How to plant a bare-root rose

Follow our guide to planting a bare-root rose, with tips on the depth, feeding and planting times.

Do it:

Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec

Takes just:

20 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Planting bare-root roses during the dormant season allows the plants to establish quickly, because this is when the soil is moist.

Browse our plant database for over 200 roses to grow. 

Bare root plants are available to buy in autumn and winter and are more economical than planting pot-grown roses - you'll find more varieties available this way, too. Read on to find out how to plant a bare-root rose. 

You will need

  • Bare-root rose plant
  • Spade
  • Fork
  • Bamboo cane
  • Granular fertiliser, such as chicken manure


Dig out a hole in the soil to the depth of a garden spade and the same width. Put the soil to one side of the hole.

Fork the base of the hole and add half a handful of granular fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure. Lightly firm the base of the hole with your foot.

Set the bare-root rose in position and use a bamboo cane placed across the top of the hole to judge the final soil level around the plant. Aim to set the base of the stems just slightly below this level.

Add a spadeful of compost to the soil dug out of the hole and mix it together. Use this to fill in around the roots of the rose, firming in layers with the heel of your foot.

When the hole is full, add a mulch of well-rotted compost to the surface of the soil to help conserve moisture. Water the rose well.


Don't plant during frosty weather as intense cold can kill the roots of the rose. Keep bare-root plants in a frost-free shed until daytime temperatures are above freezing.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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