How to plant a dormant rose

posted by

Sloat Garden Center offers pre-planted, dormant roses. The freshly dug plants are planted in a complete potting soil with added slow release fertilizer. We don’t consider these plants bareroot, as their roots are not exposed nor are they packaged in a box or bag filled with sawdust.

Transplanting: The container your rose is purchased in is too small and is not sufficient for the life of the plant. We recommend either transplanting your rose before February (or before it begins to sprout), or wait until the newly sprouted canes are at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. You have to wait because when the buds begin to “break”, young roots are developing that can be easily damaged or broken. This damage can affect a successful transplanting. By waiting until young canes are 1″-1 1/2″ long, the young roots will have developed a good hold on the surrounding soil. If deciding to plant early, don’t be alarmed at the sight of the roots. They’ll be very short and there will be no white roots or rootball. This is normal – the plant isn’t dead and it will develop normally.
When planting dormant roses, it is important to prune the existing canes (if any). Our nursery professionals will be happy to assist you with pruning your dormant rose before you take it home.

Pruning: Pruning is important in helping the plant achieve its most desirable growth pattern in the coming growing season. It also helps the plant direct its energies towards root development during the remainder of its dormancy. As a rule of thumb, prune above an outward facing eye or bud, cutting the cane at a 45 degree angle with the lower end of the cut on the side opposite the eye, and ending just slightly above the eye.

Planting roses in the ground
Dig a hole 12 to 18 inches deep. Make it wide enough to allow the plant’s root system to develop easily after planting. Approximately two feet in diameter is a good rule of thumb for a single rose.
Work in a soil amendment to enhance drainage yet retain moisture. We like EB Stone Rose Grow Mix or Planting Mix. A good mixture is 1 part amendment to 2 parts good garden soil or 50/50 if your soil is extremely clay-like. If you want to treat your plant to the “spa treatment”, add additional Alfalfa meal and Sul-Po-Mag as per the directions on the package to promote disease resistance and strong, healthy canes.

Planting roses in containers
Choose a container that is at least 24 inches in diameter. A half wine barrel or 15-gallon plastic container will also work. You need a container this large to accommodate a full-grown rose bush. Too small a container will dry out your rose constantly and stress it.
Choose one of Sloat Garden Center’s various potting soils, Organic or Bay Area Blend. To give your rose a good advantage, add E.B. Stone’s Sure Start according to the directions on the box.
Your rose will need to be root-pruned and repotted every 3 to 5 years. You’ll know it is time when your plant seems thirsty all the time. Do this during winter dormancy after you have pruned. This gives you the opportunity to freshen up the soil as well.

Curious if we have your favorite plant or product in stock? Call one of our locations directly and we'll be happy to check.