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  Planting Bareroot Roses
  January 8th, 2005

Planting Bareroot Roses:

Get your roses off to the best possible start by choosing their growing site carefully and then planting them using the techniques most suitable for your climate. Bare-root rose plants, those sold without soil, offer the best value and grow quickly after planting.

Choose the planting site. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sun each day, although some afternoon shade is best in hot climates. Plant them in a spot where air can circulate and dry their leaves soon after a rain, and give them fertile soil that drains quickly.

Determine the depth to plant. Most rose plants consist of two parts: the rootstock and the flowering canes. The bulge where the parts join is called the graft union. Plant the graft union just at or slightly above the soil surface.

Dig the hole. Keep the roots cool and moist while you dig the planting hole. The hole should be deep enough to set the graft union at the proper depth and at least wide enough to allow the roots to extend without bending. Put the removed soil in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp.

Amend the soil. Very sandy or heavy clay soils benefit from the addition of organic material. Mix the soil from the planting hole with 50 percent compost and 50 percent native soil. Partially fill the hole with the soil mix, making a cone or mound in the center to drape the roots over.

Set the rose in the hole, carefully arranging the roots over the center mound.

For maximum bloom and growth, use the Rose Nutri-Paks at planting. Simply insert 3 of the 3 year packets in the hole in a triangular pattern just outside the root zone. Make sure you do not open the packet and place with the arrow down. You will find you will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Backfill and water. Holding the rose at the right planting depth, fill the hole with soil, working it carefully around the roots. When the hole is nearly full, water thoroughly to settle the soil. Finish filling the hole and create a low ring of soil around the perimeter of the hole. Water again. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch in a circle around the plant, taking care to keep the mulch 3 to 4 inches away from the canes. Water as necessary to keep the soil evenly moist until the rose resumes vigorous growth.

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