When to Plant Bare Root Roses in Zone 5b?

Bolingbrook, IL

Hi! :)
I recently purchased some bare root roses and am wondering when the best time would be to plant them? Our last frost date isn't until mid-April... (Chicago suburbs)... These are hardy BR roses (i.e. Iceburg, Knockout, Gene Boerner, etc...).

I would appreciate any feedback from the experts.

Thanks in advance! :)

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Blue..anytime you can get into the ground.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Greenfield, OH(Zone 6a)

I second that, anytime you can work the soil

Thumbnail by yardener
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

You need to plant as soon as possible and IF you don't have the proper site ready for them, I would suggest you dig these bare roots into any bit of ground that is frost free and can be dug.
For bare rooted Roses I always Place them in a bucket of water to give them a good drink while preparing the holes. I try to have the holes well dug out for the arrival of the plants, already added the manure or compost dug into the surrounding soil and add a handful of blood-bone fish mix as this is a slow release feed that will see the Roses through their first season without disturbance.

Before you plant the roots into there proper position, you need to prune off any dead / broken or diseased looking moldy branches, cut these back to a healthy part of the stems, also look at the roots and prune off any that are dead, broken or unhealthy looking and as you lay the roots into the planting hole, spread the roots out so they can have a good area to regrow and not overcrowd by having twisted roots.

Make sure you bury the Roses to the same depth as the mark on the plant where it was originally in the old planting hole before it was dug out.
Hope this gives you a start as to how important it is to get your Roses dug into soil or they will not recover in the open air. good luck. WeeNel.

Whitmore Lake, MI(Zone 5b)

WeeNel, you seem to know your stuff! I just bought some roses too and they haven't arrived yet. I got them from Directgardening.com and it doesn't say on the site if they're bare root or what. I guess I'll see! Anyway, I'm a first time grower and I'm going to put them in 15 gallon containers. Any ideas on the best soil mix to put them in? Or any other container rose tips? I'm in Zone 6A according to the new zones.

Also - good to know I should put them out right away! I wasn't sure.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Blue...you're naughty..... you talked me into buying some for myself, lol. I got 2 Theresa Bunget (sp?). (sorry they are in the car overnight. Will get planted this weekend if the ground dries a bit, I had 8" of that white stuff a couple days ago.
pix: verbascum phoenicium (mullen)

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi Cynical, I don't grow Roses in containers but folks that do treat the soil as for garden growing.
Put a layer of some kind of drainage material, (I use broken Teracota pots or even old trays made from polystyrene, larger stones about the size of golf balls etc, make sure there are ofcource drain holes in container if not, drill a couple with electric drill.
then add your home or bought compost and then mix into this either some animal manure, or dries chicken poop pellets, don't over-do the chicken pellets as you can add more to the soil in Autumn IF you wish to give boost over winter, some folks don't like to feed then as they fear this will cause new growth that will get frost bite.

Make sure you give water ans do check every few days as containers do dry out very quickly and Roses like well fed soil AND water at the roots but NOT sitting in a continually wet soil.

As you plant the Roses, look over the foliage, check there are no broken branches and remove these if ant, remove any dead or broken roots and cut back to a healthy bit, you don't have to remove every part, just the dead, diseased or broken bits
Bury the Rose to the same depth it was in the soil where it came from and you find this by the mark on the stem, it will show a dried dark area that looks like it was under soil or above the soil. I like to add a handful of Fish / Blood ?Bone, to the soil I am using to plant my Roses in as it is a slow release feed and will see the plants through there first season no problems. Remember to add a label to the shrub or cane so you remember the name, colour and date of planting / flowering as bare branches on a rose bush makes each one look like the next.
Good luck. WeeNel.

Whitmore Lake, MI(Zone 5b)

WeeNel, I have printed your advice and I am VERY grateful! Kathy, I love your picture. Is that mullein, that you use for respiratory illness? Who knew it was so pretty!

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

cyn... yes it verbascum phoenicium, 18-24", spring (cut back for a second bloom), reseeds at feet and comes in lt. and dark pink and purple, also a straight white, lt spring- e. summer. I love it.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Bolingbrook, IL

Thank you ALL for your help! :) I planted the BR roses right away (in April) and they are all blooming happily for me now!

Kathy, your mullien is gorgeous! Did you start that from seed?

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