The Q&A Archives: Bare Root Roses

Question: I live in the extreme NE corner of New Mexico. I recently received some bare root roses as a gift. How do I take care of the roses until it's time to plant--probably another month or so?

Answer: If you're unable to plant because of snow cover or frozen soil, simply store the roses in a protected area such as an unheated garage. Most bare-root roses have moist sawdust sprinkled around the roots and the lower half of the plant is bagged in plastic or covered with a lightweight cardboard container. Keep the plants cool, but above freezing, and they should be just fine in their containers. Plant as soon as practical in your area.

If there's no snow cover and your soil isn't frozen, you can plant your bare-root roses now. The plants are dormant and won't wake up and grow until the air temperature is just right. Planting while they're dormant is a perfectly acceptible practice.

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