In your quest for the perfect rose bush for your landscaping you’ve likely come across the question of whether to purchase a bare root rose or potted rose.
So, what’s the difference between the two options?
Let’s dive in to the answers in this article.
Bare Root Roses
Bare root roses are sold just as the name suggests. Two year old rose bushes are dug up, trimmed, and shipped as a bare plant. There’s no potting mix or soil. Heck, there’s no leaves either.
Because bare root plants are basically sticks, there’s not a lot of fuss when it comes to shipping. As long as they don’t dry out in the box on the way to you, they should be just fine until you plant them in your garden.
Bare root roses are typically sold in the Spring, mostly because the roses are dormant or mostly dormant and it’s a lot less stressful for the plant. Also, Spring conditions are cool and moist. This gives the plant time to establish in the soil of its new home without the stressful conditions of heat and drought of the Summer.
Because bare root roses aren’t sold with a pot and potting mix, this makes them less expensive, too. It’s a lot easier to ship plants, as we mentioned before, which makes bare roots more cost effective when purchasing roses for your garden.
Potted roses are, again, just as the name suggests–plants that are sold in pots with soil.
Roses are sold in a variety of container sizes. Some examples are 1 gallon, 5 quart, 3 gallon, and 5 gallon pots.
On our farm, we offer potted roses in 3 gallon pots. This gives the rose ample room to grow throughout the season. So if you’re unsure about where to plant your rose, you have time to find that perfect spot in your garden.
Because potted roses require more labor and material, they will often cost more than bare root roses. Yet, potted roses are often available for a longer period of time over the season.
In our case, we’ll be hanging onto these roses until they sell or are planted on our farm! So there’s no rush to pick out the perfect rose in the Spring if you’re not ready to plant yet.
When to Plant Roses
The best time to plant any perennial, shrub, or tree is usually in the Spring or the Fall. This is because the temperature and moisture levels aren’t too extreme for the plants while they adjust to their new location.
You can plant roses throughout the Summer, too. Just make sure to water them well to reduce stress on the plant.
Which type of rose should I buy?
If you know where you want to plant your rose bush and the area is prepped and ready, I would say bare root roses are the way to go!
If you missed the window for purchasing bare root roses, then there’s nothing wrong with a potted rose! In fact, sometimes you may not be able to find a rose sold in anything but a pot. It depends on the nursery you order from.
Sometimes people like to wait until they see a bloom before they purchase a rose. Bare root roses don’t offer that option. But it is very likely that a potted rose could be pumping out blooms as you peruse the nursery!
The choice is really up to you and your specific needs.
What is the difference between “grafted” or “own root” roses?
This is a complex topic that could be an article within itself.
In a nutshell, own root roses are those plants that are growing on their “own” specific roots. So a Celestial Night ™ own root (OR) rose is grown on Celestial Night ™ roots.
Grafted roses are those that are grown (or “budded”) onto the roots of a completely different rose variety. The root variety is likely one with exceptional disease resistance and vigor.
Grafting is also common for grapes and apple trees specifically for disease resistance (most of the time).
An example of a grafted rose would be Celestial Night ™ rose shoots growing on ‘Dr Huey’ rootstock. Another popular rootstock variety is ‘Fortuniana’.
Because of the extra labor involved, grafted roses are typically more expensive compared to own root roses.
Winter Damage to Grafted Roses
In northern climates, you run the risk of the grafted shoots not surviving the extremely cold temperatures. Any shoots that grow will be the rootstock variety’s own shoots if the buds from the grafted variety don’t survive.
For example: You may plant a row of ‘Koko Loco’ grafted roses, but one horrible Winter sweeps through, killing the ‘Koko Loco’ stems/buds, and suddenly you’re growing a row of ‘Dr Huey’ instead!
For this reason, many northern growers opt for own root roses. Each garden has unique circumstances! So its best to do your research.
Whether bare root or potted, you need roses in your garden.
Hopefully you’ve gleaned some knowledge from this article and now feel confident about purchasing a rose, whether it’s bare root or potted.
Ready to snag some beautiful rose varieties for your garden? Shop SBF roses today!
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