Shrub Rose - Knowledgebase Question

Westmoreland, Ne
Question by mdsmith654
April 15, 2010
How, when, where do I plant a shrub rose? How big do they get, can I plant them near my other bushes? Do they spread? They did not grow when I tried to plant them last year, not sure what I did wrong? So I will try again this year with


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Answer from NGA
April 15, 2010

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Roses grow best in full sunshine, in well draining soil. Pink Knock Out roses are easy to grow and disease resistant so you should be successful this year. Here's how to plant a containerized rose:
Dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the container. Incorporate organic material such as manure, shredded leaves or peat moss (potting soil can also be used) into the existing soil making sure that the hole is still deep enough.

If the soil in the container looks very dry, be sure to water it well before planting. Remove the rose from the container and prune any canes that are broken, injured or are thinner than a pencil. Be sure to loosen the roots if they are thick and root bound.

Place the rose in the center of the hole making sure that the bud union (the knobby part of the stem base) is at the correct level. In zones 6-10, the bud union should be about 1" above the soil surface. In zones 5 and under, it's a good idea to bury the bud union 1" or so under the soil surface.

Back fill hole with soil, firming into place, adding more soil as needed.

Water thoroughly around base of plant allowing it to soak in. Repeat as necessary.

For the next couple weeks, check in and water plant as needed to ensure it stays healthy. Mulch around plant to help retain moisture and reduce weeds.


If your new rose is bareroot rather than in a container, here's how to plant:

Soak your bareroot rose in water for 1 to 6 hours. A bucket works well for just a couple roses, while a large garbage can will work if planting several roses.

Dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the roots. Incorporate organic material such as manure, shredded leaves or peat moss (potting soil can also be used) into the existing soil making sure that the hole is still deep enough. Backfill the hole slightly to form a mound in the center of the hole.

Position the rose roots over the mound making sure that it stays straight up. You may have to hold the rose in place and backfill more to make sure the bud union (the knobby part of the stem base) is at the correct level. In zones 6-10, the bud union should be about 1" above the soil surface. In zones 5 and under, it's a good idea to bury the bud union 1" or so under the soil surface.

Back fill hole with soil, firming into place, adding more soil as needed.

Water thoroughly around base of plant allowing it to soak in. Repeat step 4 if necessary.

Bareroot roses are dormant when shipped and they must be protected from drying out until the roots become established. It is important to cover at least 1/3 of the exposed canes with mulch or soil.

For the next couple weeks, check in and water plant as needed to ensure it stays healthy.

In a few weeks, shoots will begin to emerge through the mounding material. It is then safe to remove the mounded material by carefully pulling it away from the base of the bush or by washing it away with a hose. Water your newly planted rose bushes often to ensure that they get a good start. When the rose blooms in about seven to eight weeks, it will be time to feed your rose.

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