Ideas & Inspiration
How to Plant Roses
It’s hard to resist roses. But choosing a bare root rose may seem tricky, because the resting plants look like plain, brown sticks. And which container rose is right for you?
Don’t worry. Our tips will help you pick the perfect rose.
- First, pick a spot for your rose with at least 6 full hours of sun a day and good drainage. If needed, add plenty of compost to improve your soil.
- Look for roses recommended for your region. The Home Depot offers roses pre-selected for your climate.
- Read the tags when you shop for bare root roses. They’re graded for their size and vigor. Grade 1 is top quality, followed by Grades 1½ and 2.
- Choose a bare root rose with healthy, strong canes and plump buds. Avoid plants with shriveled, dead, or broken canes, and stems that are already sprouting. Choose a container rose with healthy leaves, strong stems, and some unopened buds, so you’ll have flowers to enjoy soon after planting.
- Now pick a rose by color and/or fragrance. Also think about how you’ll use it in your garden.
- Hybrid tea roses are upright shrubs that usually have one rose per stem.
- Landscape roses include shrubs and low-growing groundcovers. Easy to grow ‘Knock Out’ roses are in this category.
- Tree roses are grafted plants. The roses grow on top of a long stem.
- Floribundas bear clusters of roses.
- Grandifloras are a cross between floribundas and hybrid teas.
Unwrap the rose and soak the roots in water for a few hours before planting.
- Dig a hole 18” wide and 18” deep.
- Mix compost into the hole. Make a small mound in the bottom of the hole.
- Gently loosen the rose’s roots, and put it on top of the mound. Spread the roots down the sides of the mound.
- If you live in a warm climate, position the rose so the bud union, the knob between the roots and stem, is at or just above ground level. If your climate is cold, keep the bud union 1-2” below ground level.
- Refill the hole about ¾ full and gently firm the soil with your fingers.
- Water thoroughly. After it soaks in, fill the hole with more water.
- Prune the stems, if needed, to 8”. Make the cuts on an angle, about ¼” above buds that face away from the center of the rose.
- Mound 6” of soil over the rose, so the stems won’t dry out.
- When the buds sprout, remove the mounded soil.
- Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and 6″ deeper than the container.
- Optional: Mix a small handful of bone meal into the soil in the hole.
- Put the rose in the hole no deeper than it was growing in the container. Replace the soil in the hole and gently firm it down.
- Water thoroughly. Mulch with shredded bark or pine straw.
- Take the rose out of the pot and gently loosen its roots.
Watch your perfect roses bloom and delight you all season long.