Where you plant your rose will determine how healthy it will be into the future and how well it will produce beautiful blooms year in year out. Rose planting, like most plant species, requires a little fore thought and home work. It is advisable to discuss this subject with a staff member at your local nursery as he or she will have knowledge of the various rose varieties and the local area. Your Rose is a living being so give it a good home and you’ll reap the rewards.
So what are the important points to consider? Sunlight gives life and choosing a place where your rose will get adequate sun is vital. Most rose species require about six hours of direct sunlight each day. Some species are shade tolerant but even they require four hours or more. So take your time and observe several areas of your garden that you feel may be suitable. Time how much sun those areas get and choose the one you feel works best.
Nutritious soil is another important factor in determining your rose planting location. Roses require a lot of nutrients so you need to do a few preliminary checks to see if your soil meets requirements. They do not do well in clay and equally struggle with very sandy soil. The ideal is a good mix of both clay and sand. It’s really very easy to determine if your soil has the correct structure. Take a handful and squeeze it ! Is it like putty or does it crumble away? If the answer is neither, and it holds it’s shape but will crumble with a little pressure, then your soil structure passes the test. But that’s not all we have to check with our earth. What’s it’s pH? If your garden bed is too acidic or too alkaline your rose planting will not go well. As mentioned previously it’s worth a discussion with your local nursery staff to find out which variety of roses do well in your region. Some will be better suited than others. However, your garden may have more limestone or more chalk than usual. Sometimes getting a soil test done can pay dividends in the long run.
Another important consideration is the relationship with other plants in your garden. You really need to find a generous space for your rose planting. Often the temptation is to surround your rose bush with other plants so the garden looks full. Please resist doing this as many other plants and shrubs can suck vital nutrients out of the soil robbing your rose of it’s lifeblood. They also use up water so your rose is not getting the amount of hydration you may think it is. Dig around in the area you are thinking of planting. Are their lots of roots in the soil? If so resist using this spot. Once your rose has established itself and started to have beautiful blooms, that part of your garden will look complete and absolutely wonderful. You’ll be pleased you took the time to carefully choose a good location.
Having chosen an ideal location for your rose planting by checking the soil composition and it’s pH, and determining if other plants will encroach, it’s time to plant your bush. You will need to dig a hole that is a few inches bigger in circumference than the pot your plant comes in. The required depth can vary a little depending on your local climate. Either talk with your nursery or seek out someone who has beautiful roses in their garden close to your home. Often you can get some amazing tips from neighbors and fellow rose growers. As a general rule of thumb colder climates require you to have a slightly deeper hole. In any case it is advisable to loosen the soil near the bottom of your hole and add either some compost or blood and bone fertilizer. This will encourage strong root growth by providing some phosphorus and other elements.
With your hole prepared it’s time to place your rose. As with all potted plants it is important to gently free them from their pot and then with your fingers loosen the root system. Living in a pot can cause the plant to be ‘root bound’ which stunts growth. You may wonder why some of your pot plants aren’t doing so well after a while. It could well be that their root system is stifled because the plant has out grown the pot – time for an upgrade!
With the root system freed up, place the plant in the hole and cover it three quarters of the way up with the soil you dug from the hole. Lightly water it in and then finish filling in the soil making a small mound. Make sure you press the soil down firmly but not so hard as to stop water absorption.
Your work is done for the day, congratulate yourself, even celebrate! You will be glad you took the time to follow these few simple checks and procedures when your rose is resplendent in beautiful blooms!
Happy rose gardening!