When To Plant My Barefoot Rose And How to Plant it Successfully

The Advantages of Bare Root Roses

  • The advantage of bare root roses is that they are lighter than potted roses, and you can plant them in your garden at the right time (early spring).
  • Bare root roses are able to get an advantage over potted roses due to their dormant condition (without any foliage or active growth). You can plant them earlier in spring without worrying about cool weather destroying any active growth. The tolerance to cold weather is much lower for potted roses. A bare root rose can be planted as soon as the ground is accessible and it doesn’t require consistent frost. The rose will begin to grow once the weather is warmer.

Bare root roses are susceptible to heat and drying winds. It is best to plant them before the start of the summer, to allow the roots to draw water and make the plant more resilient.

Red Rose

If you plant your roses later in the season, when it is still warm.
If the temperatures are higher than normal, you will need to mulch your plant.
To keep the roots cool, to retain moisture, and to give the rose a good life.
Soak it at least twice per week, and keep it out of strong winds.

How To Plant a Bare Root Rose

To give your rose the best chance for successful blooms
These are some things you should remember …

  • Plant your rose in an area that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Shade-tolerant roses are rare and don’t produce as many flowers in the shade as roses grown in full sunlight. Make sure your soil pH is between 6-7. Roses love slightly acidic soil. To ensure rose growth, I recommend you purchase a cheap soil test kit from amazon.
  • It doesn’t matter if you have clay soil or a light sandy soil, adding organic matter to your soil is a great idea. You can use garden compost, well-rotted horse manure, and leaf mold to improve the soil structure and provide nutrients to your roses to help them thrive and be healthier.
  • Find a spot that allows air to circulate, but isn’t subject to strong winds. There is less chance of your rose developing powdery mildew (or black spot) if there is adequate air circulation. Strong winds can dry out roses and cause potential damage to the blooms.

Now it’s time to plant your rosebuds.

  1. I like to give the bare root roses a headstart by putting them in a bucket with water and 1 cup root stimulant. This will stimulate root growth. It will allow them to establish themselves in your soil faster, so they are able to absorb water quicker and have greater stability. It will also decrease the likelihood of your rose becoming dry in its early stages.
  2. Dig a hole about 2 ft in diameter and 2 ft deep. Keep the soil on one side. To increase fertility, water retention, and soil structure so that roots can move through the hole easily, partially fill the hole with soil amendments. Leaf mould is my favorite organic material to retain moisture. This allows roots to draw on this moisture when they come out of dormancy. Add a cup of fertilizer or soil mixture, such as bone meal, to give your rose a great start in life.
  3. The bud union (the connection between the roots and the canes) of the rose should be at least 3 inches below the soilline. To ensure that the bud union is at the correct depth, place a bamboo stick or other straight piece of wood over the hole.
  4. Place your rose in the hole to the correct height. You can add or subtract soil according to your needs. Then fill the hole with soil, leaf mould, or good compost. To give the rose stability, compact the soil around it. Make sure the bud union is not below the ground. Next, you will need mulch (compost, horse manure leaf mold) to partially cover the rose canes. This will reduce the moisture loss. This is crucial as bare root roses are susceptible to drying out in the first few weeks. Mulch should be placed high around the rose. As new shoots emerge from the canes, you can reduce the amount of mulch around your rose each week. This is done by washing the mulch with a watering can or hose. After planting, give the rose a good soak twice per week at the base for the first year with four gallons water. Slowly pour the water into the soil, making sure it reaches the roots.
  5. Fertilize the rose every month after new shoots appear. To fertilize my roses, I use fish emulsion in a 2 gallon can of water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Too strong fertilizer can cause more harm than good.

Keep applying mulch to your rose garden during the summer.
Keep the weeds at bay and the ground cool, and make sure to keep the earthworms happy.
active. The resulting earthworm castings have their nutrients chelated.
It means that it is easily absorbed by the plant.

Healthy roses are more resistant to pests and disease than other plants
You will produce more flowers if you mulch generously to ensure that the soil is well-drained.
Fertile and with the right texture

It is best to wait until the second year for your newly planted bareroot rose. It will be in a dormancy state when the rose is planted for the first time so it may take some time for it to establish itself.

I personally prefer a Regosa and Gallica rose variety because they have the best resistance to disease. They also produce long-lasting blooms that are sweet and fragrant.

Planting Roses in Clay, Sandy Soils or Rocky Soils

If you are planting roses in clay, sandy, rocky soils or windy areas then there are some unique considerations to be aware of because of the unfavourable conditions. You can find my guide to planting roses in these areas using the links below.

When is the best time to plant bareroot roses?

The best time of the year
Planting bare root roses in spring is a good idea, even though it’s cold.
still cool. Bare root roses are more susceptible to summer heat, so make sure you plant.
They have the opportunity to establish roots and draw water in the spring.
The rose won’t dry out in warm weather.

Checklist to buy bare root roses

  • Bareroot roses must be in dormancy and have no leaves when they are purchased. Do not purchase roses whose leaves have begun to grow. If you ordered the rose online or from a catalog, ask for your money back. Any reputable garden supplier will refund you in these circumstances. The rose will die if the roots are not able to take up enough water and establish themselves before the leaves grow. Look for roses with at least three strong canes, large buds tightly packed and closed.
  • Depending on the rose species, the outer layer of the rosecane may be brown or green. You can check if the rose is still alive by lightly scratching the rose’s skin. The outer layer of cambium should be green. If it is brown, the rose is alive but not dormant!


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)