Flowers & Plants Resource Center
All About Planting Roses

The Ideal Spot to Plant Your Roses 
Proper Sunlight is a Must 
It is important to make sure the location you choose is fit for a rose plant. Roses love sunlight; not too much and not too little. Avoid areas with shade; the location should receive 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Morning sun is better than afternoon sun. 

If you aren’t sure where the best place for morning sunlight is, keep track of your garden for a few days prior to choosing your site. Make sure to observe where the morning sunlight is most dominant. 

Digging Holes: 101 
Once you have chosen a site, it is time to dig your holes. It is best to prepare each hole 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep, allowing 2 feet between each rose bush. 

To ensure your roses thrive, proper soil drainage is essential. Remember, your roses need well-drained, nutrient-rich, loamy soil. 

To test and see if your newly dug hole is ready, fill it ¼ - ½ full of water and keep track of the time it takes to drain. If it doesn’t drain within 1-3 hours, dig a deeper hole. If the hole does drain within 1-3 hours, leave it alone. 

The Ideal Soil for Your Roses 
Roses like well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, with a pH of 6 – 7.5. Your native soil could have too much clay or sand. The ideal rose soil mixture consists of 50% organic material (manure, humus, or compost) and 50% inorganic material (sand, silt, and clay). 

Amending Your Soil: The Recipe for Perfect Roses 
● 4 parts Schultz Enriched Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables 
● 2 part Schultz Premium Compost & Manure 
● 2 parts Country Stone Sand 
● 1 part Schultz Premium Top Soil 

The Importance of pH Levels 
Roses need a proper pH to thrive. A pH level of 6-7.5 is optimum, or slightly acidic. To make the soil less alkaline (pH level is above 7.5), ammonium sulfate is typically used. To make the soil less acidic (pH level is 5.9 or below), it is recommended to add crushed limestone. 

If the performance of your rose bushes starts to change or an overall change in color or shine occurs, it could mean that your soil’s pH is off balance. 

Mulching Around Your Rose Bush 
Although pine bark mulches are great for most plants, stay away from using them around your rose bushes. However, it is safe to use shredded hardwood, cedar, or cypress mulch. Apply 1-3 inches of mulch around the base of your roses to keep the soil cool, retain moisture, and naturally prevent weeds. Learn the many benefits of mulching by clicking here

Watering Your Rose Bush 
Be sure to water thoroughly at first. The water will activate the roots and help settle the soil. Continue to water every other day during the first four months. Then switch to watering heavily twice a week. Water in the morning and also at the base of the plant. Roses are susceptible to disease so try not to get water on the leaves. 

Feeding Your Roses 
Roses crave specific nutrients. Feed them every bloom cycle or every other watering with a fertilizer specially formulated for roses. Click here to learn more about feeding your roses

How to Transplant or Move Your Rose Bush 
When is the right time to transplant my rose bush? 
The best time to transplant a rose bush is in the early spring when the bush is still dormant, as this will cause less stress and shock to the plant. However, roses can be transplanted during the growing season if they receive the right amount of water. 

How do I transplant my rose bush? 
Before transplanting, make sure to water the rose bush deeply so all of the cells of the rose are as full of water as possible to lessen the stress on the root system. Apply a liquid fertilizer to your rose bush to help it adjust when moving—we recommend Schultz Starter Plus Transplanting Solution

When transplanting, dig about 12 inches around the rose bush and approximately 15 inches deep. Make sure to dig far enough away from the root ball so that you do not damage the root system and are able to take as much of the root as possible. 

The new hole should be at least 15 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the root ball and system. Build up a small mound of soil in the center of the hole for your rose bush to sit on. Place the root ball into the new hole and add ½ of The Recipe for Perfect Roses around the roots. Water liberally at the base of the plant and let settle. Add the remaining half of the soil mixture around the bush and water again. 

After planting, prune any dried or dead material using angled cuts and remove any weakened branches. Pruning will help the plant produce stronger and larger stems while removing dead or damaged canes. 

Continue to water every day for 1-2 weeks depending on the weather. 
Note: Do not fertilize or use any insecticides until you see new growth on the rose.