Roses forum: Dormant rose bush questions

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Mar 15, 2017 5:06 PM CST
I purchased a few dormant rose bushes and was wondering what the best way to store them before transplanting them outside was. Would a window with decent light exposure be acceptable? Should I put them in pot? They have some buds on them already and was also wondering if they need to stay in a specific light schedule. I'm in Massachusetts so I have about another month until last frost. Any input is appreciated.
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses Irises Lilies
Mar 15, 2017 5:27 PM CST
If you decide to store them this is my advice: Firstly, I would try to keep them coolish 40 to 50 F, but above freezing; so if you had a cool garage or basement I would definitely keep them there. Secondly, it's imperative that the roots don't dry out, so putting them in a pot with damp soil could help with this.

Given these two things, I think some light would be helpful; but I don't know how much, four or seven hours maybe. It depends on the temperature. The problem with this approach is that the plants might start forming fine feeder roots that are destroyed in transplanting.

In light of this my temptation, is to say "Just plant them where they will end up, then mound some light mulch material or potting soil until it pretty much covers the canes." Then, when danger of frost is nearly gone, pull or wash the mulch or potting soil away from the roses. I think this might be what I would do... There is a higher risk of losing the roses; but if they survive I think it will do better this season.

Which cultivars are we talking about, BTW?

When you dance with nature, try not to step on her toes.

Mar 15, 2017 5:43 PM CST
Thanks for the feedback. Won't let me post a link to the site.

Despite what it says about their hardiness I'm reluctant to put them outside as a new transplants.

Thumb of 2017-03-15/CapeGardens/90eca1

Thumb of 2017-03-15/CapeGardens/2fe8d5

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Mar 15, 2017 6:17 PM CST
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Mar 15, 2017 6:26 PM CST
If the ground is frozen, clearly you will need to wait.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
Mar 15, 2017 6:41 PM CST
Unless your ground is still frozen or is under a foot of snow, I would go ahead and plant them outside in their permanent place. Cut the canes down to about 6", take off the green growth, and mulch them completely. Water really well. That way, they'll get the light they need, and they can take their time growing and putting down roots. Frost isn't a problem at all. Canes and roots drying out IS a huge problem, so if you do keep it indoors, make sure you water it. Soak the rose completely before planting, and I would shake the nursery soil off the roots. I've done that both ways--leaving it on to preserve small roots, and taking it off to let the roots have better contact with the garden soil. Up to you.
Another issue with keeping the rose indoors is, it will have spindly growth that won't be hardened off when you do plant it out.
Where I am, we deal with hot spring winds, so I want the roses to be tough before the heat comes. If you have long gentle springs, it may be a totally different situation. Hope that helps! Each region is a little bit different, so sometimes you have to experiment a bit.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Mar 16, 2017 1:07 AM CST
If you can plant them, that's the best way to go. However, if you do store them, no light. You want to keep them as dormant as possible. Light will trigger the plant to come out of dormancy.

The bare root roses are held in in dark cold storage until they are shipped. If you can replicate those conditions, you can delay the plant from breaking out of dormancy.

Good luck with your roses.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses Irises Lilies
Mar 16, 2017 5:49 PM CST
I see the label says "Sub Zero Roses." If that's correct, then the rose photographed was one bred by Dr Brownell who lived in New England and bred roses specifically to survive NE winters. It sould do pretty well, even with nippy weather.

I must agree with Lynn, Sue, porkpal, and Cindi, I'd put them in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked. When it comes to getting new roses through spring Cindy, IMO, works with some of the most brutal rose growing conditions of us all, so on this question I'd pay special attention to her advice.

If you are still worried about late freezes, mound up some mulch, then pull it back in late April or whenever statistics and a 10 day forecast suggest no imminent frost. Do water them carefully in any week when you don't have rain until they are well established in late summer.

When you dance with nature, try not to step on her toes.

Mar 16, 2017 11:20 PM CST
Thank you guys!

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