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Had my bare root rose delivered yesterday and have soaked the roots overnight.  Made a space and about to go out and dig in some compost.  Should I also add some bonemeal?  I don't have fancy rose fertilisers or whatever.  I want to make sure this rose takes off it's a Munstead Wood and I do not want it to fail.

Any help appreciated.

Orchid Lady

When I planted mine (I've planted 7 this year) I put a handful of Rose food in the bottom of the hole and then out some on top too, you can get it in any garden centre.  I'm not sure about bonemeal as I haven't use that but I'm sure one if the rose experts on here will help further.


Daisy, when we took del of bare rooted stuff, the Grower took time to explain to make a little mound in the bottom of the hole and spread the roots equally over it, they explained they had no proof that adding food to the actual hole made any difference as the home made or G/C compost already has enough goodness in it but people liked to do it and so did we ,peace of mind youv done everything you can kind of thing ,however later feeding was important, FBB and slow release fertilizer was always mentioned as it goes a long way and isnt too expensive, i think later today you will get far better advise than mine as we have a lot of Rose people on here ,good luck.


thanks to both of you,  any more advice greatly appreciated.

John Harding

I've been planting roses since I was 14 (that's 55 years) and I have always used the method I was taught then. I dig a hole and partially fill it with John Innes No 3 compost with some FBB (Fish Blood & Bone) added. Then plant the rose with roots spread out and backfill with more John Innes No 3 to fill the hole and gently tread in to firm up, making sure any graft area is above the soil.

If Roses have been planted there before then use some Rootgrow Mycorrhizal Fungi available in GCs around the roots as you plant it, but it isn't really necessary if roses haven't been planted in that spot before.

One of the problems that can/does affect roses is black spot and I add about 2-3 litres of peat to the base of the plant and gently fork it in to help prevent this.

There are those who say we shouldn't be using peat in our gardens but the amount gardeners use is pitifully small compared to the commercial extraction which is then used as fuel to burn. At least gardeners are putting it back into the earth where it belongs.


Orchid Lady

John, what causes black spot and can it do a lot of damage? I noticed yesterday that my climbing Iceberg has a few leaves with what looks like blackspot, should I be worried?


John, I am interested in how peat helps to stop black spot.



I would like to know that as well, PD, and I always thought peat was acidy, and roses prefered alkaline soil, mine dont do well on my acid soil, or maybe the air is too pure up here.probably I am wrong.

Orchid Lady

Lyn, totally off topic but what is the flower on your Avatar? I have a thing for round flowers at the moment (like Allium's and Agapanthus), I have a feeling my garden will be full of them next summer 

John Harding

Black spot is a fungus (Diplocarpon Rosae). Minor attacks will not harm the plant but the affected leaves should be removed and burned. Severe attacks will weaken the plant. There are various products you can buy to combat the fungus and one method from many years ago was to spray the ground with a solution of household disinfectant or colloidal copper spray. Many of the compounds used years ago have been discontinued but there are a fair few available in GCs such as 'Rose Clear'

Punkdoc: Peat does not necessarily prevent black spot - a book I use written by Ian G. Walls 'A-Z of Garden Pests and Problems' (1979) ISBN  0  907812  66 X recommends using Peat, spent hops, or grass mowings (providing the grass hasn't been treated with hormone weed killers) as a mulch to keep the plants healthy.  

Lyn,  the soil here in Bristol is towards alkaline so the amount of peat I use doesn't do much to turn the soil acidic and the roses seem quite happy. In fact a small azalea we have in the garden which does need acidic soil had to be replanted yesterday in ericacious compost because it definitely looked under the weather after OH moved it last year so I've added a fair amount of peat as a mulch around that too. Time will tell how it likes that. John H

John Harding

Just Joey rose in my garden after a heavy shower

 Yellow Rose (unknown variety rescued from late father in law's garden after he went into a nursing home) was very sickly but has now recovered well.

 Lupins now more fully out than a week ago

 Dr Ruppel Clematis



Thanks again for the advice, John.  I didn't plant it yesterday as the weather was so bad and I'm just getting over an extremely bad combination of a virus and sinusitis so I stayed indoors, normally I don't mind a bit of rain!

I will follow your advice, thanks very much.

And lovely pictures, what fabulous Lupins.

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