Question: I would like to know your thoughts on planting Roses this timeof the year. I saw some species that look fabulous at very reasonable prices now and I was wondering whether I would have any luck if I bought them and planted them now.

I have the same question regarding planting the Japanese Maple this time of year.

A related question is if I don't get around to planting the roses and/or the Japanese Maple, could I plant them in a big pot, cover them with mulch and wait till the Spring to plant them? Would they fare better if I kept them inside then? Could I do the same thing to an evergreen like Leucothoe, or Mountain Pieris Japonica or can plant those (evergreens) even in December?

Lastly, what is the best way to protect the roses in the winter since this is their first year?

Thanks a ton for your expert advice !


Answer: Spring and fall are traditional times to plant landscape trees and shrubs, mainly because temperatures are cool and rainfall abundant. But, the truth of the matter is, you can plant anytime the ground isn't frozen. Now would be a good time to plant. In fact, all the plants should go into the ground as soon as possible. If you are not able to plant them in their permanent spots in the garden, sink the pots into the ground in a protected place such as near the foundation of your home. Setting the pots in the ground will keep the roots from dessicating and freezing solid during the winter months. If you plant out in the garden, be sure to water the plants in well. Protecting roses is important - most are grafted onto rootstocks so you'll want to keep the union (graft) protected. You can mound soil up over the graft union to protect it, or you can set a wire cylinder over the entire plant, mound soil and shredded leaves or straw over the plant, and leave the insulating material alone until spring. When the weather warms, slip the cylinder off the plant and spread the soil and organic matter over the soil in the bed. Hope this answers all your questions!

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