Planting Guide

How to Plant Own-Root Roses

Congratulations on receiving your new roses from Northland Rosarium!

To make the most of your special order from Northland Rosarium, we are including this helpful page of instructions for your new plants. We pride ourselves on giving our customers the best, most up-to-date information on Own-Root Roses. These roses are growing on their own natural roots, as opposed to being grafted on rootstock from another variety. Don't be deceived by the initial size of the plants. With proper care these plants will grow fast and, in many cases, surpass grafted roses in hardiness and longevity. All of our roses have either been virus indexed or observed free of virus on the cutting stock. A little patience pays off in a healthy, beautiful plant that will provide years of enjoyment. Suckering is not a problem, as anything coming from the roots is just more of the desired plant. In the event of a severe winter with some canes being killed, cut off the dead canes and wait for new ones to emerge from the roots. 

Hardening Off Your New Plant

During the early spring shipping. we may not have had time to harden off your roses. In fact our night-time temperatures may still be below freezing so the roses are coming out of the greenhouse. We know that many of you in warmer climates are in your planting season already. Therefore, we are shipping the plants without hardening them off first. We want to get the plants to you in as timely a manner as possible.

Our main concern in hardening off is sunburning of the leaves. The plants have been sheltered from direct exposure to the sun by being in the greenhouse. Their exposure to direct sunlight needs to be somewhat gradual. Place the plants where they can get approximately 2 hours of direct sunlight a day for a few days. Morning sun is the best. They should then be ready to plant, following the enclosed planting instructions. If the leaves do get sunburned, be patient and the plant will completely recover.

Planting Instructions 

To begin, dig a big hole. Two feet by two feet by two feet is ideal. Place the topsoil into a wheelbarrow first and set the other soil aside. We like to mix compost and Northland Rosarium Organic fertilizer with the topsoil and then refill the entire hole. DO NOT USE synthetic fertilizers at this time as they are too potent and will burn the young fleshy roots.You will find the instructions for planting our roses quite a bit different from others, because we do not want to disturb the roots. Our roses are one year old and probably not root-bound, so there is no need to cut or rearrange the roots. This method eliminates planting shock as much as possible and gets the rose plant off to a good start.


Now comes the part of the process that is different. Spread the soil mixture enough to place the rose plant, plastic pot and all, into the ground. The pot should be placed so when you pack soil around it the patted down soil is even with the top of the plastic pot. Carefully remove the pot from the ground leaving a nice, neat, hole that is the same shape of the potted plant. Gently remove the plant from the pot by turning the pot upside down and pushing on the bottom soil. 

Gently Push

DO NOT PULL THE PLANT OUT OF THE POT. Slide the removed plant back into position in the perfect-sized depression that you made in the soil. The roots should fit exactly. Don't start pushing the soil down by hand now; simply water your new rose plant thoroughly.

Now Water

Water often, but don't fertilize with synthetic fertilizers for one month. You can use organic fertilizers such as our Northland Rosarium blend or compost. Again, the potent fertilizers are too harsh on the newer roots. Growth will be good the first year, but the second year you will be rewarded with a vigorous plant that will live for a very long time!

Important Requirements for Roses from Northland Rosarium

Roses need at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight to perform properly. Some varieties will do all right with a little less, but even "shade tolerant" varieties must have some direct sun. If sunlight is limited remember that morning sunlight is better than late afternoon. 

Water - Roses need a lot of water to stay healthy. Roses also need good drainage, so you must not allow the water to collect and prevent the roots from exchanging gases.

Nutrients - You may use planting vitamins or hormones and organic fertilizers such as our Northland Rosarium Blend when you plant, but do not use synthetic fertilizers until the roots are established; about 1 month. When the plant is ready, use less than the prescribed amount of rose fertilizer the first year. The second year use the normal amounts prescribed.

Soil - The soil should be slightly acidic and have good drainage. If the roots sit in water they will die. Adding organic materials like compost, bone meal, blood meal, alfalfa meal, and fishmeal are very helpful as they open up clay soil and hold water and nutrients in sandy soil. Don't go overboard on soil amendments, and remember to mix the available topsoil with everything else so the roots will grow into the surrounding soil. 

Read more about Winter Damage

"The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose." Hada Bejar