Planting Roses

The first step in planting roses is picking the proper spot for them to thrive.

Roses perform best when they receive full sunshine all day, or at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, from spring through fall. Morning sun is essential; partial afternoon shade is acceptable.

There should be air movement through the foliage to keep it dry and to discourage disease. Plant roses away from large trees or shrubs that might compete for nutrients, moisture, and sunlight. Roses need good drainage. If your site doesn’t drain well you can modify it in several ways:

  • Drain tile or pipe: Dig a trench and bury drain tile or pipe in coarse gravel 12 to 15 inches beneath the planting site. Slant the pipe toward a ditch, a storm sewer, or a dry well.
  • Raised beds: In moist areas, build a bed at least 16 inches high. In severe-winter climates, be sure to plant the roses at least 12 inches from the side of a raised bed.
  • Terraces: Create level surfaces in the hillside which allow water to soak into the roots.

Planting roses

There are two ways to introduce roses into your garden: by planting a bare-root rose or planting roses raised in containers.

Roses bought in containers can be planted in the garden at any time of year when weather permits. It is best to plant in early spring after the last frost, or in fall in warm climates, so that the roots can establish themselves in your soil before they are stressed by heat. If you plant during hot weather, be sure to monitor the rose for the next six weeks and make sure it remains properly moist.