how to plant roses in the fall


My secret weapon is planting perennials like roses in the fall.

Okay, so it’s not really a hidden gem, but despite the fact that it’s finally gaining traction as a sensible gardening strategy, I’m astonished at how many people overlook it.

Gardeners keep on ask me if it’s really a good time to plant roses, the answer is absolute YES, when I pick up piles of discounted plants during the autumn when nurseries are clearing out their inventory.

Roses are especially well-suited to planting in the fall. They usually benefit greatly, and you can get plants for a quarter of the price you would get in the spring.


You’ve probably observed that nurseries clean out a lot of plants in the fall.

Many gardeners may conclude that this means it’s not the best time of year to plant, which is why the merchants are attempting to clear out their stock.
But this isn’t the case! Fall is actually a great season to grow many perennials. The temperature is moderate, the plants gain a head start on the following growing season, and more rain is usually on the way.

Are you persuaded? Here’s what we’ll talk about to help you make the most of the rose-planting season in the fall:
However, the procedures below can be used for bare roots as well.

One quick note: we’ll concentrate on planting roses in a container because most roses sold in the fall are actively growing potted specimens rather than bare-root plants.

However, the procedures below can be used for bare roots as well.
Let’s not wait any longer if you’re eager to take advantage of those prices and the nice, pleasant weather. Let’s get started!


Planting in the springtime can be difficult.

Because the earth is still frozen for a time after the winter season has passed, the soil may be moist from all those spring showers, or you may have to wait until later in the season than is ideal.

The soil is usually drier and warmer in the autumn, making it easier to work. On a soft-focus background, a close up horizontal image of a rose shrub in autumn.

The weather is generally gentler; in many locations, there is normally more rain than in the summer, and you won’t have to worry about an unexpected heatwave burning your rose shrub.

Another advantage is that particular plant kind are frequently available at a lesser cost. The majority of consumers don’t buy for plants in the fall, and most nurseries provide a discount at the end of the season.

Roses planted in the autumn bloom earlier than those planted in the spring. When you plant a rose in the spring, it takes a few months for it to establish itself and produce blossoms, whereas roses planted in October or November have already settled in and are ready to bloom when spring arrives.

On the negative side, you can lose your plants if you experience exceptionally rainy autumn or an early surprise winter. There is usually a smaller selection of plants to choose from as well.

If you can’t find the plant you won’t or can’t get your plants into the ground in time, you might wish to prepare your garden bed in the fall and plant in the spring.


Plants should not be planted just days before the first forecasted frost. Your roses won’t have enough time to grow in and establish themselves before the harsh winter cold arrives.

The best time to plant in the fall is around six weeks before the first forecasted frost date. This gives them enough time to grow roots so they may survive the winter and emerge in the spring.
However, don’t plant too early. While your rose has a decent chance of surviving, you run the danger of destroying it if you plant it in the late summer heat.


You may undoubtedly plant a live rose in the fall, but dormant bare-root plants are a safer option. The adjustment has less of an impact on them. However, they can be hard to come by in the fall.

Keeping that in mind, here’s how to prepare your garden for your new rose:
As you would in the spring, prepare the planting hole. That involves deciding on the best location before doing anything else.

Keep in mind that in the spring and summer, the current light exposure at the location you choose may be different than in the fall.
We offer a guide that can assist you to choose the best location.

Then, determine whether or not you need to work on your soil. To increase drainage or water retention, work in enough of well-rotted compost if your soil is heavy clay or sandy.

A horizontal close-up view of a spade excavating a planting hole in the garden.
Once you’ve chosen a location and modified the soil, dig a hole that’s twice as broad and just a little deeper than the container your rose arrived in. In the removed soil, add a handful of well-rotted compost.

Fill the opening halfway with water and let it drain. This should take no more than an hour.
If there is still water in the hole, the soil is not draining properly. To remedy it, dig several feet down and add more well-rotted compost, or consider constructing a raised bed.

Fill the hole with a small amount of the removed soil and compost mixture to ensure that your plant is at the proper height.

That implies setting the bud union or crown just above the soil level in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 and higher. Position the crown or bud union an inch or two below the soil surface in Zones 6 and below.

Make a small cone at the bottom of the hole to provide a place for the roots to sit and to aid in root growth in the appropriate direction.
Place the plant in the hole after gently spreading out the roots. Spread the roots out over the cone you created so that they grow down rather than out.

With the soil and compost mixture, fill in around the roots. Water the soil to settle it, and fill the hole with more soil if necessary to level it out.

Panting roses in fall Care tips

After you’ve planted the plant, cut it back by a third. You don’t want any flowers or hips sucking up the energy of your plant. Any dead or yellow foliage or stems should also be pruned away.

Plants that have spent the summer at a garden centre may have a few dead bits, but as long as the overall plant appears healthy, you shouldn’t be concerned.

While most places have more rain in the fall than in the summer, you should still monitor the soil moisture level.

You don’t have to give them as much as you would in the summer, but you don’t want them to dry out. That’s not the best way to prepare them for success.

If nature fails to provide, water your roses whenever the top inch of soil feels dry.
Fertilize your new plant sparingly. It’s not a good idea to encourage it to start developing. Instead, you want it to settle in, establish itself, and prepare to go dormant.

Cover your rose with a thick layer of mulch. This will assist to safeguard it over the upcoming cold season.
Apply a third of the way up the canes with several inches of natural mulch, such as straw, bark, or well-rotted manure. When the ground has warmed up in the spring, remove it.

You might wish to tie some rope around the canes for support if the shrub you planted is exceptionally huge or the canes are placed widely apart.
Don’t Forget to Plant Roses in the Fall.

Planting in the fall is easier than planting in the spring in certain ways. It’s worth your time just for that.
When you consider the money you’ll save, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the October planting season.
In the fall garden, a close up horizontal shot of a rose plant with beautiful red petals.

Please return and let us know how it went in the comments box below. I’d love to see pictures of your spring blossoms!
Now that you’ve planted your roses, take a look at some of our other articles on rose growing to get a head start on the next growing season:

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