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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Roses in Ireland

How to Plant Bare Root Roses in Winter.

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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2173
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:12 pm    Post subject: How to Plant Bare Root Roses in Winter. Reply with quote

Most people would rarely associate the rose with Christmas and New Year; the image of a rose in full bloom usually bringing to mind walks through scented summer gardens.
The seasoned gardener, however, may think differently to the rose in winter.

During the upcoming month is the perfect time for the gardener to plant roses, which at this time of year are sold bareroot rather than as container plants.
Purchasing roses bareroot is much more economical than buying containerised roses during the growing season.
Less labour is involved in their production, which is passed on to you as saved expense.
Bareroot stock are often about half that of the potted stock.
This is much easier on your pocket if you intend to create one of those large traditional rose beds you so often see in parks and estate gardens, containing numerous rose plants.

Bare root rose, photo / pic / image.

Another added advantage of planting bare root roses is that they tend to adapt better to their new surrounding soil, water and weather conditions than a similar potted rose.
One disadvantage of buying roses bareroot is that they are not in bloom when you buy them.
Because of this, you must be guided by pictured labels, garden centre staff and personal faith that a purported scarlet rose will bloom red and not yellow.
Thankfully, mix-ups like this are almost as rare as a baby mix up in a maternity ward.

So, take a visit to your local garden centre, enter the doors brushing past any leftover Christmas trees and ask to see their selection of bareroot roses.
When selecting your roses ensure their roots haven't dried out and that the canes are dark green and fresh looking.
The affordable price of these roses may cause you to buy many more than what you originally set out to, don't worry.
You will be pleasantly surprised to discover that you can easily fit upwards of fifty bareroot roses in a car boot, I'd like to see you do that with the potted version.

When you get your plants home, don heavy gloves to protect your hands from thorns and examine their roots for any cracks or breaks.
Tidying up these roots involves cleanly cutting with a secateurs or sharp knife just beyond the damage to healthy tissue.
Any broken rose stems or canes should also be cleanly trimmed back to an outward facing bud.
Now, as their name suggests, these roses have bare roots with little if any soil attached, because of this it is important to introduce the plants to moist soil as quickly as possible after purchasing them.
If planting is delayed for a few days, you can keep your plants roots moist by temporarily planting them into a mound of topsoil or damp bark mulch, this stopgap process is known as heeling in.
Remember to keep them well watered until you get around to planting them proper.

Your roses require lots and lots of warm sun to grow and bloom; a minimum of 5 hours each day of this sunlight is required.
Of course there may be many people that are growing roses in locations with access to less than 5 hours sun, but ask yourself, are those rose really thriving or just persevering.
Ensure the planting location is not shaded by buildings or trees to maximize the amount of sunshine the roses receive, nearby trees as well as blocking sunlight will also compete for moisture and nutrients.
A rose positioned to garner easterly sun in the morning will receive the priceless benefit of dew evaporation from its leaves; this helps prevent fungal diseases such as blackspot (Diplocarpon rosae).

For roses, shelter is just as important as sun.
Avoiding cold winds will prevent leaf burn and allow rose blooms to display their beauty for the maximum amount of time, instead of being cut short by harsh petal shredding breezes.
However, be aware that some gentle air movement around the rose plants is required for insect and disease prevention, this simply involves not planting the roses too close together.
Taking a floribunda or hybrid tea rose as an example, planting them to allow a gap of one to two feet between the foliage of the rose at maturity is perfect.
On the soil front, roses prefer a well-drained slightly acidic soil with loads of organic matter for long term feeding.
If you follow these rules your new roses will establish rapidly, becoming more resistant to pests and diseases which can easily overtake a plant which is just "hanging in there".

Before planting your bare root roses, I recommend soaking the plants roots in a bucket of thick muddy water for a day beforehand, the sticky mud will cling to the roots giving them a great moisture filled start in your garden.
While the roots are soaking you can begin preparing your planting holes, digging to a depth and width of 18 inches by 18 inches.
Rose roots are the scrooges of the plant world; they are very selfish requiring lots of room and no root competition.
The soil you remove from the hole can be mixed 50/50 in a wheelbarrow with a peat-based compost.
Return some of this amended soil mixture into the bottom of the planting hole, creating a hill of soil.
The hill should be high enough so that the roses graft union is just above ground level with the roses roots spread down over the hills sides.
Holding the rose atop this hill, work the soil mix all around the roots, pressing lightly with your fingers as you go, filling the hole almost to the top.
Water deeply, after the water has soaked in you can finish back filling the soil. Finally, mulch the rose to a depth of 3 inches with organic mulch such as peat or bark mulch.

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