How to Plant Rose Bushes

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand

  • Compost

  • Superphosphate

  • Rototiller

  • Hoe

  • Pruning shears


In cold climates, plant rose bushes so they are in a hole 5 inches below the surface. This protects them from the wind and weather while they are young and vulnerable.

Roses provide fragrance and color to a landscape.

Planting roses isn't too challenging if the rose bed is properly prepared. Make sure you select a site that isn't too close too plants with large root systems or in wet or windy locations. Keep in mind that the best location is somewhere that you can easily enjoy from a window or your porch. Roses that are planted in ideal growing conditions will provide you with plenty of fragrant flowers to enjoy.

Step 1

Prepare the rose bed for planting by ensuring the bed is well-draining and adding sand to the soil if it is not. Add compost or well-rotted manure to increase the nutrient levels. Ideal soil feels like a wrung-out sponge when squeezed. Mix in superphosphate at a ratio of 6 lbs. per 100 square feet of soil. Till the soil to work the additions 12 inches deep into the soil.

Step 2

Soak the roots of the bush in water for at least three hours before planting.

Step 3

Space the bushes 2 feet apart and rows 5 feet apart. Dig the holes 2 feet deep and 18 inches wide. Fill the hole with soil until it is 8 inches from the surface. Tamp the soil in place. Mound soil around the base of the bush so it forms a cone shape with the top of the cone 3vinches from the surface.

Step 4

Plant rose bushes after all chances of frost have passed in the spring, or in early winter in hot climates. Space the bushes 2 feet apart with 5 feet between rows. Remove one plant at a time from the soaking water and trim all damaged roots. Cut off 1 inch from the tip of each root to encourage new growth. Plant the bush in the hole so the roots drape over the cone. Cover the roots with soil and fill the hole with water twice. Backfill the rest of the hole and repeat with the remaining bushes.


Shara JJ Cooper

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.