Root Roses
Planting Container Grown Roses
Planting Roses in Containers

When getting ready to plant your roses you need to ask yourself a few questions. One would be what type soil do I have? This can be determined by reviewing the previous topic on Ground Preparation. Another question should be what would be the best location for my roses? Then maybe, how far apart should I plant them? Should I plant container grown or bare root roses? And finally, when should I plant my roses.

Most rose varieties enjoy full sun. Some rose varieties will tolerate moderately shady areas if they can enjoy a half a day fo full sun. Roses like to have dry foliage, therefore , early morning sunshine is best. This will allow the sun to dry the morning dew off the leaves. Keeping the plants dry will help in guarding against diseases. When roses are grown in too much shade they tend to produce weaker canes and bloom less profusely than those grown in full sun.

Spacing will be determined by many factors. What type roses are you growing, floribunda, hybrid tea, grandiflora, miniatures, or climbers. Also if you know the growing characteristics of the plants would be good. If a plant grows into a very bushy shrub, they should be planted far enough away from other plants to allow for the full sun they need. Climate is another factor in determining you rose garden spacing.

Ideally roses need to be spaced close enough together that they fill the bed, yet far enough apart that they don't crowd each other. Most hybrid tea, grandiflora, and floribundas can be spaced 24" apart in frigid weather. If floribundas have a wide spreading habit they need to be spaced 30" apart. Polyanthas an miniatures can be planted 12" to 18" apart. In areas of the country that the climate has little or no frost these distances can be 6" more on each type plant to allow for more profuse growing habits.

Shrub and garden roses vary in size so an ideal spacing will range accordingly. A good rule of thumb would be to plant them as far apart as they will grow high. This would be 4 to 6 feet apart. In warmer climates you can add 6" to 12" to those distances.

Climbers to be trained on an fence should be planted 8 to 10 feet apart. Climbers to be trained on a vertical up and over arbor or on a trellis or wall can be planted as close ad desired to provide good coverage.
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Container Grown vs Bare Root Roses
This is an area that I have to be carful not to show prejudice. As a general rule we grow container grown roses and ship them bud and bloom. This means that you will be able to see what you are getting for your money quickly. In all honesty these are not the very best plants to set out. Before you run to the other guy to get your plants look at the pros and cons. Both types have drawbacks.

Bare Root
Bare root roses could be the best to set out provided they are cared for properly. The reason for this is they require little if no trimming to the root system before they are shipped to the consumer. These plants will need to be planted while they are dormant. Because of this they will require a good bit of care up front to insure their survival. Keeping the canes moist on dormant transplanted plants is essential. These plants are shipped with wax on their canes or some type cover to retain the moisture in the canes until they are planted. While if planted quickly after processing bare root roses do well, there vigor diminishes quickly if they are not planted and cared for soon. These plants should be planted in the early spring.

Container Grown
The biggest con to potted roses is the fact that the root system has to be trimmed in order to place it in a container. This will slow down the growth some the first year. I've planted both container grown and bare root plants over the years and have seen no difference in the quality after the first growing season, and little difference the first season. If the plants in pots have the nutrients needed to promote good growth I have actually seen them out perform bare root roses. One of the biggest advantages to container grown roses is that you know what you are getting. The plant is growing and established when you get it. When these plants are set out they will go through some shock but do not require as much care up front as bare root roses. These plants can be planted early spring and throughout the summer.
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Planting Bare Root Roses
Since bare root plants are dormant and the soil is washed away from the roots, it is essential that the plants be kept moist. Most bare root plants that are sold by mail order have peat moss or moist sawdust on the roots for shipping. For this reason it is important to plant them as soon as possible. If they cannot be planted quickly the plants need to be packed in a moist soil mixture and kept in a cool damp dark place. Before planting your bare root roses they neet to be soaked overnight in a bucket of water. This will restore the lost moisture in the roots and canes.

Prepare your bed as outlined under Ground Preparation. Dig a planting hole about 18" to 24" inches across and 15" to 18" deep. Place a coned shaped mound in the bottom center of the hole high enough for the bud union or crown to be just above ground level. The bud union is the point at which the plant was grafted to the root stock. It should look like a knuckle on a fist. In frigid temperature areas this bud union should be a little below the ground level. In frost free areas it can be 1 to 2 inches above the ground.

Set the plant on top of the mound of dirt and position the bud union to the proper height. Soil may need to be added or taken out to achieve this. The soil will settle some so the plant may ned to be set an inch or so higher than you want it to end up. To get your heigh a shovel or rake handle can be laid across the hole to set the proper height. While holding the plant upright with one hand rake the loose soil in with the other. Pack the soil tightly around the roots.

Using the loose soil on top make a catch basin around the plant to hold water. Drench the soil daily for the first couple of weeks. Also mist canes 6 to 8 times a day to prevent the canes from drying out. Some people mond up soil around the plant to keep the plant moist until it starts to grow. At that time the soil can be removed.

Planting Container Grown Roses
Unlike bare root roses that can only be planted in the winter months when the plants are dormant. Container grown roses can be planted spring through fall. Container grown roses are much easier to care for if they cannot be planted right away. Just keep the soil moist and leave them in the sunlight and they will be fine.

To plant these roses you need to prepare the soil as outlined in Ground Preparation. Dig a hole approximately 6" deeper and larger than the container. Fill the hole with enough improved soil to ensure the proper height of the bud union. The next step is to remove the container. It is important to avoid disturbing the root ball. With the plastic containers we use the plant can be supported in one hand with the bud union between the forefinger and index finger and slide the pot off with the other hand. Using the hand that removed the pot upright the plant and support until in the hole. While holding the plant in the center of the hole backfill around the root ball and pack the soil tightly around the potting soil.

These freshly planted roses will need plenty of water. Using the loose dirt on the top of the bed make a catch basin to hold water around each plant. Water the plants thoroughly. If you are planting in the middle of summer when very hot it is very important to keep the plants hydrated. Since these plants have foliage they will use a good bit more water than bare root roses to prevent the leaves from wilting.
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Planting Roses in Containers
Container grown roses are nice to have around when they are in full color to add to your landscape or garden space. The best roses for containers are miniature roses. Full size roses can be maintained in containers, they just have to be a good bit larger than the small containers needed for minis. The most important thing to remember about container grown plants is drainage. Remember, roses need a lot of water, but can't tolerate wet areas for long. Good drainage and aeration are essential for container grown roses.

Remember to give these roses at least 6 or 7 hours of full sun each day. It would also be a good idea to turn plants that are inside so the sun will strike the whole plant providing a more uniform growth habit. Avoid placing the plants where they will get too hot or where the bright light reflects off a reflective wall. When plants have been in containers for long they will need to be transplanted. This to prevent the rose from getting root bound and cause the plant to lose vigor. This should be done when plant is dormant.

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