When To Plant Roses - Backyard Boss
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When To Plant Roses

Roses are the perfect way to add a touch of fragrant elegance and beauty to any garden. With an array of colors, heights, and shapes available, you can combine roses with existing plants or provide the foundation for a stunning standalone display.

To guarantee that your roses put on their best show come springtime, it’s important to plant them carefully. Read on for when and how to plant rose bushes correctly so that you can reap their amazing rewards next season!

When to Plant Your Roses

Pink rose cluster
Image credits: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash

Knowing when to plant roses will ensure your plants get off to the best start possible, producing gorgeous blooms each year — The key is timing. Planting in late fall or late winter to early spring before growth resumes is ideal.

Warm Climates

If you live in an area with warmer climates, you can take advantage of the milder temperatures in autumn and winter. Planting your roses as soon possible after the last frost date. You want to ensure there’s no risk of frost.

The ideal temperature range for growing roses is between 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the thermometer hits those ranges is a good time to get your rose bushes in the ground.

Colder Climates

For those living in more temperate climates where chilly weather lingers for much of the winter, it’s best to wait until early spring when the ground is workable, and you can prepare your beds at least three weeks before planting.

No matter where you live, do your best to avoid planting roses in mid-winter when the ground is likely too hard or frozen for successful planting. Wait until the temperature increases so roots will not be stunted or further damaged by the cold.

Pro-Tip: If you’re planting roses in containers, you can do so any time of the year. Just as long as the ground is not dry or frozen.

A Word on USDA Zones

Shelter roses for the winter. Frost protection for garden plants. Autumn garden work. Gloved hands
Image credits: Tasha-photo via Shutterstock

Understandably, the climate in New York differs vastly from, say, California. So, when it comes to plant hardiness, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a zone system to show what plants grow best in each region. This is incredibly helpful for rose gardeners, as it helps them determine which varieties can withstand the elements and thrive in their climate.

Roses are quite sensitive to temperatures. For example, in USDA zones 1 or 2, it is especially important to mulch or to cover your plants during winter months, as temperatures often drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In zone 5, it may be best to plant your roses in mid-May, while in zone 9, the beginning of March is considered safe.

Check to see where you are in the USDA zones to safely plant your roses.

How to Plant Your Roses

Photo of hands of young agronomist planting red roses in garden
mage credits: Sergey Mironov via Shutterstock

When it comes to planting roses, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind.

The Right Spot

Roses require full sun exposure for at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Start by digging holes about double the size of the roots for each bush.


Plant your roses in rich, well-drained soil as wet soil can lead to fungal diseases in the plants. If your soil is clay-based or heavy with water, you may want to amend using compost or consider using a raised bed or mounded soil so that excess water can drain away.


Third, keep weeds and grasses away from your roses as they can compete for nutrients in the soil, reducing the amount of nourishment available to your plants.


Water your roses thoroughly when done planting and continue to water them frequently in summer dry spells and for two years after planting.

Also, when assessing how often to water your roses, you should also consider the weather in your area. Weather can play a significant role in determining how often you need to water your roses.

If there are periods of high humidity and rain, for example, then you will most likely not need to water as frequently as under dry and hot climates. Considering the weather factor can help ensure that you are giving your roses the right amount of hydration for proper growth and health.

Generally, if there is no rain and it’s not windy, the following watering frequency can help guide you on how often to water your roses:

90+ degrees: Once a day

80 degrees: Every other day

70 degrees: Every three days

60 degrees: Every four days

50 degrees: Five days in between watering

Using a moisture meter probe is an easy way to determine the water level of your rose beds. Measure the moisture levels at various points within your garden. Now you can use the readings to guide you on how much you should water. A reading that is green shows that there is already sufficient moisture and no additional water needs to be added.


Give your roses plenty of food. Use a combination of organic matter such as compost or manure and a general or rose fertilizer to guarantee that your plants get all the nutrition they need throughout their growing season.

Monitor Your Roses

Finally, keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, caterpillars, or spider mites that can damage your plants during their growing season. If you spot any of these unwanted guests, use natural methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to ward them off without harming the environment. Additionally, blackspot, powdery mildew, and rust may be problematic for your roses. Treat with a fungicide if necessary.

Stop And Smell The Roses

Armed with the right tools and tips, knowing when to plant your roses doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following this guide, you can give your roses the best chance to thrive come springtime. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planting! And don’t forget to share your own rose-planting journey by leaving a comment below.