Early spring brings you the best selections of roses at Rainbow Gardens here in San Antonio, Texas. Late winter to early spring is the right time to plant them here as well. We pot up our bareroot roses in January so that means when you buy them now, they aren’t full rooted. Special care should be taken when planting them during this time of year. The following instructions are your guide to planting our roses successfully.

Where To Plant Roses:

1. Sunshine: Roses need full sun for heavy blooms. There is no shade-loving rose out there.

2. Well-draining soil: Roses can suffer from root rot when planted in areas that get overly wet, especially in prolonged rainy weather.

3. Spacious area: Good air circulation is critical to help prevent fungal disease on roses. Plant in an area that gets plenty of exposure to wind movement and give ample space between plantings.

4. Plant in a well-prepared area that is rich in organic soil. Till soil to a 12” to 15” depth. Add about 3” of sphagnum peat moss and 1” of compost and till all soil again to blend all ingredients.


How To Plant Roses:

Because our roses are potted up from bare roots and it is crucial to keep roots intact when planting, we suggest the following method to plant roses when purchasing roses in early spring at Rainbow Gardens:

1. ALWAYS carry your roses from the bottom of the pot. Do not carry by the trunk.

2. Dig hole 2-3 times as wide as nursery pot, and only as deep as the rose is currently growing (top of the soil line of the rose in pot should be level with the top of your hole).

3. Set pot with rose directly into the hole and make 3-4 vertical slices around the nursery pot with a utility knife so that the pot can be peeled away from the rose plant, rather than pulling the rose plant straight out of the pot.

4. Gently slide rose out of the pot and level rootball so that rose will be growing straight.

5. Backfill hole with soil mixture you previously prepared (as indicated in “Where to plant” step 4), making sure to fill in all open spaces around the roots. Gently firm soil after backfilling. Do not pile soil on top of rootball.

6. Water slowly, but thoroughly and deeply, immediately after planting to settle the soil and eliminate any air pockets throughout the soil.

Mulching roses helps deter competitive weeds.

Maintaining Roses

1. The second time you water newly planted roses, give them a dose of liquid root stimulator (follow label directions). Repeat one month later.

2. Feed roses 3-4 times throughout the year, ideally after a blooming period. Late February, May-June, and again mid September.


Watering Roses

1. Roses should be watered 3 times a week the first month, 2 times a week the second month and 1 time a week the 3rd month to help get them established properly. After that, they usually get by on 2 deep waterings a month during the growing season. (Summer will need additional waterings.)

2. When you water roses, try to keep foliage dry. Wet foliage invites disease.

For convenience, you can download a pdf copy of rose planting instructions here.