Rose bushes are found in landscapes all over the world because of their renowned beauty, their intoxicating scent, and their longevity as cut flowers. Their blooms come in a range of colors offering plenty of variety for homeowners to choose from. Modern rose bushes are also hardier than ever making plants flourish in a wide range of growing conditions with only a little TLC.
One of the other great benefits to rose bushes is that they are really easy to plant in your flowerbeds or gardens. Choose a sunny location that is well-drained, and follow these 7 tips to have beautiful blooms year after year.
1. Plant in late spring or early summer
If you are planting rose bushes that are already potted in soil, it's best to plant them outside in late spring or early summer as they are used to "hot houses" at the nursery or garden center and are more tender. Make sure to acclimate them to the outside temperatures for about a week before you intend to plant them, bringing them inside at night to protect them from the cold.
2. Planting depth varies depending on location
Most rose bushes sold are known as "grafted" roses -- the top part is one type of rose that has been grafted onto the rootstock of a hardier variety. To keep the graft protected from weather, it's important you dig the planting hole deep enough that the graft on your rose bush is planted at the correct depth. In cold climate areas the graft should be planted at least 2-3" below the soil surface; in warmer areas with milder winters plant the graft at the soil level. You can learn more about grafted roses over at Gardening Know How.
3. Mound soil slightly in the bottom of hole
After you have sufficiently dug the planting hole deep enough, slightly mound a little bit of soil in the bottom for the rose bush to rest on. This will allow the roots to fan out slightly beneath the plant.
4. Add phosphorus to planting hole
Phosphorus is important for plant rooting and flowering. So when you're planting new rose bushes it's important to add some phosphorus fertilizer to the bottom of the hole before filling it in. This will help the roots to establish more quickly and promote beautiful flowers. Garden Analyst explains 7 ways to add phosphorus naturally to the soil if you'd rather avoid commercial fertilizers.
5. Tamp soil down lightly
Holding the rose bush with one hand, start backfilling the dirt into the hole. Periodically tamp the soil down lightly to get rid of any air pockets that may have formed. This will prevent the soil from sinking over time.
6. Mulch after planting
After planting, thoroughly mulch around the rose bushes to help retain soil moisture and prevent weeds. It's best to add a 3-4" layer of mulch over the soil above the roots while staying a couple of inches away from the canes themselves.
7. Keep an eye on soil moisture after planting
The few weeks after planting a rose bush are critical. After planting, roses are more susceptible to water stress that can inhibit growth. Make sure to keep the soil slightly moist but not overly saturated as roses don't like the roots to be soggy.