Post category: Planting


Roses are easy to establish but good planting will improve results. They can be planted at any time the leaves are off. November is the best month, but in areas of high rainfall and heavy soil, plant in March. Bare-root plants can be planted from October to March. Container-grown plants can be planted at any time, even mid-summer.


Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis’


Select a site and prepare the soil well. Dig holes 30 centimetres deep, 40 centimetres wide and 60 centimetres to 75 centimetres apart. The rows of holes can be staggered, to create a fuller flower effect.

Make up a planting mix of moist peat with a fistful of general fertiliser added per bucket. Mix a 5 centimetre layer of this into the soil at the bottom of each hole. Set up a line to get the rows of bushes straight and parallel to the edge of the bed.

Soak the roots in water before planting. Place the bush in the hole and spread the roots. Scatter some soil over the roots, and shake the plant slightly to settle it in. Plant to the depth of the graft union, where the shoots meet the root.

Firm the soil and fill the hole in two or three stages, firming each layer gently. Water each bush after planting and watch for signs of drought later on. The same planting technique applies to all types.

Shrub roses are spaced informally at 150 – 180 centimetres apart. Keep them about 150 centimetres away from competing shrubs or trees. Climbers are normally planted about 30 centimetres from a wall. Usually planted singly, they can be spaced 200 –300 centimetres apart, or from other wall climbers.

Tie the shoots of climbers into a horizontal position before they get tall. They generally do not flower for two or three years after planting. Tie in the new growth as it develops.

If an old rose bed is to be replanted with roses, the soil must be removed to a depth of 45 centimetres. Refill with new soil that has not grown roses before filled into a cardboard box. This procedure is necessary to avoid a problem called ‘rose replant disease’ that causes stunting and poor growth.

Old rose bushes can be transplanted quite easily. November is the best month.