Miriam Wilkins' Parting Gifts
Arranging a Pair of Large Bouquets on a Budget

Planting Roses


Roots are very important, and I really like my roses to have their own, even those budded to root stock, like the one above. (That green crown of canes formed, after one growth bud was grafted to the vertical cane the roots are attached to.)

My wish is for roots to emerge from those green canes, but how? Well, I bury them. Needless to say it takes a deeper hole, especially when the budded cane is extra long.


It's pretty satisfying to see the successful formation of new roots coming from the rose cane. I happened to dig up this one and saw nature's handiwork. Doesn't that nice mass of roots look vital and healthy compared the ones on the rootstock? Roses grown like this are not only anchored in the ground better, the plant will have a longer life span. 




  • If you aren't ready to plant your bare root roses immediately, bury the roots in compost, mulch or soil, to keep them moist.
  • If you will be planting them a day or two after receipt, soak them in a bucket of water.
  • Dig a nice deep hole. I probably remove 30 gallons, or more, of soil. (I know this, because I dump the soil in five-gallon cans as I remove it.) Make sure the hole is deep enough to cover the crown.
  • Fill the hole with water twice and let it drain. I do this to see how fast the drainage is, and to water deeply.
  • I make a mound with the top soil from the hole, and add generous amounts of compost (purchased or homemade).
  •  Drape the roots over the mound and add more soil and compost, saving the worst soil for the top. Cover the crown.
  • Form a berm around the rose (I often don't) and then water the plant. Toggle one of the canes to dislodge possible air bubbles.
  • Add four to six-inches of mulch. The mulch will not harm the canes.



Planting potted roses is easier. Dig a deep hole, add water, amendments and mulch as above.