By Brad Jalbert, Select Roses
As they say, this is not rocket science.
Please read the below paragraph 2 times and write it out in full!! Wink.
Since most gardeners tend to over feed their roses we recommend that you DO NOT AD FERTILIZER TO THE PLANTING HOLE. Compost or other aged organics is fine.
Remember when I said how many different ways there are to prune your roses? Well, double that number and that's how many ways you have to plant them! Keeping it simple makes your planting methods easy and enjoyable.
If you have received bare-root bushes from a mail order nursery, or you have some healed in from winter storage, you may want to soak them in a bucket of water for a few hours before planting. If you have purchased your roses in containers from Select Roses, you do not have to pre-soak them before planting.
Dig a hole large enough for the root mass and loosen the bottom of the hole. Depending on your soil type, you may want to spade some compost into the hole along with a sprinkle of "Earth Boost" and or bone meal. Bone meal is a slow acting source of Phosphorus and promotes healthy root growth. I like to mix the soil from the hole with some additional compost and another light sprinkle of bone meal. Eath boost is a form of humic acid, and is a superb organic product that has been working well for us.
Place the rose in the hole spreading the roots slightly. I plant mine with the bud onion (crown) slightly below the soil level (about 1/2 inches after a couple years of mulching). Refill the hole and make sure the soil settles around the roots of your plant, then finish filling the hole.
Just before putting the final couple of inches of soil over the roots, water your new plant and let it drain before the final topping. Gently firm the soil around your new rose. Nothing thrills me more than seeing a newly planted rose bush. Ohh the excitement of what's to come!
Rose growers will argue until they're blue in the face about the correct planting depth for roses, but it really depends on the climate you live in. If you live in a colder area, plant a bit deeper and consult with people growing roses in your area. If you're buying own-root type roses, you should plant them about 1 inch deeper than their potted level. Again, this varies according to climate. I'm told that sun on the crown of aging roses will help promote basal breaks for the bud onion. I don't like seeing roses with huge long necks sticking out of the ground in our climate
The most important thing you can do for your new rose bush is to water it and have patience! Remember - this is a plant that should live for many years, so try to give it a good start in life.
Keep it simple and enjoy your Roses!