I just bought roses in bags from Big Lots. It is 3-14-13 I need to know when and how to plant them in Louisville Ky. Thanx for any help
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Brenda in Kentucky: Since you purchased your roses in bags, this means that they are considered bare root plants and should be planted as soon as possible. They have no soil surrounding the roots so moisture loss is always a concern. Plant failure is part of the risk we gardeners take when purchasing any bare root material. A lot of care is taken by the growers to ship them in ideal conditions but there is always going to be a small amount of loss. Even though your plants are dormant, they may have been sitting on a shelf for a while without any attention so you should make sure the plants are still viable before planting. If the roots are moist then you are fine but if they are brittle then there is no use in planting them. Before you plant you will want to soak the roots for about an hour in room temperature water. Make your holes about 15 inches deep and 20 inches wide; create a small mound of soil to carefully spread the roots out and down. Back fill with the existing soil or mix it with compost if you need to add nutrients. Make sure the soil level is just shy of flush with the graft union or knobby like structure on the main trunk. Moisture levels are extremely important during this process; the roots cannot be allowed to dry out and too much moisture can cause root rot. Consistent moisture levels are just as important during the rest of the growing season. Roses thrive in full sun and nutrient rich, well-drained soil. Since it is still very early it would not hurt to add extra mulch for insulation purposes. As the weather and soil warms you will want to spread it out to only a couple of inches thick.