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Q.How to plant roses!

Zone 33618 | Anonymous added on March 15, 2020 | Answered

I purchased 2 large roses from Sam’s Club. Their roots are packed in a plastic heat shrunk bag. They appear to be very dry and in need of water but i am afraid of over watering. Please advise the best method for potting the roses. I do not plan to put them in the ground right away.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 15, 2020

Many times those plastic bagged roses have had their root systems chopped off dramatically, so they should not be planted outside right away. Here is what you can do:

1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket nearly full of cool but not cold water.

2. Take the rosebushes out of the plastic bags. Gently pull the roots out of any entanglements they may have.

3. Place them in the bucket of water. Up onto the canes is fine.

4. Let them sit in the water for at least 24 hours. A little more is fine but no less.

5. Select some pots that are good sized, roomy, and have drainage holes in them. Think about giving the root system room to spread out and grow.

6. Buy some potting soil that is nice and loose. Easy for water to penetrate and easy for the roots to spread out into.

7. After the 24 hours move the rosebushes to the pots and water in well. Using the water they were soaking in is fine. Whatever water you use, add a Root Stimulator product to it.

8. Buy a moisture meter so you can check the soils moisture down about mid depth of the pots used. You want the soils moist but not wet.

9. The next 5 to 6 times you water the rosebushes, use some root stimulator in the water.

10. After about 4 weeks give them some liquid rose food mixed into the water.

11. When the roses are ready to plant outside, you should be able to lightly tug upward on the main trunk of the rose and feel good resistance. If not, then they need to stay in there a few weeks more. You can set the pots outside in the area where they will be planted, but do not leave them there during the hottest parts of the day. Getting some sun is fine but too much heat and sun can cause some stress issues. The same is true after first transplanting them into the ground. The upper part of the bushes may droop and drop some buds after transplanting but that is the rose doing what it has to until the roots get going well.

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