Planting Roses into the Garden

Planting Roses into the Garden

Choosing the final planting position for your rose is the most important thing you will do with the plant. You need to choose a position in the garden that does not get too wet and boggy, and has plenty of space around the plant with at least half a day’s sunshine.

It must also be an area that is not too sheltered as winds need to filter through the branches to help with the rose’s long-term performance.  

You may have heard of the phase ‘Roses Replant Sickness’, this refers to roses not being able to be planted in a place where a rose has been previously. However, you are now able to replant a rose where one once stood if you use Rootgrow Mycorrhizal Fungi when you plant the new rose. 

If you cannot find a suitable position for your new rose you can dig up some lawn or clear an overgrown area in your garden, just make sure all weeds and their roots are removed from the area before you plant the rose. Or you can use a large heavy container pot to plant your rose in. The larger the rose, the larger the container needed, for example our smallest patio rose can be grown in a 12x18inch container and large climbing or rambling roses can be planted in half barrel sized pots.  

What Soil Type Is Right?

Garden roses will perform well in most soil conditions and will tolerate sandy, chalky and heavy clay soil. You can help enrich the planting area before you plant your rose by digging in well-rotted manure or garden compost. Ideally check the PH of the soil’s acidity level before planting your rose as roses prefer neutral to slightly acidic soils. If your soil is heavily acidic place a heavy amounts of garden lime into the hole before planting your rose, top this up annually with a sprinkle of lime around the base of the rose.  

How to Plant Garden Roses into Borders



Bareroot bush roses (including Climbing and Rambling roses) should have their roots soaked in a bucket of water overnight before they are planted. Bareroot Standard Roses (supplied in March only) should also follow the same steps.  



Use a garden spade to dig a hole big enough to incorporate all the roots of the rose, loosen up the bottom of the hole with a fork, this will help improve rooting and drainage. If your soil is poor, add some well-rotten manure or compost and blend in with the rest of the soil, then add a big handful of granular rose feed and mix with the soil in the hole. If the soil is dry, water the hole in advance with at least 5 litres of water then leave overnight or a few hours before you plant the rose.  



Using Rootgrow during the planting of your rose will greatly benefit the plant and help lead to quicker establishment. It is particularly useful if soil conditions are poor, sandy or dry, and essential if you are planting a rose in a place where a different rose had previously been planted to prevent rose replant sickness. 

If you have fertile soil then Rootgrow is not an essential product but will benefit your roses regardless. Before adding Rootgrow to the planting hole add a couple inches of unfertilised soil on top of the fertilised soil, this is because Rootgrow works best when not in direct contact with fertilisers (other than Empathy Afterplant Rose Food.) 


Bareroot bush roses (including Climbing and Rambling roses) should have their roots soaked in a bucket of water overnight before they are planted.  

While wearing thick gloves, hold the bareroot rose over the planting hole and sprinkle Rootgrow over its wet roots and onto the sides and base of the hole. Place the roots into the hole and spread them out, make sure you hold the rose securely around its neck above the roots, ensuring the neck is above ground level and then half fill the hole with soil. With the heel of your foot push the new soil in around the roots then repeat the filling process and use your heel again making sure the hole is full and level with the surrounding soil. To finish, gently rake over and level the area around the rose. 


Bareroot Standard Roses (supplied between November and February) should be initially planted in 10-15 litre plastic nursery potsKeep the standard rose in this pot until it is fully rooted and well-established with lots of leaves, it should then be ready for final planting in late spring to early summer. The root systems of Standard roses are more vulnerable to frost damage in its first year after being planted, so once potted keep the rose outside and watered over the winter season until the rose is fully rooted. If severe weather occurs (i.e. freezing days and nights) place the potted standard in a shed, garage or cool greenhouse. When more normal winter weather returns (normal night frosts down to -5C), place your standard rose back outside.  

Bareroot Standard roses supplied in March should also be soaked in water overnight the night before planting outside in their final position. 

Make sure all Standard roses are stake and ties on the north side of its stem with a 4-5ft stake, this will help the rose to avoid wind and frost damage. You may also want to consider protecting older, established planted standard roses from severe winter weather with a fleece over the head and foam pip lagging around its stem. 



Before planting a potted rose you need to make sure the plant’s roots are fully rooted into the compost in the container is was originally supplied in. If the rose has full leaf and/or with flower buds forming, then it is likely to be ready to plant. If it is a dormant plant with very few leaves then it is probably not ready to plant yet. To double-check whether the plant is ready wear a thick pair of gardening gloves and hold the neck of the rose with one hand and slowly turn the pot upside down and gently remove the pot with your other hand. If you see system of white roots around the outside and the compost is one solid lump, then the rose is ready to plant. However, if the compost begins to fall away as you lift off the container, quickly place the pot back on and leave the rose outside and water for a couple more weeks until it is fully rooted. Test again using the same process after a few weeks. 

If the rose is fully rooted and ready to plant, gently remove the pot and place the rose into the prepared hole, the base of the rose should be just above ground level, leaving the stems to go into the hole. Ideally add 30g (a scoop) of Rootgrow into the bottom of the hole and place the rose in the hole on top of the Rootgrow ensuring the roots are in direct contact with the Rootgrow granules. Half fill the hole with soil and use your heel to firmly press around the roots, then continue to fill the hole and firm again with you heel. Finally, gently rake and level the top level of soil around the rose 



Water the rose well immediately after planting with at least 5 litres of water, use a shower attachment on a garden hose or watering cantry to avoid getting the leaves wet.  

In hot and dry conditions other large plants, trees or hedges can quickly remove any water and moisture from the soil around the roots of your newly planted roses and will cause it to wilt, therefore daily watering may be needed during very hot weather, this advice applies for both old and new roses. Be alert and make sure the soil around the roses remains moist for a few months until the plant has become established and well-rooted. 


Front Border/Patio Bush Roses  60cm / 2ft apart 
Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Bush Roses  90cm / 3ft apart 
Shrub and David Austin Roses  90-120cm / 3-4ft apart 
Ground Cover Roses  90-180cm,/ 3-6ft apart 
Climbing & Rambling Roses  180cm / 6ft apart 
Standard Roses (Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Patio)  90cm / 3ft apart 
Standard Roses (Weeping)  180cm / 6ft apart