Bare Root Rose Care Tips #
Bare root roses require slightly different care compared to potted roses. Take a look below at our frequently asked questions and troubleshooting guide to see how to care for your bare root rose.
Should you prune bare root roses? #
When you receive your bare root rose, the stems and roots will have been pruned for the bare root season already. However, we advise that you lightly prune them again before planting to promote new growth. We also advise that you to prune away any damaged or weak roots and stems to ensure your plant has a happy and great start to growing.
Roses should also have their stems lightly pruned again in February/March, before the growing season starts and while the plant is still dormant. This will take off any tips that may have been damaged by frosts over the winter, and will help encourage new, healthy growth in the coming months when the rose begins to grow again.
How do I plant bare root roses? #
- 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 the bare root is stored in a dark and cool place, such as a shed or garage. It should be 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 all year round, and can 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 and must be kept in a cool, dark place away from strong wind and frost. The roots also need to 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.
FAQs & Troubleshooting Advice: #
What to do if I can’t plant my bare root rose straight away? #
It is recommended that you plant your bare root rose as soon as possible. However, if you cannot plant it straight away (such as due to the frozen ground or severe weather conditions), it is important to keep your bare root rose in a cool, dark place. It is also vital that you keep your bare root rose moist and free from frost. An ideal storage location would be in a dark area of a garden shed or garage for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can temporarily ‘heel them in’ by loosely covering the bare root plant with 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 moist soil until you are ready to plant it in its new position.
Why are there no leaves on my bare root rose? #
Bare root roses are in a dormant state and will not have any leaves during the winter months. Roses are deciduous plants and will naturally lose their leaves in the autumn and make new fresh foliage growth in the spring. You should start to see new foliage growing on your rose by April/May.
How do I know if my bare root rose is alive? #
Since bare root roses are dormant and pruned down, they don’t look very lively over the winter months. Do not worry as this is how they are supposed to look and they will not produce any new foliage until the warmer spring months.
However, there are some signs you should look out for that may indicate your rose is unwell or damaged. Firstly, check to see if there is any mould, rot, mildew or odour. It is also important to ensure that the roots have not dried out – ideally the roots and stems should feel firm and moist. Please prune away any unhealthy roots that look damaged, light, limp or mushy.
If you are still concerned about whether your rose is alive, you can try pruning the stems. Green growth inside the stem is a good sign that your rose is alive and growing. The growing progress of your rose will vary between rose variety and depend on seasonal, environmental and weather conditions. Sometimes, your bare root rose will just need a bit more care and time, so please don’t give up as roses are naturally hardy plants.
How do I get rid of mould on my bare root roses? #
If you find mould on your bare root rose, simply wash off the mould with water. If it is on a smaller area, you can also prune off that section.
My bare root rose has red and white shoots. What do I do? #
If your bare root rose has red and white shoots on the roots, this means your bare root rose is starting to grow and should be planted right away. Don’t prune them off as they are healthy signs that your rose’s roots are ready to grow.