Documents: Special Interest: Roses:

Expert Tips for Planting Roses Right
by Pro-Mix
February 9, 2003

From hybrid teas to the carefree varieties, you too can grow roses as easily and beautifully as the experts if you treat them to the best from the start.

"Roses love a rich environment," says noted rosarian Stephen Scanniello, author of A Year of Roses. "Mixing peat and bark with the soil adds organic material and increases drainage – two conditions critical for growing lush, blooming roses."

Scanniello recommends using a planting mix, such as PRO-MIX® Tree & Shrub Planting Mix, combined half-and-half with existing soil. "Roses won’t thrive in poorly drained or heavily compacted ground," he warns.

PRO-MIX®, the professionals’ choice for more than 30 years, is pre-mixed with all the ingredients roses love – high quality Canadian Sphagnum peat moss, composted softwood bark, nutrients and limestone for pH adjustment. These organic materials help aerate the soil and provide an excellent balance of good drainage.

"Roses are very thirsty plants,"Scannellio says. "The peat moss holds enough moisture to keep roses thriving."

Other experts agree. Steve Hutton, president of The Conard-Pyle Co., known for its Star® Roses, says it’s best to plant roses with their roots bare – or without soil – in an organic rich mix.

Here are the professionals’ tips for planting roses:

  • Pick a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun with good air circulation.

  • Do not prune the roots, but do remove any injured or damaged roots or canes.

  • Dig each hole 18 to 20 inches wide and deep.

  • Mix PRO-MIX® Tree & Shrub Planting Mix with your existing soil to form a 50/50 blend.

  • Here’s the important part: form a blunt pyramid or cone in center of the hole and position the plant on top of the pyramid so the bud knot is at ground level and the roots drape over the cone.In Zone 6 or colder, position the bud knot about 3 inches below ground level for winter protection.

  • Fill the hole with the remaining soil mix. Water well. Add enough of the 50/50 blend to fill the remaining depression. Gently water so it settles around the roots, and water frequently during the growing season.

  • Top with 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark.

Rose experts agree, sun, water and a rich environment is just about all you need to grow lush roses.

PRO-MIX® is manufactured by Premier Horticulture, the industry’s leading producer and distributor of value-added growing media. With its 20 peat bogs and 15 screening & bagging plants located in Canada and the US, more than 16 million bags of growing media, Sphagnum peat moss, potting mixes, planting soils and compost are produced annually for professional and retail markets.

For more information, explore PREMIER HORTICULTURE’S WEB SITE, to find monthly hints by Larry Hodgson, product information, and the “interactive” PRO-MIX® Gardening Guide.

Premier Horticulture is the industry’s leading producer and distributor of premium quality potting and planting mixes for both professionals and home gardeners.

For more information on the PRO-MIX® line of products, helpful hints, and planting and potting suggestions, log on to Premier Horticulture’s web site: To find a garden center nearest you, click on Where to buy PRO-MIX®.


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