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Hi. i am thinking of buying a couple of climbing roses. I've done a bit of googling and see that they are sold as bare root or container grown. When I eventually manage to decide which 2 to buy (am constantly changing my mind) what should i go for? Will bare root roses flower this year?
In my experience, bare-rooted roses, planted now, are very unlikely to flower this year. You might just get one tiny bloom.
A rose bought in a container will usually be a more mature specimen. Climbing roses in containers in garden centres often have a growth of several feet. I'm not certain how much more growth they would make this season.
I'm not entirely convinced that all container roses are more mature. I've occasionally bought a rose (or even a fruit tree) in a container, and when I remove the plant from the container, most of the compost falls away. It gives the impression that a bare-rooted plant has simply been stuck in a pot of compost and sold as a container-grown plant.
The other thing to bear in mind is that bare rooted roses are usually planted in the dormant months before they spring into growth-that period is coming to an end.
They are usually cheaper-because you have to do the work to get it going
A container rose may have been containerised for some months have a good root system and is raring to grow-but will be dearer
So you takes your choice-but a decision will need to be made quickly
Price is certainly a good indicator. If you see 'container' fruit trees for sale for around £10-£15, then it's very likely that they are bare-rooted plants that have been stuck into a pot of compost. You'll also find similar sized trees for £25 - those are the ones that really have been grown in the containers, and have good root systems.
If you're cheeky, and in a garden centre, you could remove the plant from its pot, and have a look.
If you want bare root ones it's almost too late, some varieties are sold out and the best ones will have gone as they start selling them late autumn.
Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. I guess you all confirmed what I had suspected - you get what you pay for. I was kinda hoping that i would be told that a bare rooted climber would reach 10 feet and be covered in flowers this summer. I've never grown roses before so wasn't sure what to expect. Think I'll go for the container variety, at least it will give me a bit more dithering time before I decide. Thanks again.