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How to plant a bare root climbing rose


By following these simple steps, you will ensure your bare root climbing rose gets off to the best possible start.

What you’ll need

Here’s what you’ll need to plant your rose:

  • Spade (buy)
  • Fork (buy)
  • Watering can (buy)
  • Large bucket of water
  • Well-rotted manure
  • David Austin’s Mycorrhizal Fungi (buy)

Step 1 – Re-hydrate rose in bucket of water

Place your bare root climbing rose in a bucket of water for 30 minutes prior to planting. This will ensure that the roots are well hydrated before planting.


Step 2 – Prepare the soil

Using a fork, dig the soil over thoroughly and remove any weeds or stones. This will ensure that the new roots can venture freely in their new environment.


Step 3 – Dig the hole

Dig a hole that is wide enough and deep enough to hold the rose’s roots when spread out. This should be approximately 40cm wide and 60cm deep. If your aim is to train your climbing rose up a wall, make sure you dig your hole directly against the wall.


Step 4 – Break the soil at base of hole

Using a fork, break up the soil at the base of the hole. This will allow the roots to go deeper into the soil.


Step 5 – Add well-rotted manure

Mix a small spadeful of well-rotted farmyard manure with the soil in the bottom of the hole. This will add vital nutrients to the soil helping the rose to establish more effectively. If you can’t source manure from a local farmer, your nearest garden centre will offer something similar.


Step 6 – Apply David Austin’s Mycorrhizal Fungi

Remove your rose from the bucket of water and sprinkle the recommended amount of Mycorrhizal Fungi over the roots. We advise doing this over the planting hole as any excess fungi will drop into the bottom of the hole.


Step 7 – Position your rose in the hole

Position the rose in the centre of the hole with the stems pointing towards the wall and the roots away from the wall, at a 45 degree angle. Place a bamboo cane horizontally across the top of the hole to judge if the planting depth is correct. The graft union, which is the swollen area between the roots and the stems, should be just below the bamboo cane.

Step 8 – Backfill soil

Fill in and around the roots of the rose using the soil that was originally dug to make the hole.

Step 9 – Firm-in

Lightly firm the soil around the rose with your foot to ensure that the rose is secure and that there are no air pockets in the soil.


Step 10 – Water

Water the rose well after planting. For tips on how much water your rose needs click here.


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