Roses forum→Bareroot roses not growing

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COLORADO (Zone 5b)
icy_flames
May 25, 2020 11:01 AM CST
Hello all! I am a new gardener in Colorado in need of some advice on growing bareroot roses. I have a home that came with 4 rose plants already. These grew back every single year without any care whatsoever. No pruning, food, winter protection, nothing. Temps can drop to -15 here in winter. Sadly I lost one this year but the other 3 are doing fantastic. I water them every few days and they have received a few rounds of fish fertilizer + some miracle grow rose food. Im convinced the fish fertilizer is the super power here. Stinks to high heaven but the roses are coming in very fast.

Now...back to the bareroots. I bought 2 varieties online from Home Depot in late April. A blue lavender girl hybrid tea and tropicana hybrid tea. They were planted with my "vetted" roses beginning of May. All getting the same amount of water, fertilizer. I did not soak them in water upon arrival but I've read about both sides. Some said soak others said it didnt matter as long as you plant and add lots of water. I am not seeing ANY change in growth. They just sit there... Angry

I also purchased a John F Kennedy rose potted plant that had one cane with leaves coming in but now seems to be in a standstill. Planted a few days after the blue lavender and tropicana. The leaves dried up so i took them off.

Pics provided. Thank you all in advance for the help!
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Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
May 25, 2020 12:12 PM CST
Are they entirely buried?
COLORADO (Zone 5b)
icy_flames
May 25, 2020 12:26 PM CST
They have about an inch of cane out of the ground. I had it buried up to the bud union at first, canes are about 4-5 inches in height. Its a bit confusing how much cane to leave out? They are green on the outside but still dry.
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
May 25, 2020 1:02 PM CST
If you went through the mid May chill that we had they were probably delayed in growth. It's just starting to warm back up now. I would keep them watered and give them more time. They should start to recover with the warmer weather.
COLORADO (Zone 5b)
icy_flames
May 25, 2020 1:07 PM CST
Ok that makes sense with the weather. We got alot of rain yesterday afternoon and today is only about 65 degrees. Do i need to expose more of the canes or keep them buried as they are?
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
May 25, 2020 1:11 PM CST
FWIW, IMO I believe you should have soaked them to rehydrate the roots and jump start them into growth, especially getting them in late April when they've been kept dormant for so long.The Big Box stores aren't exactly known for their meticulous plant care. However, what's done is done, so you have to make sure they remain super well watered until you see growth. I've had a bagged rose sit there over a month before seeing any growth even after I soaked it, but its roots were tiny and it was on the sale rack in April to start. We have rain everyday so it just took a long while to grow some feeder roots....patience. Why do you think you lost one of your roses this winter, btw?
COLORADO (Zone 5b)
icy_flames
May 25, 2020 1:46 PM CST
I wondered about the no soaking but will definitely not do that again. Theres a lot of roses im interested in adding to my garden that are only sold bareroots so this is good practice Grin

I lost one of the roses that came with the house because it was like firewood dry. The canes were black and grey. I finally pulled it yesterday and it took some time digging it out. The canes are like an inch thick and well rooted. I swear these have to be at 10 years old. Its a real bummer but will do better with my new bunch. I actually have two more that are "own root" roses in a 5' pot coming next week. Super excited. May keep those in a planter for now since its a little late in season?
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
May 25, 2020 1:54 PM CST
Here I pot up bands for a while before planting in the ground. I'll defer to others on how to approach them in your climate. What did you buy and from whom?
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
May 25, 2020 4:50 PM CST
When you get advise online always check where the advisor lives. A lot of them are in very warm climates. What they tell you may be entirely accurate for them but not for your cold climate. Bare root roses are harvested at the growers starting sometime in late August. They are dug up and packaged and stored in warehouses until the next season starts. In warm climates that's in December/January. So the rose has only been in storage for around 4 months and is still moist and fresh and does not necessarily need soaking. By the time it is planting season in our neck of the woods (cold places) it's late April to May. Those same roses have been in storage now for around 8 months. They are much less fresh and moist. That is why you soak bare root roses in cold climates.

I wouldn't take off any soil just yet. That protective layer of soil is keeping the canes moist. People will often mound up a bare root rose with soil to keep them from drying out. And in your cold zone you should plant all your roses deep as a winter protection. The graft should be planted between 4 and 6 inches below ground. That will protect the graft from freezing and your losing your rose to its root stock.

If those are tiny own root bands coming I would pot them up for a while and let them get bigger before you put them in the ground. I would say plant them by early September. You want to give them a good six weeks in the ground to settle in before you get your first frost. And when you plant them try not to disturb the root ball if possible. The more intact you can keep it the less chance of the rose having transplant shock.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 26, 2020 11:20 AM CST
@icy_flames

Along with re-hydrating the roots of a bare root plant, it is important to recognize that most of the root mass needed to support top growth is missing ...

The rose has to grow new anchor roots ... the ones you received are not sufficient to perform the purpose of pumping up moisture from the lower levels of the soil ... and it has to grow feeder roots. Roses grow their roots first and then put plant energy into top growth.

I hope you did a perk test for your planting hole before you planted your roses. (Drainage may be different in various parts of your garden.) If you have good drainage, it is impossible to over water a rose. So, with your new roses, since the root mass is inefficient, you need to water your roses daily. The roots that are there need that water ... Smiling

It may look like your rose is just sitting there and doing nothing, but the plant is doing first things first. It's growing roots.

When you do see new top growth, you know that the rose plant now has a working root system and can support new top growth and you can back off of the daily watering.

Note: the need to grow new roots when a rose is first planted is true for container roses, too. There is no way you can plant the rose without damaging the roots.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Hackettstown, NJ Zone 6A
roseman2145
May 26, 2020 2:45 PM CST
I think soaking them would have helped. Also when you plant bare roots you should mulch the canes so they dry out. Then only uncover when growth appears on the canes. May be dead!
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Europe
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Arico
May 26, 2020 7:18 PM CST
RoseBlush1 said:@icy_flames

The rose has to grow new anchor roots ... the ones you received are not sufficient to perform the purpose of pumping up moisture from the lower levels of the soil ... and it has to grow feeder roots. Roses grow their roots first and then put plant energy into top growth.


Transpiration is larely a passive phenomenon driven by water potential differences between the soil, the roots and the air. The pumping action of roots is negligible in water uptake.

Enough soil moisture is thus the key

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