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Fall Planting of Roses

Fall Planting of Roses

By Robin Jennings, Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses

Think you missed the window on planting roses for this season? Guess again! Fall planting is actually one of the best times to plant roses.

With milder weather and warm, workable soil, you can easily plant roses in your garden and reap the benefits of earlier spring blooms and a well-established root system for your newest rose. Fall planting will give your rose a significant head start and the coming autumn rains will take care of most of the watering for you!

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Love Song rose.

Plant fall roses the same way you would with spring planting: Dig a deep hole, prep the soil with peat moss or compost, add some cow manure, top with some healthy soil to keep the fine feeder roots from burning on the manure or compost, and then add your rose!

Be sure to plant at least six weeks before the first frost of the season. This will allow the roots to become established while the weather is still favorable and before the plant goes dormant. Add a heavy top layer of mint compost as mulch around the base of the rose to help insulate it and retain moisture. Be generous with the mulch!

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Sugar moon rose.

Resist the urge to prune back your rose at this point. Some growers recommend pruning to help focus on root growth, but your new own-root rose will already know to do this. Remove any yellowing leaves and keep the area around your new rose free of debris to keep it disease-free. Water generously after planting. Routinely check the soil with your finger to see if it is dry. If you don’t feel any moisture within the top inch of the soil, it’s time to water!

There is no urgency to fertilize your rose in the fall, however, you can use fish fertilizer to give your rose a boost of nutrients every few weeks. Fish fertilizer is made up of organic matter and will wash out with the rain so it can be added to your watering routine as needed. When spring arrives and your rose begins to push out new foliage growth, begin a consistent routine of adding fish fertilizer to the soil on a monthly basis. To avoid burning the tender roots of your newly planted rose, do not use any granular fertilizer on an own-root rose within the first year of planting.

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The Impressionist rose.

So don’t keep dreaming about roses for next spring— order them now and start planting! Heirloom Roses provides the largest selection of own-root roses for your garden needs and has a one-year guarantee on all of their roses. With over 900 varieties to choose from, there truly is a rose for every garden. Fall really is a preferential time to get new roses in the garden to give them a head start on sending their roots deep to ensure fuller blooms earlier in the spring season. So choose your next rose at www.HeirloomRoses.com and get growing!


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By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
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