There are compensations for the dark evenings and cooler days of autumn, as they herald the beginning of the traditional planting season. Although container grown plants can be planted at any time of the year, autumn is the preferred time to encourage well established root systems before the surge of growth in spring. Bare rooted plants can also be planted once their dormancy has begun, and this can be a very cost effective way to purchase, particularly as rose plants can be expensive.
Roses can live for many years in the garden, and initial care taken with planting can assist health and longevity. Even though there are many different varieties, their needs are broadly similar and whilst certain varieties can tolerate some shade, most roses thrive in full sun, and will beneﬁt from being planted in the sunniest parts of the garden.
If you decide to buy bare root roses, take them out of the packaging immediately on arrival and immerse the roots in a bucket of cold water for several hours, to rehydrate them. If you prefer to purchase container grown roses, ensure that they, too, are well watered before planting.
Be generous when planting your rose — generous hole, generous feed, generous can of water!
Begin by digging over the ground where you wish to plant your rose, to ensure that the area is free from weeds and stones. Then, dig a planting hole which is wider and deeper than you actually need, taking care to loosen the soil at the base of the hole, so that roots can spread easily. Also ensure that there is little else planted around the rose itself. Once it gets established it will be much more able to cope with other plants encroaching, but in the early days, will beneﬁt from lack of competition. Patio roses, particularly, soon give up and fail to thrive if they have to compete with vigorous perennials.
Once you have dug your hole, put a generous amount of compost or well rotted manure in the bottom then mix in the required amount of rose fertiliser, to give the plant a good start. Before handling the rose, do remember to put on thorn-proof gloves, as those thorns can be dangerous! Then place the rose in position, ensuring that it is planted to the same depth as it was previously. The graft union should be just below the surface of the soil. If you are planting a container grown rose, ﬁll around the root ball with compost and ﬁrm in, to dispel air pockets. If you are planting bare root plants, ensure that the roots are not damaged as you carefully backﬁll with compost.
All newly planted roses will beneﬁt from a generous watering after planting, and regular watering until they are established.
If you take the care and attention to give your new rose the best start you can, then you should have a beautiful addition to your garden, which will give pleasure for many years to come.
I am the willing servant of my garden and also admit to a severe plant addiction. I love them all, but especially sub tropicals, roses, salvias, dahlias and auriculas. I enjoy propagation (because it makes even more plants!) and I hate weeding. My garden was a field when we first met, all those years ago, and its development has been a long, slow, labour of love. It is still evolving and changing all the time. I have opened for the NGS in the recent past, and I have an RHS Qualification, but, the experience I value has mainly been gained with my hands deep in the soil.