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University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County
First, select your rose
There are a few things to look for when purchasing a bare root rose bush:
-Find a plant with 3-5 canes (stems) that are evenly spaced
-Look for healthy, green, canes; smooth in appearance. Shriveled or wrinkled canes may indicate a dehydrated plant
-Cut off or remove existing leaf growth as this will dry out the canes and stress the rose
-Keep your bare root rose in a cool, dark location until it can be planted.
Then plant your bare root rose bush
-Prune canes to 8 to 12 inches above the bud union, and cut off any damaged or broken canes and roots
-Soak roses in a bucket of water for up to 8 hours before planting to ensure they are well hydrated
-Dig a hole 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide or larger to accommodate the roots
-Mix the soil with planter mix or a soil amendment to help improve your soil to a porous, well drained soil.
-Use about 1/3 to 1/2 volume of amendment compared to soil, but do not add fertilizer until leaves develop
-Form a mound of soil mixture in the bottom of the hole and gently spread the roots over this mound
-Add water to ensure the mound is moist, then let the water drain from the hole before adding more soil
-Center the rose in the hole and have the bud union about 1 to 2 inches above the surrounding soil
-Tamp soil gently but firmly as you fill the hole
Once planted, water root zone thoroughly. It is very important to keep the root zone moist for two weeks or until the roots are established and you begin to see new growth.
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