Autumn brings with it cooler temperatures and the promise of cosy evenings by the fireplace. While the garden may not be the first place that springs to mind, it's actually the perfect time to get your hands dirty and plant our bare root roses.

Planting bare root roses during autumn can yield stunning results. With careful selection, proper preparation, and ongoing care, your garden can be adorned with beautiful blooms come spring and summer. David Austin bare root roses are also delivered in plastic-free packaging without soil to help us be that bit more planet-friendly.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure your bare root roses flourish.


Autumn is the optimal time to plant bare root roses in the UK. Aim to plant between mid-October – April, when the soil is still warm but the air temperature has cooled down. This gives the roses enough time to establish their roots before winter's frosty grip.


Before planting, soak the bare roots of your roses in a bucket of water for a minimum of two hours. This will help rehydrate the roots and prepare them for planting. We recommend to sprinkle the roots with David Austin’s Mycorrhizal Fungi to help create better root systems for your roses.


Bare root roses thrive in well-drained soil and need at least four hours of sunlight per day, but the more sunlight the better. Select a location in your garden that meets these criteria. Make sure the area is also free from competing tree roots and large shrubs that could steal nutrients and water from your roses.


Good soil preparation is key to the success of your rose planting. Start by digging a hole that's twice the width of the rose's root ball and deep enough to accommodate the roots comfortably. Add organic matter, such as well-rotted compost or aged manure, to the soil to improve its structure and fertility.


Refer to our Planting Guides for a step-by-step on how to plant your Bare Root Roses. Whether you’ve chosen a shrub rose or climbing rose, we have you covered.


After planting, lightly firm the soil around the rose to ensure that the rose is secure and that there are no air pockets in the soil. Water the roses thoroughly to help settle the soil and hydrate the roots.