Rose tree – when and how to plant roses

Rose tree planting in the ground and in pots

The planting of the rose tree is one of the most important steps. If well planted, rose trees are sure to settle in, and growth and bloom will be facilitated.

Roses can be purchased in containers, often the pot in which it has most recently been transplanted, or with bare roots.

Rose trees resist cold winters particularly well, down to -13°F (-25°C), but need sun to bloom. You would thus do well in choosing a sunny spot with shelter from strong wind.

When to plant a rose tree

Ideally, plant roses in fall to speed root development up before spring growth.

Nonetheless, you’ll be able plant them in spring if they are in containers or pots, as long as you water them abundantly for the first months after their transplanting.

Even during winter can your rose trees be planted, if the weather permits and that it isn’t freezing.

Planting potted rose trees

In this case the planting is quite straightforward.

The season doesn’t really matter, even though it is always better to plant in fall, preferable earliest in November.

  • Dig a hole more or less 20 inches (50 cm) wide and 16 inches (40 cm) deep. The size of the hole matters for root growth.
  • Layer along the bottom of the hole soil conditioner such as manure and seaweed.
    You can also add root growth enhancer. This is a product that you can purchase in horticulture stores which helps roots to develop.
  • Next is to amend the dirt from your garden with planting soil mix. You can also use all-purpose potting soil or special rose tree soil mix.
  • Run your fingers through the roots delicately to separate and fan them out.
    You can use a tool for this or also just your fingers.
  • Let the clump sit in a bucket of water to rehydrate the roots. This step greatly increases successful settling in of your rose tree.
  • Place the clump in the center and spread the roots along the bottom of the hole. Proceed delicately with care so as not to break the roots.
  • Backfill with the blend of soil and soil mix, pressing everything down so that there is no airspace between roots and soil.
  • Water abundantly and press soil down again.

Planting a bare-root rose tree

IMPORTANT: Only plant bare-rooted rose trees during the mid-November to end of February period; additionally, avoid days of freezing.

Follow the same process as for the container-bought rose tree, but this time instead of soaking the clump in water:

  • cut the roots until only 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) long,
  • dip the roots in root dip to increase surface contact between roots and soil mix when in the ground.

When planting, it is important to press down well when the rose tree is planted, so that all the roots are touching your blend of garden soil and soil mix.

Where to plant a rose tree

Rose trees need a lot of sunlight to bloom abundantly.

  • Choose a well-exposed spot that is full of sun.
  • Avoid heavy, waterlogged soil where moisture collects, because rose tree roots don’t like that and it makes the plant prone to disease.
  • Better choose rich, light, and well-drained soil.

Pruning rose trees

Every year, rose trees should be pruned. This is the only way to ensure beautiful blooming and proper growth for your rose tree.

Next steps to care for your rose tree

Smart tip about planting rose trees

Try companion planting to get rid of basic pests: nasturtium will attract aphids away, and Allium will repel them without penalizing rose trees in summer.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Rose planting by Remy Mboku under © CC BY 2.0