"There are several
things to consider when looking for a site to plant new roses," said
Sharon Yiesla, who is based in Lake County. "Roses need a minimum of
six hours of sun per day to grow well and produce their flowers.
Consider planting roses in a south-facing exposure for maximum
sunlight. An east-facing exposure is also good as it will receive
morning sun. Morning sun will hasten the drying of dew from the
plants and be cooler and less stressful than afternoon sun."
circulation is also important, she added. Many of the disease
problems common to roses are more likely to occur when the plants
stay wet for extended periods of time. A site with good air
circulation will keep plant surfaces drier and reduce the incidence
of disease. Avoid planting roses too close to one another, to other
plants or buildings, or to any other structure.
"Roses must have
soil that drains well or they will do poorly," said Yiesla. "You may
need to amend the soil with organic matter or even consider raised
beds if the drainage in your yard is not sufficient. Roses will grow
best if the soil is on the slightly acid side -- pH 5.5-6.5."
roses, soil preparation and size of planting holes are both
possible, enrich the soil with organic matter," she said. "This will
improve drainage and make the soil more fertile. It will be most
beneficial if you can prepare a planting bed rather than just
amending the planting hole itself. This encourages the root system
of the plant to spread out into the prepared soil and develop more
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After the planting area has been
amended with organic matter, it is time to dig holes for the
individual rose plants. The hole should be both deep and wide enough
to accommodate the root system.
"If you are
planting a bare-root rose, you will have to build a soil mount to
support the plant, as bare-root plants come with no soil of their
own," said Yiesla. "The mound supports the plant and allows you to
spread the roots out in a natural pattern. Special care must be
taken with bare-root roses. The roots should be soaked in water
overnight, prior to planting, to ensure that the roots are fully
"The canes and
roots may also need to be pruned. Try to maintain three to five
canes per plant and prune them to three to five buds per cane. Prune
the roots so that they are a little longer than the length of the
When placing the
plant in the planting hole, be aware of how deep the plant is set.
In northern Illinois' harsh climate, roses that are grafted should
have their graft union 1-2 inches below the soil line to prevent
winter kill of that graft union. Roses that are growing on their own
roots can be planted at the same level at which they were planted in
"Once the rose is
planted, be sure to water it thoroughly," she said. "Transplants
often have limited root systems and need regular watering to ensure
that they become established in a timely fashion."
of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental
Sciences news release]