Q. When and how should I plant bare-root roses?
A. Bare-root roses can be planted as soon as the soil is workable in the spring. Remove the wrapper and packing material and soak the roots or entire plant for 8 to 12 hours to fully hydrate it before planting. Examine and remove all dead or damaged roots. Prune back each cane to three to five buds per cane. Thin, spindly canes should be removed. Dig a planting hole wide enough for the roots of the plant. Make a cone of soil in the bottom of the planting hole. If the soil is especially dry, fill it with water. When the water completely recedes, set the plant over the cone, and spread the roots out evenly. If the rose is grafted, place the plant so that the bud union is at soil level. Fill the hole with the remaining soil and water well. Newly planted roses should receive 1 to 1½ inches of water per week until the roots are established.
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