First, get a big bucket of water and put 3-4 tablespoons of Vitamin B1 in the water. Then, remove your roses from their package and put the roots down in the water so it comes up on the shanks of the plants as far as possible, leaving the top canes exposed.
Next, prepare your holes - dig the soil about 2 feet deep and 18 inches around and make a good hole. Put about 2 tablespoons of bone meal in the bottom and cover with soil, mounding the dirt up in a pyramid in the center of each of the holes you are planting in.
Now, remove your bundle of roses from the bucket, cut all the strapping that is keeping the plants together and separate the plants gently, putting them back iin the bucket as you work. It is important that you keep the roots moist at all times - air is the enemy of rose roots. Remove the plant you want from the water and put it in the hole, arranging the roots around the pyramid in the center.
Now, fill in the hole with soil, tamping and pushing the soil in around the roots as you go. We recommend you plant the bud union just below the soil level as this helps the plant develop its own roots from the grafted stock. It is also helpful to mound the soil up around the to the top of the canes for 2 to 3 weeks, until the buds start to grow, then uncover them to 1 inch above the bud union. This helps to keep the plant from drying out.
Fill this basin with water, jiggling the plant gently to dislodge air bubbles, which you will see rising to the top of the water. After the basin is full, let the water soak in and then fill again. Make sure the soil is well tamped. After a few days of watering, using your fingers, poke the soil/ tamping well again to make sure the soil is well packed around the roots so there are no air pockets.
If a rose does not seem to be doing anything, (not growing, or it started to grow, then stopped) it is most likely the case of a simple air pocket. Repeat the process in the above paragraph to dislodge any air pockets that may be around a root. We recommend to prune the original canes to approximately 4 inches long (even to 2 inches with smaller plants), cutting at least a half inch above an outward facing bud eye. Cutting the canes short encourages new shoots to grow from the base.
Rose Care - Beside regular, slow, deep irrigations, (we do not recommend drip irrigation practices until the plant is well established and growth is 6-8 inches long) water weekly with a solution of Vitamin B1 and water for the first six weeks.
Do not use regular fertilizer until the top growth of your roses is at least 1 1/2 inches long. Any good rose food should then be used monthly until September, when the plants begin to rest for the winter. At this time you can give a feeding of 0-10-10 (no nitrogen), which will help harden the plants against the cold weather to come. Rugosa roses do not need to be fed so often, perhaps only once in the spring and once in the fall with 0-46-0 (triple super phosphate).
One note to those with professional gardeners: when your gardener has planted your bare root roses, please remember you must care for the plants until his next visit. After planting, rose roots must be kept moist to encourage them to come out of dormancy - you cannot let the soil dry out, especially if the weather and the soil are warm; you MUST water at least every other day.
Pruning and Care
As a general rule, prune roses that bloom repeatedly in the late winter or early spring before new growth starts.
Prune the once annual flowering roses only after they have bloomed in the spring.
Study your roses so that you begin to know their personalities. Some of the older varieties that bloom repeatedly
should not be pruned except to remove weak or dead growth - their beauty is in a large plant with hundreds of
flowers, and if you prune them like a Hybrid Tea or Floribunda you will not get a mass of bloom.
With the spring blooming varieties, to create a bushy, many branched plant, shorten the long canes by one third
after the plant blooms, and shorten lateral canes a few inches. If you wish, keep this up until late summer, then
leave the plant alone until after it blooms the next spring.
Pegging is the use of any method to bring the canes into an arched or horizontal position. It may be done by
hooking about an 8 gauge wire over a matured cane and securing it in the desired position by pushing the
other end of the wire into the ground, or by tying the canes in an arched position to stakes. This causes
flowering stems to grow all along the canes. Just two or three canes arched over and tied to stakes or to a
fence will make it possible to weave other canes among them for a delightful effect.
After about two years it is a good idea to remove a few old canes as new ones grow from the base of the plant.
Prepare the soil in the new hole and make sure it is large enough so that you don't have to remove the plant again to perfect the hole.
Now, using a straight, square spade, dig around the plant with the spade straight down - do not heave the sail until you have dug all the way around the plant. You should be getting the spade in at least 12 inches, more is better. Begin to remove the soil around your cuts so you have room to heave the plant without disturbing the root ball any more than is necessary. Complete the digging out of the plant, keeping as much soil as possible around the roots, put it on a square of plastic or canvas material, and drag it to the new spot: or package it up, tieing securely with twine, if you plan to transport it a distance away.
Proceed to plant the rose, tamping the soil well and making a basin around the base of the plant. Irrigate well, slowly and deeply, giving a good drink of Vitamin B1 solution weekly for about three weeks.
The best time to move an established rose is when the rose is
dormant - during the winter, as long is your ground is not too frozen.
The best time to plant roses, in general, is just after the last frost.