Care & education

Unboxing & Storage

  • Your bare root rose will arrive dormant with no soil or leaves, boxed and in a plastic bag. Shipping in a plastic bag insures the canes and roots remain moist in transit. You may think it is not alive but we promise it's just taking its winter nap.

  • Upon receipt of your box open and inspect your rose for any damage. Please contact us with 24 hours if you see any damage to the rose that may have been caused in transit.

  • While we recommend planting your rose right away, if you are not able to plant you can wrap it back in the plastic bag, close the box and leave it in a dark, cool location like a basement or garage for up to 3-5 days with a temperature of 35-42 degrees. DO NOT leave it outside if temperature is below freezing.

  • If weather conditions or life prevent you from planting your rose after more than 3-5 days, we recommend you "heel in" your rose. "Heeling in" is a temporary planting of your rose. To "heel in" remove the rose from the bag and place it in a 5 gallon bucket, wheel barrow or large tub. Cover the roots with damp, not wet, potting soil or mulch. Store your container and rose in a dark basement or garage with temperatures 35-42 degrees. You can also "heel in" your rose by digging a trench in your yard and lay the rose at a 45 degree angle with the roots and 3/4 of the canes in the hole. Cover the rose loosely with soil and leave it there until you are ready to plant. "Heeling in" is only a temporary storage option and we highly advise planting your rose in its forever home as soon as conditions allow.

Preparing For Planting

  • Remove your rose from the plastic bag or its temporary storage location. Trim any broken canes or roots from the plant. Make cane cuts at a 45 degree angle 1/4" above an outward facing bud. Soak the roots of the rose in a large bucket or tub of water for 12-24 hours. This will help to rehydrate the roots of the rose and prepare it for planting.

  • Choose a planting site that has 6 hours of direct sunlight everyday and rich well drained soils.

  • Dig a hole about 12-18 inches deep and wide depending on the size of the root structure of the rose.

  • Amend the soil with a ratio of 1/3 high quality compost to 2/3 native soil.

  • DO NOT place any synthetic fertilizer or insect control product in the hole. This will void our plant guarantee and most likely kill your rose.


  • In the center of the hole mound a cone shape of soil. This mound will protect the roots from breaking and promote natural downward growth. Place the roots over the cone like an upside down martini glass.

  • If you have a grafted rose, in cold weather regions we recommend planting the bud union 2-3 inches below the ground. In warmer weather regions we recommend you plant the bud union 1-2 inches above the ground and cover the the graft with a compost mulch or wood shavings. For own root roses plant to the base of the canes.

  • Fill in the hole and cover the roots with soil. Press firmly to remove air pockets, but do not compact the soil or push hard breaking the roots.

  • Cover the base of canes with wood chips or mulch. This will keep the feeder roots cool and moist in the warm summer weather, stabilize the plant in the event of wind and help keep the weeds controlled.

Watering & Care

  • Water the plants daily for 1-2 weeks with overhead water to keep the canes and roots hydrated. (If you get a lot of rain you can skip the step.)

  • After 1-2 weeks, place the plants on a drip irrigation system or hand water at the base of the rose as needed. Roses like to be moist but do not like wet feet or standing water.

  • DO NOT use any rose fertilizer the first 1-2 months until after the first bloom cycle. After the first blooms feed the plant with a balanced rose fertilizer once a month. We recommend Dr. Earth Rose & Flower Fertilizer Granular or Dr. Earth Total Advantage Rose & Flower Concentrate Liquid Fertilizer. Purchase online or look for them at your local garden center. Stop fertilizing two months before your first frost date.

  • DO NOT use any granular systemic insect control product on your rose the first year. For year one and beyond we recommend foliar applications of Dr. Earth Rose & Flower Insect Killer, PyGanic, and Spinosad available online or at your favorite garden center.

  • Contact your local Rose Society or Master Gardeners for assistance and recommendations specific to growing roses in your climate zone.