The Q&A Archives: When to Plant Bare-Root Rose

Question: I just bought a bare-root hybrid tea rose. It's only February here and we still have a few weeks left of winter. Do I wait until the weather has warmed up to plant it, and if so how should I keep it until it is time?

Answer: Bare-root roses are still dormant and can be planted in early spring, providing your soil is not frozen. (Frozen soil makes digging almost impossible!) If the soil is not frozen, go ahead and plant it now. If the soil is frozen, store your rose in the original package, in a cool place. When you're ready to plant, remove the packaging and soak the roots in a bucket of water for 24 hours. Then dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots without cramping and place a small mound of soil on the bottom of the hole. Drape the roots over the mound so they hang naturally and check to make sure the graft (bud) union on the main stem will be a few inches below ground level when you've filled in the hole. Tamp the soil around the roots, then water your newly planted rose to help it settle into its new home.

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