Introduction to Planting Rose Bushes:
When you decide to start growing roses, you will find in the long run that a successful rose garden is not as difficult as some would have you think. Roses, like many other plants, do their best in certain growing conditions and while you can certainly get them to grow in sub-standard environments, not surprisingly they will not perform at their best. Since this is a popular topic among new gardeners, we've decided to put together a guide to help you get started off right!
The first thing you need to do is choose the right location for your roses. Planting rose bushes successfully is all about understanding some basic principles about what makes roses grow. This statement can really be applied to just about any type of plant you decide to grow. Once you understand what your plants need, it is rather easy to give it to them and then they will reward you with a great garden!
The Right Location for Planting Rose Bushes:
Virtually all roses love sunlight. Now some of you might think that is a rather obvious statement, but you would not believe how many gardeners will plant roses in shady spots under trees, and wonder why they don't do well. Something so simple can be the difference between thriving plants and dead ones. So the first thing you need to do is find a location that gets a minimum of 6 hours a day of full sunlight. 8 hours or more is even better! Make sure that there are no large trees overhead and no structures that might cast shadows on your roses.
The second most important factor in planting rose bushes is making sure that the location you choose has soil that drains well. Fortunately this is something that you can fix if your soil is not up to par. It's never a bad idea to prepare a site before planting anyway and this is the time to fix any soil issues you might have. Turn over a good 6 to 8 inches of soil and mix in a generous amount of compost or other organic matter. If your soil is very thick and heavy with clay, it would be a good idea to add a little perlite to it to help loosen it up.
Planting Rose Bushes Step by Step:
The first step in rose planting is to dig the hole in the location that you've selected. You are going to want to dig the hole a bit larger than the root system, or the pot that your rose bush is currently in. Make sure you loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole.
Add a small amount of bonemeal to the bottom of the hole and mix in some good compost or peat moss.
Remove your rose bush from the pot and set it in the hole, spreading out the roots so the plant is not sitting on them and they are not hampered by the walls of the hole. It's a great idea to mound up the center of the hole and set the plant on that and let the roots settle on the sides of the mound. The bud union at this point should be level with the original soil level.
Back fill with a mix of the original soil and compost about halfway, then give it a thorough watering. Fill the hole the rest of the way and water again. This will allow the wet soil to filter down around the roots and once the hole is completely filled, your bud union should have settled to just about an inch below the surface of the soil.
Proper Depth for Planting Rose Bushes:
If you ask a couple rose growers what the proper planting depth is for a rose bush, you are likely to get several different answers. This is mainly because climate has a lot to do with how deep you should really set your roses. The best thing you can do is consult with a few rose growers in your particular area, rather than asking growers online.
Growers who are already dealing with your climate will be able to give you a much better answer than some anonymous "expert" you are likely to encounter in some gardening forums. The general rule of thumb when planting rose bushes is the colder the climate, the deeper they should be planted to give them a better chance of surviving the winters in your area. This is not an exact science however and you shouldn't get yourself too wound up over a precise planting depth. When in doubt it's ok to go slightly deeper, and just make sure you give your roses a good layer of mulch over the winter.
Tip for Planting Rose Bushes:
If you have ordered bare root roses, you should soak them overnight in a bucket prior to planting. This will allow the roses to get rehydrated prior to planting.
Some growers will tell you that you can add a small amount of rose fertilizer during planting, others will say use only bone meal. Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorus that is a slow release and it will help the rose bush grow healthy roots.
After you are done planting rose bushes, never tamp down the soil with your foot or shovel. Just use your hands and gently firm the soil back into place. The worst thing you could do is compress the soil around those freshly planted roots.
If you have just removed a rose bush from a certain location, never replant a new rose bush in the same spot. Most roses simply will not grow well in the soil that another rose bush has just been growing in. When you remove one rose bush, till the location with fresh compost or other organic matter and give it a season or two before replanting with new roses.
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