When To Plant Roses – Planting Guide 2024

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Call us biased or prejudiced, but roses are easily among the most popular and beautiful flowers out there.

What’s even better is that beginner home gardeners won’t find any trouble starting a rose bush garden.

As with any plant, the key is making sure you plant them at the right time.

When to plant roses? You can plant potted roses anytime during the growing season, but you’ll have the best chance if you do so in late spring. On the other hand, plant bare root roses as soon as the soil becomes workable in spring if you live in colder states. In warmer conditions, plant them when they are still dormant or anywhere from early spring to late fall.

What Is the Best Month To Plant Roses?

The best time to plant roses is when they are already in bloom, which could be around April or May.

This way, you get to enjoy their beauty as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, though, that it may take some time for them to adapt to their new environment.

As such, you probably won’t get as many blooms as you would have liked.

Basically, plant your roses when soil temperatures range between 40F and 60F.

This way, they would be strong enough to survive the heat of summer.

You may also plant them in the fall, but don’t make the mistake of waiting too long.

The goal is to give them enough time to grow roots and be established before going dormant for the winter.

Plant roses in the ground no later than six weeks before the scheduled first frost in your region.

Planting Roses in Different Growing Conditions

Roses grow and thrive when given at least five to six hours of direct sun each day.

They also need protection from strong winds but good enough air circulation.

To grow roses, you have to determine your region’s growing zone classification.

Zones 3 to 5

These areas fall under the far northern parts of the mainland.

Usually, May 15th marks the last frost date in these parts, so you can plant your roses then.

Zones 6 to 8

In areas characterized as Zone 6, all dangers of frost are over by April 1st to 15th.

Those from Zone 7 can start planting roses around mid-April.

If you are from Zone 8, plant your roses anywhere from March 21st to the 31st.

Zones 9 to 11

One to two weeks into January, you can start planting roses outdoors if you are from these zones.

Choosing Between Bare-Root vs Potted Roses

You have two choices when planting roses. You can either plant bare root or potted ones.

The choice depends on exactly when you plan on planting them.

Because they are dormant plants, plant bare root roses in the cooler months before there is any chance for new growth.

On the other hand, you should plant potted roses outside only when you’re sure that all the dangers of frost have passed.

You will find many varieties of roses from which you can choose, with over 13,000 known varieties as of writing.

If you are a beginner, try planting Snowdrift roses. As the name suggests, these bushes produce beautiful white blooms that are great for cutting.

For red flowers, try the Paint-the-Town variety. They are also easy to grow and are resistant to diseases.

Both of these rose bushes grow around three to four feet tall and will thrive in growing zones 4 to 9.

How To Plant Roses

After deciding which variety to grow and whether to plant potted or bare-root roses, you are now ready to prepare for planting.

Here are the steps to follow to make sure you plant your roses correctly:

Step 1: Choose the planting spot.

As mentioned, pick a spot in your garden that gets a minimum of six hours of daily sun.

Make sure it isn’t covered in weeds or too crowded with roots.

There also shouldn’t be anything that might block the sunlight from getting to your rose bushes, such as tree branches or fencing.

Step 2: Prepare the soil.

The soil where you plant your roses should have a pH level of 6.3 to 6.8.

To avoid root rot, it should also be quite loose and offer good enough drainage.

Add gypsum pellets if you think the soil in your chosen spot has too much clay mixed in.

Step 3: Ready the roses for planting.

Next up is preparing your roses for planting.

Keep in mind that you will be introducing them to a whole new environment, so they have to be ready and strong enough to handle it.

For bare root roses, soaking them in water for 12 to 24 hours before planting will prevent them from drying out.

If you’re planting potted roses, give them a thorough watering before transplanting.

Step 4: Plant the roses in large holes.

Each rose bush will require you to dig a hole measuring 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep.

Give each bush a few feet of growing space by planting them a distance apart from each other.

After making the holes, mix some compost with the soil you removed from digging.

Then, make a mound inside the hole and place the bare-root or potted rose on top.

Mix in rose fertilizer or bonemeal before filling up the hole with soil.

Step 5: Water and add mulch.

Newly planted rose bushes need a good watering. Doing this helps stabilize the plant by compacting the soil around it.

Afterward, add mulch around the stem to keep the temperature consistent and protect the rose from temperature changes.

How To Water Roses

To thrive, your rose bushes will not lots of water, especially in the summer.

Do your best to not allow the soil to dry out, which may mean watering once a week.

When you water them, make sure you do so on the soil level and keep the leaves dry.

This is especially important to prevent the leaves from getting moldy and rot.

Here are more watering tips for growing roses:

Tip 1: Know when to water.

You will know your roses need hydration when about two to three inches of the top soil has dried out.

In this case, you’ll want to dig in the dirt before watering.

Tip 2: Water deeply.

Roses need water to grow, so don’t be afraid of watering deeply.

If you made sure you planted them in well-draining soil, then they should be fine.

Tip 3: Water in the morning.

A sunny morning is the perfect time to water your roses.

Doing this would give them enough time to dry before night falls, which is when the temperature drops.

How To Grow Roses

To make sure your rose bush garden is healthy and thriving, here are more tips to growing them correctly:

Tip 1: Fertilize.

Roses especially require fertilization a couple of times every growing season.

When you see the first few leaves sprouting out, go ahead and fertilize them.

You can use either a granulated or liquid fertilizer, but make sure you check if they are slow-release or not.

Do this again after the first bloom and then one more time if they bloom again.

You will know it’s time to stop as soon as the summer ends.

Tip 2: Prune.

Pruning rose bushes helps prevent rotting and a slew of diseases, as it allows better air circulation.

Do this correctly, and you will make your roses even more beautiful and healthier.

Tip 3: Protect against pests.

Using water and a sprayer, you can remove spider mites and aphids away from your roses.

We don’t recommend the use of insecticides, as doing so may harm not just the roses but also other plants in your garden.

If spraying with water doesn’t do it, mix dish soap with water and spray the solution onto the rose bushes weekly.

Tip 4: Protect against diseases.

The most common diseases that target roses are black spot and powdery mildew.

Your best defense against these is choosing to plant a rose variety that is resistant to these diseases.

 Alternatively, you can use fungicide every growing season to protect your rose bushes.

Tip 5: Prepare them for winter.

As the weather starts to cool down, you would want to cut your rose bushes down to about two feet.

Then, cover the base with mound and a layer of straw to protect them from the cold.

How Long Does It Take For Roses To Grow?

Most types of roses grow rapidly and will produce flowers even in their first year.

Given the right conditions, most rose bushes will bloom in about six to eight weeks after planting.

Once they do, you can immediately prepare them for another round and expect them to bloom again in six to eight weeks.


The sight of healthy rose bushes every blooming season is something every home gardener wants to achieve.

With these growing tips, we are confident that even a beginner can take on this project and have plenty of roses to give away come spring.

Plus, you can use them in many applications, from decorating your home with their beautifully colored flowers to using them for their refreshing scent.

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