What Is The Best Month To Plant Roses?

Many new shoots, lush green leaves and abundant flowers. These are the hallmarks of healthy roses in the summer. But they do not always look like this. They start their growing season quite inconspicuously in spring. Only a few bare sticks stick out of the rootstock, cut short to a minimum. When is the best planting time for roses to harmonize with this typical growth cycle?

The challenge after planting

Planting is a particular challenge for any plant, including roses. It always takes time to take root in the new soil. This is the first and necessary step. The roots are the part of the plant that is responsible for its supply, for water and nutrients. Only when the rose gets enough of them, it will have strength for above-ground growth. Therefore, in the search for the ideal time for planting, the question arises: when is the best time for the rose to take root during the year?

The typical growth behavior of roses

During the garden year, the rose goes through a period of visible growth and a period of dormancy. In spring, the rose comes to life. From the roots all its strength pushes upwards towards light and warmth. For many months it is full of energy growing. In autumn, when the temperatures become lower and the days shorter, the rose again prepares for its winter rest. All nutrients and vitamins are drawn from the foliage and stored in the wood and roots. This cyclical growth pattern determines the appropriate planting time.

Autumn is the ideal planting time

Roses expect best conditions in the main vegetation period. They then require a lot of energy for the growth of leaves and the formation of flowers. The roots play as supplier of nutrients needed for it plays a crucial role. If planted in this period, the roots can not immediately provide the plant with sufficient nutrients. Both the formation of the roots and above-ground growth would suffer. Only when they go dormant in the fall, the planting time for roses has come.

  • Wait for the end of the vegetative phase
  • Autumn is the ideal time for planting
  • plant before a prolonged frost
  • planting is possible until November or December
  • at temperatures above freezing
  • the soil should not be frozen either
  • in between a few frost days interrupt the planting time
  • if there is no frost, planting is possible even in December and January
  • planting is not possible only in case of prolonged frost
  • the rose in dormant state is hardy
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Planting time for bare root roses

In autumn, bare-root roses are offered in stores. After planting, these roses have enough time to root over the winter and start the new flowering season with full force.

  • in bare-root roses the roots are free and visible
  • not hidden in a ball of earth
  • come directly from the field of rose growers to the trade
  • without the detour of an intermediate planting in a pot
  • the root system is more vital than that of roses available in pots
  • the plant is therefore more persistent in growth

Since the bare roots can dry out more easily without the protective layer of soil, they should be planted as soon as possible after purchase.

  • October to early December is planting time
  • also on frost-free winter days
  • Planting time ends at the end of April at the latest

Roses planted in the fall have a growth advantage over specimens planted later. This will also be noticeable in the flower development.
Intermediate storage of bare-root roses
If planting a bare-root rose is not possible immediately after purchase, it must be stored temporarily.

  • Pack roses moistly
  • in wood wool and foil
  • store in a cool place
  • Storage is possible for up to two weeks

Nurseries also store their unsold bare-root roses.

They clear their rose fields in the fall, then the roses go into cold storage. However, the long storage until spring affects their quality.

Tip: Don’t wait until spring to buy a bare-root rose. Plant bare-root roses already in the fall. Only then you will get a fresh rose from the field in the best quality and not a stock.

Planting time for container roses

In addition to bare-root roses, specialized stores also sell so-called container roses throughout the year. These are roses that are planted in a pot and their roots are thus surrounded by soil. The planting time of container roses extends throughout the year, provided that the soil is not frozen.

  • Roots are already in soil
  • Roses are already rooted
  • Planting is possible all year round
  • However, autumn planting is optimal
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Container roses can be planted all year round, but not every season is equally suitable. Again, hot temperatures are stress for the rose. The container rose has rooted through its soil ball, but has yet to conquer the bed with its roots. Until it does, the plant cannot provide itself with enough water on hot days. Therefore, plant roses in the warm season only if you can find time to water them daily.

Note: In horticulture, small pots in which roses are planted are called rose pots. Above a volume of 5 liters, they are called containers. This is where the name container rose comes from.

Planting time for climbing roses

Climbing rose is no exception among rose varieties when it comes to the ideal time for planting. It, too, enters its new location best on an autumn day. By then, the climbing rose has already shed its leaf coat and prepared for winter dormancy. The planting in the fall does not cause it any stress, the so-called “plant shock” stays away.

  • Planting time is from October to April
  • Soil should not be frozen
  • October is the best month
  • autumn and winter provide enough time for rooting
  • especially the fine hair roots can develop
  • in spring the rose can sprout vigorously

Note: Climbing roses bought in the spring, usually have not been fresh, but stored in cold storage for several months. They are more susceptible to disease and often grow worse.

Repotting pot roses

Some rose bushes grow not in beds, but in pots. These potted roses from time to time need a larger pot and always new, fresh substrate. The extra space in the new pot must be conquered by the roots without sacrificing above-ground growth and abundance of flowers. Therefore, it is important to repot at an appropriate time.

  • Repotting is basically possible at any time
  • provided that the temperature is in the plus range
  • autumn is recommended
  • alternatively also in spring
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Repotting is a little “shock” for the plant, which can have undesirable consequences. Especially if the rose is transplanted in its main vegetative period, further growth may suffer:

  • part of the roots is damaged during repotting
  • plant cannot be sufficiently supplied
  • necessary root growth robs additional strength
  • as a result, leaves and flowers are often shed

For this reason, repotting should not be done in the growing season, if possible. From autumn, when the rose is in winter dormancy, until the first shoots in the spring, the rose can get a new pot. The shock will not occur and the plant can develop wonderfully in the spring

Why roses are offered in the spring

If autumn is the right season for planting roses, why are so many rose plants offered for sale in spring? You can find them in large numbers in garden centers or even discount stores. This offer appeals to the desire to garden, which is rekindled with the arrival of spring. Many people do not enjoy digging in the garden and planting new plants in the wet and uncomfortable autumn. This is also quite understandable. It is quite possible to plant the roses in the spring. However, the best season is and remains autumn.



  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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