Roses in March
March is the latest
you should plant bare-root roses.
These are usually purchased
by mail order and arrive,
as the name suggests,
not in a container but with their roots exposed,
so it's very important to get the plants
into the ground as soon as possible.
Roses appreciate well-drained, rich earth, so pile in plenty of well-rotted manure or other soil improver before you plant.
PLANTING TIPS for Roses this March
- Plant roses where they will receive a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of full sun per day. Morning sun is especially important because it dries the leaves, which helps prevent diseases. Roses grown in partial sun may not die at once, but they weaken gradually.
- The ideal soil is rich and loose, with good drainage. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to not provide adequate drainage.
- Wear sturdy gloves to protect your hands from prickly thorns. Have a hose or bucket of water and all your planting tools nearby.
- Soak bare-root roses in a bucket of water for 8-12 hours before planting.
- Prune each cane back to 3-5 buds per cane. Any cane thinner than a pencil should be removed.
- When planting container grown roses loosen the roots before planting.
- When you plant the rose, be sure to dig a much bigger hole than you think you need (for most types, the planting hole should be about 15 to 18 inches wide) and add plenty of organic matter such as compost or aged manure.
- Soak the newly planted rose with water.
- Mound up loose soil around the canes to protect the rose while it acclimates to its new site.
- Some old-timers recommend placing a 4-inch square of gypsum wallboard and a 16- penny nail in the hole to provide calcium and iron, both appreciated by roses.
- Don’t crowd the roses if you plant more than one rose bush. Roses should be planted about two-thirds of the expected height apart. Old garden roses will need more space, while miniature roses can be planted closer. Space between plants allows for good air circulation.