Roses forum→Is a 2' x 2' hole necessary to plant a rose?

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Name: Dennis Brown
The Big Island, Hawaii
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kohala
Feb 28, 2021 11:06 PM CST
As I have indicated in previous posts, I plant my roses in containers because it is so difficult to grow them in the ground. However, I have tried to plant a few in the ground. It is easy to create a 2' wide hole but digging a 2' deep hole is a challenge. I can usually dig 15" or so before I hit blue rock. Is this depth good enough or should I stick to using containers.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2021 3:18 AM CST
I don't even go that deep here. I would need a backhoe for that due to the heavy clay. 15 inches is plenty.
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Mar 1, 2021 9:38 AM CST
15 inches sounds pretty good. I can get to about 18 inches here before I hit lake bed clay.
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Canadian Region: Maryland Roses Cat Lover Butterflies Bookworm
Dahlias Peonies
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Hiyamakki
Mar 1, 2021 11:05 AM CST
I do dig to 2 feet but I do have to use a backhoe due to the clay. It makes me think twice about every plant I purchase. I hit clay after 6 inches.
Name: Dennis Brown
The Big Island, Hawaii
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kohala
Mar 1, 2021 2:17 PM CST
Thanks everyone. I just finished my first 18" hole and planted Leonardo da Vinci. which is one of two roses that have never bloomed. Ok Ok! Maybe the hole wasn't EXACTLY 18"
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Mar 1, 2021 6:04 PM CST
Who told you to dig a two feet hole? Blinking You're supposed to dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots of the plant and that obviously varies. Do you dig 2' deep for pansies too?
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2021 6:07 PM CST
Sometimes my holes aren't big enough even for the roots!! I just shove them in there, mound the soil and mulch around them and say a quick prayer hoping it works. Next time I may well have to call a friend of mine and have him bring his backhoe over. I'll figure out how to repay him if I ever do that. Rolling my eyes. Hilarious!
Name: Dennis Brown
The Big Island, Hawaii
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kohala
Mar 1, 2021 7:05 PM CST
Arico said:Who told you to dig a two feet hole? Blinking You're supposed to dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots of the plant and that obviously varies. Do you dig 2' deep for pansies too?


I can't tell you who told me to dig a 2' hole for roses. The person is now in the American Witness Protection Program and his identity has been changed to protect him from angry roses growers.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2021 7:51 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
Mar 2, 2021 11:21 AM CST
I'm having this problem with my alley where I'm going to plant my roses, very hard to dig, it's all rock, it has been storing junk in the last 6-7 years. I can only do 6 inches easily, I might top them up. I'll do my best and we will see if the roses will survive.
I try to grow everything, sometime not successful.
Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
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reh0622
Mar 2, 2021 12:05 PM CST
If you have a pitchfork, use it to penetrate that hard area, and move the tines back and forth so the roots can more easily grow into that area. You could also plant it into a heavy duty mulch pot 12" X 12" with good potting soil, and place it on top for the roots to eventually grow into the soil beneath it.
[Last edited by reh0622 - Mar 2, 2021 8:14 PM (+)]
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Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Canadian Region: Maryland Roses Cat Lover Butterflies Bookworm
Dahlias Peonies
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Hiyamakki
Mar 2, 2021 1:10 PM CST
Oops, I don't use a backhoe. I use a mattock. I thought they were the same thing 😳
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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porkpal
Mar 2, 2021 7:25 PM CST
When I lived in New England, a mattock was the only tool that could conquer the rocky soil.
Porkpal
Name: Margie
NY (Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2020
MargieNY
Mar 2, 2021 8:30 PM CST
when I moved to my new home i discovered there was about 6 inches of top soil and clay soil with rocks underneath. I dug down and chipped away at the clay soil about 1 foot. Than mixed in some compost and perlite. After completing that process, I added railroad ties/landscape ties around each garden bed. Finally, I had a mixture of topsoil and compost brought in to fill in each elevated garden bed. The elevated bed created or added about an extra 10" of good soil depth. Each time I add a new plant, I dig the hole and add water to test for good drainage. If it does not drain well, I know I have to dig deeper and wider.
Observe, observe, observe
We are fortunate to "see" & appreciate nature in ways others are blind.
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
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BigAppleRoseGuy
Mar 2, 2021 9:37 PM CST
Very funny, Hiyamakki. I think we've all done that.

Hiyamakki said:Oops, I don't use a backhoe. I use a mattock. I thought they were the same thing 😳


I admit that years ago, I thought a hoe was called a backhoe, because you had to pull it back. I've never
told that to anyone. David



mrsbee111
Mar 8, 2021 6:49 PM CST
I need to comment re digging a 2' x 2' hole for roses. With regards to clay, the bigger the hole the more water will collect and no roots like to sit in water. It could be better to have a shallower hole and build up with compost etc on top so plant is raised a little.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 8, 2021 9:21 PM CST
I have seen Rose Books that say 2 by 2 but I generally try to go 16 by16 , { deeper if replanting old roses } as that way if two roses are planted side by side the trunks are at least 16 inches apart. (I use the length of he head of a sand shovel as a ruler most often.) Whistling
I have gone less and I have gone more, hole size have never been the problem.
The rare cases after planting it just does not look right , I redo it. I tip my hat to you.
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
Mar 9, 2021 6:28 PM CST
mrsbee111 said:I need to comment re digging a 2' x 2' hole for roses. With regards to clay, the bigger the hole the more water will collect and no roots like to sit in water. It could be better to have a shallower hole and build up with compost etc on top so plant is raised a little.


Absolutely not. The last thing you need to do is incoorporate organic matter into a planting hole. Just backfill with what you dug out and mulch the surface.

Adding a raised mound of compost (or anything else than the original soil) creates a textural difference which water has a hard time crossing (because of physics). That means water going IN, but also OUT aka draining away. You're MORE likely to drown your rose if you do this in clay soil.
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
Mar 9, 2021 6:37 PM CST
I've been doing exactly that, I've yet to drown out any of my roses, nor my peonies. I'm all clay here, but I'm in California.
I try to grow everything, sometime not successful.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 9, 2021 6:54 PM CST
mrsbee111 said:I need to comment re digging a 2' x 2' hole for roses. With regards to clay, the bigger the hole the more water will collect and no roots like to sit in water. It could be better to have a shallower hole and build up with compost etc on top so plant is raised a little.

I may or may not use (bagged) compost but do use either garden soil not from the rose garden (I have good soil) or buy some bags of good garden soil and bags of cow manure.

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