What is a bare root rose? #
Bare root roses are young dormant rose plants that have short pruned stems and exposed roots without soil. They are lifted from the ground during the winter after 18 months of growth and soon after packaged for delivery. Arriving unpotted without foliage or flowers, they are ready for planting straight away. Once planted, they will be able to make fast shoot growth in the spring.
What is the difference between bare root roses and potted roses? #
Bare root roses are younger dormant plants. They are sold with exposed roots devoid of soil and without foliage, to be planted immediately upon arrival. They are best planted in November to establish their root system in preparation for the growing period in Spring. Potted roses however are already established, allowing for year-round planting into either the ground or containers. Arriving potted and planted in peat-free compost, they can stay in their container until the end of the season.
What are the benefits of bare root roses? #
Buying bare root roses can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Since bare root roses do not need soil or a pot, this means there is less packaging thus making it easier, cheaper and more sustainable to send. Buying bare root roses can also benefit the growth of the plant since they can concentrate on establishing a healthy root system first, leading to faster growing foliage in the spring than newly planted potted roses.
How long does it take for bare root roses to grow? #
If planted and cared for over the winter, you can expect to see your bare root plant growing foliage in the spring when the weather becomes warmer.
Particularly in the first summer, bare root roses can often grow quicker than newly planted potted roses. Between November and March, rose plants will be in a natural dormant phase and will not be creating foliage. During this time, the bare root plants will concentrate on establishing a healthy root system below the soil, allowing the plant to focus its energy on producing new foliage in the spring. Whereas new potted roses planted in the spring will need to focus on growing both the root system and the foliage, consequently slowing down their growing time.
How long does it take for bare root roses to flower? #
As long as your rose has received the care it requires over the winter months, you should start to see your bare root rose burst into flower during the summer. Some varieties have a longer flowering period and can continue to create beautiful blooms into the early autumn. The flowering period of your bare root rose will also depend on seasonal, environmental and weather conditions.
When are bare root roses available to order? #
We deliver bare root roses November – March*, with pre-order available outside of this time. They are in their dormant phase so have no foliage or flowers, and have short, pruned stems. Delivered without soil, the roots are trimmed and ready for planting this winter.
Click here to see our range of bare root roses.
* Please note this is an estimate – there is always seasonal variations and is weather dependant. For more information please see our delivery page.
How do I plant my bare root rose? #
- Remove the bare root rose from all of the packaging. Store the rose in a cool, dark place away from strong wind and frost.
- It is best to plant your rose on the day of delivery, however it will be fine for up to 48 hours if stored in a cool, dark place. If you are not ready to plant your bare root rose, you can store it for up to 2 weeks. It is vital that it is stored in a dark and cool place, such as a shed or garage, away from wind and frost and kept moist at all times. You can achieve this by wetting the roots and covering them with wet compost or newspaper.
- Lightly prune the stems and roots to help promote new growth.
- Soak the roots in a bucket of water for at least 1 – 2 hours before planting.
- Dig a hole and prepare the soil. This needs to be big enough for the roots, approx 16″ (40cm) wide by 16″ (40cm) deep. Break up the soil at the base of the hole with a fork.
- Sprinkle mycorrhizal fungi evenly onto the base of the planting hole.
- Place the bare root rose in the centre with the base of the stems about 5cm below the soil.
- Fill in the hole with a good quality loam based compost and lightly press the soil around the plant.
- Water regularly. Water your rose well and then keep doing this regularly so it doesn’t dry out.
- Continue watering and wait until spring when you can expect to see new growth and foliage. Then, when the warm summer months come around, you will be able to enjoy all the beautiful blooms your rose produces!
When is the best time to plant bare root roses? #
November is generally regarded as the best time to plant roses, however the bare root season typically stretches between Oct – March, so any time in this window is good to plant. You’ll want to avoid planting in frozen or waterlogged soil, so late autumn and early spring generally make the groundwork easier. The rose will still be dormant for this period, thus making it easier to handle, and giving it time to establish a healthy root system before the growing season begins.
Roses start to come out of their dormant phase around March, so this is when bare root season ends, and roses will no longer be delivered with their roots exposed. Potted roses are available year round, and can also be planted at any point, due to them having soil in which to establish their root system.
How long can bare root roses be stored before planting? #
Bare root roses can be stored for up to 2 weeks before planting. However, they must be kept in a cool, dark place away from strong wind and frost. The roots must also be kept moist and never be left to dry out. You can achieve this by wetting the roots and covering them with wet compost or newspaper. Alternatively, you can temporarily ‘heel them in’ by loosely covering the bare root plant with moist soil. You can do this by placing the plant at a 45 degree angle in a trench or bucket located in a dark, shady area. Then, loosely cover it with soil until you are ready to plant it in its new position.