If you acquire a rose bush to grow it in your garden or your container, the foremost thing is to ensure that you don’t allow it to dry out even before you plant it. Make sure that the plant does not dehydrate before you place it in the planting hole and water it properly. When you receive your rose, ensure that you sink the roots of the plant in water and keep it that way for quite some time, enabling the flowers to take in as much water as they can retain. After keeping the roots plunged in water for about 12 hours, take out the root bush and plant it in the place you have selected for it. In case it is not possible for you to plant the rose right away, keep the roots buried in any dugout in any suitable place in your garden or keep the plant’s roots in sawdust or a moist bark till you have prepared the ground for planting it. Always bear in mind that keeping the plant in the sun or in any dry place even for some minutes may kill it.
In most cases, the rose you will be buying is likely to be a potted plant. If this is true in your case, ensure that you tease out any long, growing root of the plant before you plant the rose. In case the roots of the plant have developed into a thick mass outside the root ball and if you find it difficult to separate them, it is advisable that you undertake a number of shallow cuts using a knife on all sides of the root ball. This will actually result in the development of relatively smaller roots that will grow well when planted in a new soil. If the root-bound plants are not unbound, they usually don’t grow well into the adjoining soil. In the worst case, these roots may even choke one another leading to their death. In addition, root bound plants grown in the northern hemisphere are also forced out of the soil easily, especially due to frost heave.
While preparing a planting hole, you should begin with getting rid of weeds, if any, especially their roots, from the region of the planting site. Next, you need to dig a hole that is sufficient enough to accommodate the complete root system of the plant. The hole should be wide enough to allow the roots to spread themselves as much as possible. At the same time, the hole should have a sufficient depth so as to keep the entire root system underground. Remember, majority of the rose varieties are actually budded roses and these types of roses usually come with a bud that is placed beneath the rootstock’s bark. You will notice the formation of a bulbous crook where the rootstock and the variety join. Ensure that you bury the point of the union no less than 4 inches (10 cm) under the surface of the soil. When you do this, the soil will save the union from any harm when the temperature drops during the winter months. In addition, it will also check the growth of suckering (suckers or shoots) from the rootstock. However, you can plant roses that have been propagated either from cuttings or layers at the depth in which they were growing earlier. Or you may also plant them somewhat deeper. It all depends on what you desire to do.
You can easily use properly decomposed manure or compost in the planting hole provided the soil in your planting site is somewhat loose clay. It is suggested that you can also add some bone meal to these substances, because bone meal provides the plant with a phosphorus source for a prolonged period. Phosphorus is necessary for the development of the roots. Moreover, you may also use peat moss if you wish. However, ensure that the peat moss is dampened properly prior to putting it inside the planting hole. In addition, you should be careful that the amount of peat moss you put in the planting hole does not exceed 1/4 of the volume of the total soil. This is important because peat moss is a very light soil mix and may result in the hole drying up very fast.
Ensuring that you use peat moss in the right manner and proportion is particularly important if the soil in your garden is heavy clay. Such compact soils have a tendency to drain water from the lighter soils in the planting hole. If this happens, the plants will not get sufficient water for their healthy growth. Provided the soil in your garden is heavy clay, it is advisable that you add some clay that you dug out while preparing the planting hole for the root system of your rose. However, it is alright if you wish to add some bone meal and compost in the planting hole even in heavy clay soil. Once the rose has been planted, put more compost as well as organic materials on the surface of the soil around the plant. They should be placed in the place where feeder roots will develop and enable them to make the utmost use of the nutriments in compost and organic materials.
When you are planting roses ensure that you also work on the ground adjoining the plant’s root system to do away with all air pockets, whatsoever. In fact, the air pockets hold-up the development of smaller roots that is vital for the plant to establish properly. Having finished working the surface of the soil, compress it slightly using your hands or feet. When you do this, depress the soil a little and fill the space with water. When the water has been soaked by the soil, pour more water on the depression and repeat this till the soil has been saturated. In case you want to mulch the plant, spread it on the soil surface around the rose and water it once again.
Watering is one of the most vital aspects to help a new rose to be established properly. It is suggested that you maintain a regular watering schedule for your roses. It is ideal to provide them with water equivalent to no less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) or 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of rain every week. Providing this much water to the plants every week would be perfect to promote their healthy growth. At the same time, you need to make sure that the planting hole is saturated with water. Just spraying some amount of water on the soil surface will not help your roses. Since roses consume more water than what you would normally guess, it is important to soak the soil down up to the base of the planting hole. Provided you are sincere in watering your roses, you will be repaid by the plants with healthy growth as well as abundance of exquisite flowers. It is important to note that you can actually help even a very frail plant to survive, provided you give it a sufficient amount of water. Nevertheless, there are risks of over-watering a plant, especially if you are growing them in heavy clay soils. In case the roots of your roses are extremely damp and for prolonged periods, it will result in a deficiency of oxygen.
