Right now is the time to purchase and plant bare-root roses. These are available in garden centers and they come in bright colored packaging. Bare-root roses are plants whose roots don't have any soil around them. They're inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to plant.
The downside is that there's not a lot of selection as far as number of varieties. There may be only four or five different varieties and that's it. And they are all hybrid roses, so they require a little more care to survive the winters here.
These roses do need some extra care. First, take them out of the packaging and you can see that they put some wax around the top cuts so the canes don't dry out in shipping. Once you remove the packaging material, stick the roots in a bucket of water for about three to four hours to rehydrate. I like to put a tablespoon or so of water absorbing polymers in water. These polymers absorb water and release it into the hole as the soil dries out.
So, place your plant in your hole in a spot that gets six hours of sun. Dig your hole about 2- to 3-feet in diameter and deep enough so that this graft union is about an inch or two below the soil line.
You need to protect the graft union so it doesn't die in winter. If it dies, you'll get a different rose variety growing from the roots than the one you bought. Fill up the hole with soil and pack it in. Put some water in so you remove all the air pockets.
Then create a little moat around the hole so when you water in the future, all of the water will stay right around the roots and not run off everywhere else. Then put a little mulch around it, maybe a two inch layer or so, and this rose will be blooming the first year!
It will require some special protection in the winter, so we'll come back in October and we'll take care of this one.
By Charlie Nardozzi