The Q&A Archives: Bareroot Roses

Question: I recently planted bareroot roses. They were packaged in wood shavings and had some new leafy growth. Now, 5 weeks later, the foliage is gone and the canes are all dark brown in color. Have they died, or will they sprout new shoots?

Answer: If the canes are brown and shriveled, it's unlikely they'll grow new shoots. Many things can happen to plants when they're newly transplanted. Sometimes the soil isn't properly prepared, the plants are placed too deeply or not deep enough, there's too much - or not enough water applied, or the weather was just more than the plants could handle. It's difficult to know how the bareroot roses were treated before you bought them. Perhaps they were overheated in their plastic bags - or got too cold, and suffered root damage. <br><br>Dig the roses up and replace them. Work some organic matter into the garden bed, to help hold moisture and release nutrients to the roots. Plant the roses at the same level as they were growing in the sawdust, water them well after planting, and water regularly (about 1-inch per week) with a deep soaking. Make sure your new rose bed is in full sunshine for most of the day. Better luck next time!

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