You are here

Site Selection, Bed Preparation and Planting of Roses

Not all rose plantings are successful because there is more to planting roses than digging a hole, spreading out the roots, and replacing the soil. Before you remove any soil, consider several things:

  1. Has the soil already grown roses for many years?
  2. Does the soil need improving?
  3. Is the site suitable for roses?

The first step is to pick the right spot. Plenty of sun is required to produce top quality roses, but light shade during early afternoon is beneficial. Roses cannot stand deep and continuous shade. Shelter from cold wind is helpful. A nearby hedge or fence is useful, but it should not be close enough to shade the bushes. Avoid planting in the lowest part of the garden if it is a "frost pocket." Roses do not thrive in exposed, low-lying sites.

Plenty of air is required to produce healthy plants.

Bush and standard roses do not like being shut in by walls and overhanging plants. Roses cannot tolerate being planted under trees.

Suitable soil is necessary, and fortunately this can be achieved in nearly all gardens. Ideally, it should be a medium loam, with free internal drainage, slightly acid, and rich in organic matter and fertilizer nutrients. A high clay content is not necessary and can be harmful if poor drainage occurs. A high lime content is almost impossible to overcome. Free drainage is necessary. Roses cannot withstand being waterlogged.

Instructions for preparing a raised rose planter bed are shown later in this publication. Most all plantings would benefit from the raised-bed concept. Prepare the soil in the fall, whether for fall or spring planting. This will allow time for "settling." The medium within the planter should be a 1-1-1 mixture of topsoil, builders sand, and organic matter. The organic matter could be decayed sawdust, peat moss, or pine bark fines. Soil test to determine the proper amount of lime and fertilizer to add to the bed. Lime and

phosphorus can be added in the fall, while other elements should be added at the time of planting or when growth begins in the spring.

Spacing. Space hybrid teas, grandifloras, and polyanthas 3 feet X 3 feet in the bed.

Space floribundas 4 feet X 4 feet. Space miniature roses 1 foot apart. Plant hybrid perpetuals 5 feet apart, and climbers at least 10 feet apart.

Plant Roses Carefully. If you're planting a few roses, dig individual planting holes. Make holes at least twice the size of the root mass and 12 inches deep. For a large number of roses in a continuous bed, prepare bed by spading soil to a depth of about 12 inches. Dig planting holes in the prepared bed.

Make a small mound of prepared soil in the planting hole. Spread the roots over the mound and set plant to proper depth. Backfill the planting hole with prepared soil, and firm with hands. Water the soil thoroughly immediately after planting. Avoid planting too high or too deep.

Examine the canes carefully for proper pruning before planting. Canes should be cut at an angle approximately one-fourth inch above a node. To prevent a delay in flowering, do not cut canes shorter than 10 inches.

To help conserve soil moisture and aid in successful reestablishment, mulch newly planted roses with a 4- to 6-inch layer of pine straw or pine bark. During dry periods, water thoroughly every 8 to 12 days.

Fertilizing. Soil tests should be made before fertilizing plants. Fertilize after plants initiate growth. Depending on the type of fertilizer being used, applications may be required every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season to sustain good growth. Do not

fertilize plants after August. The fertilizer should be watered into the soil immediately after application. Follow the soil test recommendations.

This information was taken from Extension Publication 529, Roses in Mississippi.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

News

A person spreading mulch in a flower bed.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens March 26, 2020

Everyone’s normal routine is being flipped upside down. Employees are working from home, kids are out of school, and social gatherings are postponed. Boredom and stress are setting in. Gardening to the rescue! 

A carpet of tiny green and purple plants fill garden trays.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens March 23, 2020

With much of our workforce telecommuting from home and with school suspended or cancelled for the kids, cabin fever has already become an issue for many households.

A single, orange bloom is open against a background of green.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 16, 2020

We are certainly experiencing troubling and scary times right now. “Quarantine,” “pandemic” and “social distancing” have become frequently used words, at least until we get a handle on COVID-19.

As a result, garden and landscape shows are being cancelled all across the South out of an abundance of caution. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has been cancelled.

Scores of purple flower spikes rise from a bed of green foliage.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 9, 2020

Sometimes it seems I need a larger garden landscape because, sadly, I don’t have room for every great plant I write about. But one group of plants I make sure to save space for is perennial salvia.

White and purple flower stalks are massed in a bed with a variety of pink flowers and different colors and shapes of green leaves.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 2, 2020

March 1 was the meteorological first day of spring, and I found my thoughts wandering to those summer annuals I love so well. One of my cool-season favorites doesn’t last long past the last days of spring, but I know I have summer replacement.

Angelonia is a close relative of snapdragon that blooms all summer and into the fall. It is hard to believe that a plant in the snapdragon family relishes our summer heat and humidity, but this one does. Angelonia is a fantastic, easy-care annual that doesn’t need deadheading, which is always a positive in my garden choices.

Watch

Salvia
Southern Gardening

Salvia

Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 7:00am
Hydrangea
Southern Gardening

Hydrangea

Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 7:00am
Break the Hex
Southern Gardening

Break the Hex

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 7:00am
Yellow Spring Flowers
Southern Gardening

Yellow Spring Flowers

Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 7:00am
Tips for Buying Spring Plants
Southern Gardening

Tips for Buying Spring Plants

Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 7:00am

Listen

Friday, February 28, 2020 - 7:00am
Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 7:00am
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 7:00am
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 7:00am
Monday, February 24, 2020 - 7:00am

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. Gary R. Bachman
Extension/Research Professor
Ornamental Horticulture Host of Southern Gardening