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Standard hybrid teas, patios and floribundas are treated in the same way as their bush counterparts, the ‘base’ being the point at which the branches come out of the stem at the top.

(If you are planting containerized roses in full leaf, they will not require any pruning other than dead-heading until that autumn or the spring following.)

At this point, it is a good idea to soak the roots of dormant bare-root roses in a bucket of water for 24 hours. They can be taken to the site in this bucket and removed as required so they will not dry out.


Planting. Take out a hole big enough to accommodate the roots comfortably (or the root ball in the case of a containerized plant). Some people recommend shaping the bottom of the hole to fit the roots, which usually slope downwards to one side at an angle, though I do not find this is necessary, providing you spread the roots out properly and don’t bunch or bend them.

With climbers and ramblers grown against a solid support (a wall etc.) the hole should be a little way (about 15 in./375 mm) from the wall or whatever, and the climber or rambler sloped back to the support.

Place the plant in the hole (do not forget to remove any container). Most commercially grown roses are produced by ‘budding’ the desired variety on to the base of a type of wild rose stock. The buds then grow out and the top of the stock is removed. It is quite obvious where this has been done as it is the point at which the branches start to grow. Place this ‘union’ an inch (25 mm) below soil level. Where it is not obvious that this was the method of propagation (for example, with miniature roses grown on their own roots and some shrub roses propagated from seed), you should plant them so that the soil is up to the original soil line on the bush – this also applies to standard roses, where the ‘union’ is at the top of the stem. Standard roses must also have a stout stake driven into the ground at the side of them before backfilling – then you can see the roots so you do not damage them. When the soil has been returned, you can secure the standard to the stake with one or two plastic rose tree ties, one of which should be just under the head to stop it blowing right off.

If you are planting roses from containers, you should still make sure that the union is an inch (25 mm) below ground level. Some badly containerized roses have their unions sticking out of the compost several inches and the instinct is to plant to the depth of the compost, but this is one occasion when you should plant deeper than originally.

You can then fill up the holes with soil, treading gently and making sure the new bush is still in position. When you have finished, the plant should be firmly enough in the soil for you not to be able to pull it out again with a gentle tug.

Prick over the soil lightly to remove footmarks and any consolidation, and then mulch with organic material. Containerized plants put in during summer will need plenty of water — water the hole and the root ball before it is removed from the container and water the whole site thoroughly before you apply the mulch.

Give roses to be planted in tubs and the like a container big enough for them to grow away healthily Plant in a similar manner to that described above, using John Innes No. 3 compost. Make sure the tubs have adequate drainage holes.

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