The Q&A Archives: Bare Root Roses

Question: I bought a bare root rose for the first time this spring and it has been planted for about two months now. I still have no growth on the plant. What could have I done wrong. All my other roses are starting to flower.

Answer: Bare root plants can be slow to begin growing but this does seem extra long. You can check to see if it is still alive: the canes should be firm and uniformly colored, there should be green under the bark, there should be firm, plump buds along the canes. If so, make sure the soil is kept evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, and keep waiting.

Bare root roses are usually best planted very early in the spring while they are still dormant and can wake up naturally with the season. Most gardeners will soak the bare root plant in water overnight prior to planting, then plant, water thoroughly to settle any air pockets, and then hill soil up over the base of the canes to help keep them hydrated while waiting for growth to begin. You would water as needed to keep the soil damp but not saturated or sopping wet.

If the plant dries out before its roots begin to grow and take up moisture, it will die. It will also suffer if it is frozen and/or overheated while out of the ground, or if it begins to grow before it is planted.

I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

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