The question has been asked, “Why do they sell bare root roses?”. It might help you to understand if you knew how the rose came to be bare root. A lot of roses are started in fields and grown just like other field crops. It generally takes about 3 years for the rose to reach the size to be harvested for resale. The roses are dug from the soil and the soil falls from the roots. It would be best for the roses to be dormant at this time but in the areas the roses are grown (CA, TX) that does not often happen. The roses will be trimmed and some are packaged with sawdust around the roots. They are then stored in refrigerated warehouses until time to be shipped. The cool air encourages the roses to go dormant. They are then shipped to areas as the weather approaches the temperatures to allow them to be planted. Shipping only the bare root roses is much less expensive that planting the rose in a pot and shipping the pot and potting mix which would increase the shipping costs. Most retail outlets will receive the bare root roses and pot them up and get them started for a couple months before the retail customer is ready to plant them. Many rosarians will purchase the bare root roses and pot or plant them in their gardens which saves them in the cost of the rose.

At the time a bare root rose is received the rose has been out of soil and under refrigeration for several months so the first step in planting the rose is to soak the roots for a period of time to rehydrate the rose before it is placed in a planting medium. Planting in a potting mix helps the roots get the air they need and it is easier to control the moisture level. If you are planting your rose in your garden before the chance of frost is past it is important to protect the new planting until the last chance of frost is past. The photo that accompanies this article is an example. When it is safe to remove the temporary soil mound do so very carefully since there may be new rose branch shoots growing.