Planting roses in containers
If you are fond of roses and wish to make the optimum use of your garden space, the best thing to do is grow roses in containers. This will allow you to display the plants when they are in bloom and shift them to an insignificant place when they have been pruned severely and are somewhat bare, without their usual glory. Growing roses in containers will also help you to contribute to your garden’s ornamental value or enhance the beauty of your porch, patio or deck. Roses that are grown in containers basically display plants and, hence, you should select the varieties that offer utmost visual appeal – for instance, roses that are compact and blossom generously. You have the option to grow varieties meant for growing in containers or the bare-root ones. However, it has been found that generally the container-grown roses have a better start, as their roots have been growing in a restrained space from before.
Choosing a container
If you want to grow your rose in a container, it is important to choose the appropriate containers. This is vital because choosing the wrong container will adversely affect the growth as well as the flower production of your rose. In fact, the growth of all types of roses is stunted and their flowers become inferior if their roots are not provided with sufficient space for growth. A container in the range of 15 gallons to 20 gallons is perfect for well grown rose bushes, as it will provide enough space for the growth of the plant’s roots. On the other hand, a container measuring about 18 inches in diameter and depth is considered to be the minimum size. Ideal containers for growing miniature roses ought to be in the range of 5 gallons to 7 gallons (measuring about 12 inches in diameter and depth). In fact, a container with more width than depth is perfect for miniature roses whose roots have a tendency to be expansive.
Various types of containers are available in the market these days, including clay, terracotta, plastic, wood and cement. There are also metal containers, but it is advisable that you avoid them, especially if you are planning to keep them outdoors, because they absorb great heat and, therefore, can suppress the growth of the plant. Irrespective of the kind of container you are using, it is important to ensure that they do offer satisfactory drainage so that the base of the container is waterlogged and the roots of your rose are not soaked in water. It is advisable that you opt for a container having drainage holes at its base or at the sides close to the base.
In case the container you have bought does not have any drainage holes or it is too hard to drill holes, you should plant your rose in a relatively smaller container having drainage holes at the bottom and place the smaller container in a larger container. Before placing the smaller container in the larger one, you need to put some gravels or small stones at the bottom of the bigger container so as to raise the level of the smaller container higher than the level of water accumulated inside the larger container. However, it is also possible to grow a large rose in a container without any drainage holes, provided you place a good layer of charcoal and gravel at its base. However, this is not recommended because it will require a lot of effort and care on your part so that you don’t water the rose excessively and ruin its growth.
Planting a rose in a container
Plants grown in containers have a special requirement for potting mixes or growing medium. This is primarily because the roots of these plants cannot spread much to acquire nutrients, water and oxygen necessary for their growth. Therefore, it is advisable that instead of using the soil from your garden, you use the right growing medium for such plants. The soil in your garden may be well prepared and loaded with earthworm (which provides humus), but it is not suitable for roses grown in containers. In fact, such soils are very heavy and will not provide the best possible drainage or ventilation. The soil collected from your garden may also contain insects and diseases that will eventually damage the plant. So, it is advisable that you always use a superiors quality, all-purpose soil mix that comes in bags and packages and is available at the garden centers.
After you have filled the pot with the growing medium, plant the rose in the same manner as you would plant it in your garden. Place the crown or the bud union at the level of soil surface – roughly 1 inch lower than the container’s rim. After the planting is over, water the rose properly.
Having planted your rose in the container, keep it in a place where the plant will get sunlight for no less than six hours daily. Ensure that you never place the container anywhere where it may become very hot – like placing it against a wall that is very reflective or on a driveway made of asphalt. Make it a point to feed the plants at regular intervals with special plant foods prepared for roses. At the same time, the roots should always be kept wet. Therefore, it may be necessary to water the plants every day when the weather conditions turn hot.
If you find that your rose has become too big for its container you should take it out carefully and plant it in another larger container. You can find this by checking the surface of the soil in the container. The plant requires repotting in case the soil is very dense with its roots. You may also have to repot the plant if you see it wilting due to too frequent watering. Repotting is simple, but needs to be done carefully so that you don’t damage the roots. Take the plant out of its container, get rid of some soil from the roots as well as cut back the roots by about one-third and replant the rose in another container, which is some inches bigger compared to the previous one. Before replanting the rose, make sure that you use a fresh potting mix. There are several varieties of roses and some of them grow quite rapidly, requiring re-potting once in two to three months.