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How to plant a bare-root rose

You will need

  • Bare-root rose plant
  • Spade
  • Fork
  • Bamboo cane
  • Granular fertiliser, such as chicken manure
Do it: December - mid-March
At its best: June - August
Takes just: 20 minutes for each rose


Planting bare-root roses during the dormant season allows the plants to establish quickly, because this is when the soil is moist. Bare root plants are available to buy in winter and are more economical than planting pot-grown roses - you'll find more varieties available this way, too.

How to do it


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.

Our tip

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.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to plant a bare-root rose
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clem123atis 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I found this very helpful as i was unsure of whether to bury the stems very deep.

barbs4 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I found this very helpful, as i have quite a few bare roots to plant, but wasnt sure what to do with them during this snow and freezing temps.

Dianne Hill 15/12/2011 at 15:18

can I plant a bare root rose in a tub/pot ?

neatbush 21/03/2012 at 18:39


dico 23/03/2012 at 16:31

can i plant a new rose in an old rose site? i removed the old rose earlier in the year.

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