QUESTION: What’s the best month to plant roses? I’d like to start a rose garden this year and I’m not sure when. – Eloise G
ANSWER: When you plant your roses will depend upon what type of rose you have. There are two main types of roses.
The first type is a bare-root rose. This is a plant that has been dug up, had all the soil removed from its roots, packed in a soilless growing medium, and shipped in plastic to retain its moisture.
The other type of rose is a plant growing in a container. Bare-root roses will need nutrients once they begin growing again. Therefore, you must ensure they’re in the ground before this occurs.
For this reason, it’s wise to plant bare-root roses over the fall and winter months (as long as the ground isn’t over saturated or frozen) to ensure the plant is in the ground prior to growing again in the spring.
If you’re planting a container grown rose, you can plant it anytime of the year. The main things to consider is you shouldn’t plant when the ground is frozen, over saturated, or during a time of drought.
You might think, “Yes, but won’t my rose bush freeze if I plant it when it’s cold outside?” No, as long as the plant is dormant when you’re putting it in the ground, and you’re planting a hardy rose for your planting zone, the rose should be fine.
However, if you’re purchasing a plant that isn’t dormant, be sure to only plant it when the weather is right.
In these cases, you should plant an active rose in the spring after the threat of frost is over. You may also plant an active rose bush in the fall six weeks prior to frost. This will give the plant enough time to become established before going into dormancy over the winter months.
As you can tell there are many factors to take into consideration as to when you should plant a rose. Much of this will be determined by your individual climate and what planting zone you reside in.
For instance, in cooler climates an active rose bush probably won’t be planted until May or June. Whereas in warmer planting zones, you can plant an active rose bush in December in some cases.
Be sure you know what type of rose bush you’re planting (container grown or bare-root), know whether the plant is active or dormant, check your soil conditions, and know your planting zone.
From there, you can use the information provided here to get your rose off to its best start. Also, be sure you understand the needs of your rose prior to planting.
Some rose varieties are very needy while others are known for being hardy and low-maintenance. By having a full understanding of your plant prior to planting, you give it the greatest chance of thriving under your care.