The first trick to planting a rosebush is to make sure that you start out with only quality stock. I don’t think this holds true for all plants and shrubs. Many you can purchase in bad condition and nurse back to health. But when it comes to a rosebush you want to invest a bit of extra money in the best ones that are available. You can go about this a couple of ways. You can either buy bare root plants or you can purchase container bushes that are already started and established. The bare root choice will yield lovely plants at a smaller purchase cost. They do take a bit more preparation to grow, however. Also it will depend on the time of year that you will be planting which type you must purchase. Bare root bushes should only be planted in the spring but container plants can be planted from spring through fall.
Bare root Rosebushes
When spring comes you will see bare root bushes sold at local nurseries and markets but you can also order quality plants from mail order nurseries such at Jackson and Perkins in Oregon at discounted prices. The mail order companies will ship you high quality plants at the ideal planting time for your zone so there is no guessing on your part. I have dealt with several mail order companies with much success. Three of my top favorites are Jackson and Perkins, Wayside Gardens, and Springhill Nurseries.
Here are their web addresses:
Once your plants arrive in the mail quickly take them out of their wrapping. Over look each one closely not only the roots but also the stems. Prune away any that are broken or dead. Now take your plants and place them in a bucket of water up to their root ball. This is the ball between the root and stems if you are planting tea roses. All others simply soak the roots up to the stems. Soak them for at least twenty four hours before planting.
While you are waiting for your plants to soak its time to prepare the hole. Dig it deep and wide. Once the hole is deep enough mound soil up in the middle to set the bare root plants on and spread their roots around. At this time add any additives that might pump up your soil nutrients. I like to mix my soil fifty fifty with peat moss. This is a trick that I have learned through the years that seems to help my roses flourish.
After you have soaked your plants a minimum of twenty four hours its time to plant them. Remember to be gentle with the planting. Make sure each bush is firmly in its hole but do not stomp down on the soil as you plant because you can damage the roots. I always plants my bushes with the root ball even with the soil line so that I can easily cover them in the winter for protection. Once each bush is planted I spread a mix of fifty percent peat moss and fifty percent hemlock bark around the base as a mulch and nutrient. I will make sure that there is at least a three inch layer around my plants. This helps to maintain the nutrients in my soil, protect against weeds and fungus, and also retain water during the hot months of summer.
Most rosebushes that are purchased in containers are an impulse purchase. Who can resist them when walking around your local store or nursery. Normally they will be in full bloom so they smell and look lovely. These flowers can do quite well when planted but often will not gain the much needed start that a bare root plant will have if you plant them later in the season which means they will suffer more through a hard winter. But don’t let this deter you if you see a rose that truly appeals to you. Just remember to give the container roses that you plant later in the season a bit more winterizing care.
Container rosebushes do not require a lot of care when it comes to planting. Simply dig the hole and make sure it is big enough to accommodate the plant, roots, and soil. I will also add the same fifty fifty mix of peat moss to soil for a container rose. Once I plant it I will also shroud it in the fifty percent hemlock and fifty percent peat moss mulch mixture three inches thick around the plant.
When To Fertilize Both Bare root and Container Rosebushes
I will feed the a container plants as soon as I have finished planting them with my personal favorite, Miracle Grow. And I will continue to feed the container plant through out the season every two weeks with this mixture. I will make sure to not only soak the soil with the fertilizer but also liberally hit the leaves since Miracle Grow feeds not only through the root system but also through the leaves. I will not fertilize my bare root roses until they have shown the first bit of growth and then I will haul out the Miracle Grow and begin to fertilize every two weeks.
No matter which type of rosebushes you decide to go with the love of them will become addictive and you will find yourself adding to your collection as the years go by. Roses are a versatile bush that add to any yard.