Pruning newly planted bare root roses
These should always be hard pruned at the time of planting, before they are placed in the hole is the logical time. Even the most rampant of ramblers will benefit from this treatment as it encourages basal growth, from which the plant will make its shape. Climbers, ramblers and shrub roses should be reduced to about six inches, bush roses to about four inches.
How to plant bare root roses
For a bare root rose the hole should be wide enough to allow the roots to be spread out and deep enough so that the base of the stems are just covered. The same depth applies for a potted rose, and although the hole should be wide enough for the root ball, I would not advocate the teasing out of the roots, the plant should be young enough to allow the roots to break through. If required, the addition of proprietary rose food or bone meal, into the base of the hole, should be done now. A handful is enough and this should be mixed in with the soil there to avoid root scorch. A little powdered food can also be sprinkled onto the removed soil before it is returned.
The hole should be wide enough to accommodate the spread out roots, it is at this stage that rose food or bone meal can be added.
The bare root rose should now be held with one hand at the right depth with the roots spread out, whilst the first of the soil is returned, either by hand or with a spade. When approximately half the hole is full the rose can be left alone and the soil firmed in by foot. The remainder of the soil can then be returned and firmed in the same way.
Once this is done the surface soil may be tidied and the rose labelled, there is nothing more annoying than not knowing the name of a beautiful rose.
Shrub roses should be planted at the closest 60cm (2ft) apart.
How to plant a rose bought in a container
The same depth applies for a rose bought in a container, with the first inch or so of the branches below soil level, and the hole wide enough for the root ball, there is no need to tease the roots out but better to leave the root ball intact. If purchased early in the summer season (before June) it is wise to leave the rose in its pot to give the roots time to establish.