Tips for Planting a Bareroot Rose

Monty Don offers advice on how to get a new rose established quickly

Video: Britbox

No one can deny the beauty of a rose bush in full bloom. But those hybrid tea and floribunda types can be quite expensive garden plants to purchase. Bareroot roses offer a wider variety and cheaper price. However, these plants can be tricky to get properly established in the landscape.

In this video from the horticulturist Monty Don, host of Gardeners’ World (available on, you’ll learn how to plant a bareroot rose. These are generally ordered in late fall or winter and shipped in late winter or early spring, depending on your location.

First, Monty digs a deep hole but doesn’t add any compost to that hole. If you place a lot of nutrient-rich compost into the planting hole, the roots of the plant will not want to extend past that hole. This means you’ll essentially end up with a “pot-bound” plant. Instead, add compost after planting to the surface of the soil, which will eventually seep down into the native soil.

Next, Monty examines the bareroot rose and identifies where the rootstock, graft, and topstock are all located. This will determine exactly how deeply the rose will be planted.

Monty then applies a dusting of mycorrhizal fungi, which will colonize the rose roots and form a biological link between the roots and the soil. He places the rose in the planting hole and backfills around it with the native soil.

Finally, Monty cuts the rose back. Pruning immediately after planting helps stimulate vigorous new growth, which in turn stimulates more root growth and leads to a healthier plant. Give your newly planted rose a good drink, and be sure to monitor the weather conditions to be sure it stays evenly moist throughout the first full growing season.


Read more about which rose varieties are best here.

Click here to watch Gardeners’ World on BritBox with a seven-day free trial.




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