Roses are dormant in winter so it’s the best time to plant bare root roses. Containerised roses can be planted too. For armloads of cut flowers over a long period, choose Floribundas and Hybrid Teas. Take a trip down to your local garden centre and you’ll find a large number of varieties in stock. Avoid plants with shrivelled canes as that’s a sign the plant has dried out – and a sure bet for failure. Buy plants that have at least three strong, healthy looking canes.
When planting, dig a hole big enough to accommodate the roots when spread out, around 40cm wide by the same deep. If planting several roses, don’t squish them together, as this reduces airflow around the plants, raises the humidity levels and encourages disease. Position roses a metre apart; climbers and ramblers can be spaced at a distance of 4m.
Add slow release fertiliser to the bottom of the hole, add a small amount of soil to form a mound, then place the rose on top of that. The bud union should be level with the surface. Backfill with soil and water well.