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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.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do To do in January

Do To do in February

Do To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do To do in December

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
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Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

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Step 3

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.

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Step 4

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.

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Step 5

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.

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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.