Planting a rose you purchased from me at the Flowering Shrub Farm.

Pictures added from my newsletter. If its a little out of order I'm sorry. I add to it regularly.

Most important is;

Drainage; without drainage a plant will drown in its hole when the surrounding compacted soil drains into the hole you have created for your plant.

Irrigation: without irrigation your plant will dry up and die. Water also carries nutrients derived from rotting organic matter (compost or mulch) on the surface to the roots.

Healthy soil; a healthy soil has an organic part to it. When soils are disturbed it adds oxygen, bacterial activity increases and the organic content is consumed. A healthy soil has new organic amendment being added regularly and yet mixing it in will reduce the organic amendment. The only way to add an organic amendment without decreasing it is by mulching with compost. So I suggest till organic amendments into the soil of a fairly large area the same way you would for a vegetable garden. Even if you add huge quantities, within 6 weeks a massive reduction in the percentage of organic material will take place, leaving a soil teaming with life, bacteria and worms. Then you should add a two inch mulch to the surface around plants of a good quality finished compost.

You can drill holes here and there throughout your garden, placing large flat rocks on the surface so you dont twist your ankle, and to find them later. I would have a tractor with an auger do it but a couple guys with a post hole digger can do a good job too. Whenever you have leaves you have raked, weeds you've pulled, branches you have trimmed (cut them up short enough so they are easy) or fruit peels from the kichen, stuff them in one of these holes. If they are within a couple feet of a planted rose it provides a reservoir of nutrient that the rose might make use of while also being a drain in your soil for excess water during a flood.

Raised beds: A raised bed should be more than three feet long and wide. Many people with poor soil have used this method to get a quick fix and it does the job just fine. I would suggest using my volcano method of planting and filling most of your raised bed with compost. More on that later.

Above is a fifty year old 'New Dawn' originally trained onto a chainlink fence, only thing is where's the fence? (00625chainlinkrose005_062610.jpg). What a way to keep people out of your yard. Even a truck would find this fence heavy going and even if you have bolt cutters to cut through the chain link, who will brave these thorns.

The correct pH: Roses with a pH of around 6.5 can absorb nutrients from the soil. If the pH is wrong; vitamins and minerals that they depend on cant be absorbed.

Worms: You should encourage earthworms in a Rose garden because; Earthworm burrows reduce water runoff and soil compaction.

They take plant residue and while allowing it to decompose under ground reduce growth inhibitors and add growth stimulants.

Worm castings make nutrients and minerals more available to plants.

Soil processed by earthworms is closer to a neutral pH and has a higher concentration of beneficial organisms and mycorrhizal fungi.

Castings contain substances which help stabilize soil particles reducing erosion.

Worms eat harmful nematodes

Sunlight: 98% of the food a plant requires is from light through the action of photosythesis. The more sun a rose gets the more flowers it has. Some roses are more tolerant of shade than others. It may be that some are more able to absorb light in shade than others but they probably wont tolerate full sun either. Its more likely that those that are tolerant just wont have as many flowers. On the other hand any plant that is planted in shade to part shade will have a cooler soil and wont have to be watered as often.

Planting at the right depth. Dig a hole the depth of the pot so the rim is at or below ground level. When the rose is planted there should be a thicket of stems rising from the soil not just one.

I pot roses in a pot at the depth they should be in the soil. If you use the pot to determine the depth of the rose at least it wont be planted to shallow (00523plantingrose001_052310.jpg). In winter I place my potted roses in special raised planting beds where the pot is surrounded with mulch, compost and soil (picture probably below). If the soil level in the pot is a little low (for watering in summer) I add compost up to the brim at this time. You can scoop out little bowls around your roses in summer too but they should be filled in in winter. Otherwise water can collect, freeze and damage the bark of your plant.

If the rose was repotted recently you should leave it in the pot for at least 6 weeks to avoid having the root ball fall apart during transplanting. So think about digging the hole and inserting the pot for a couple months before taking the pot off. Another way might be to use a utility knife and cut large triangles from the pot sides so that roots can easily extend beyond the plastic. Then plant it right in the plastic pot leaving it on for good.

Training a rose: Training stems so as many as possible are horizontal or paralell with the soil means your rose will set many more buds. Sometimes I weight down branches with rocks, other times I tie branches to pegs pounded into the ground. A climbing rose trained straight up will have very few flowers right at the top while those trained sideways or along the ground may have hundreds.


My favorite trellis to train any rose onto (or apple and pear trees too) is a chain link fence. Surround your garden with a chain link fence and train apple trees, pear trees, blueberry, blackberry and Raspberry bushes and all kinds of roses on it. I'll try to show pictures below here of such plants on chain link especially roses.

Here you see after adding more mulch with another pot inserted making it easier to remove loose mulch from each sleave that may have spilled in while we were adding it to the storage area (01019potstorageupgrade102209.jpg - October Newsletter).