Starting a Rose Garden in February

If you have ever admired the beauty of a rose garden and dreamed of having one of your own, but thought it would be too difficult to accomplish or to maintain, now is the time to get started. February is the perfect time to plant roses in many parts of the country, and having your very own rose garden is easier than you think!

The right time to start a rose garden

There is a right time and a wrong time to plant roses depending on where you live in the country.

  • Northeast and East coast: March through June, October, and November
  • North Central: April through June, October, and November
  • South Central: December through February
  • Southwest and Pacific coast: December and January
  • Pacific Northwest: January through April

Where to begin

A rose garden needs at least four hours of direct sunlight every day. They will not do well with less, so it’s important to pick a spot with a lot of sunlight. They also like to be in moist soil, but not overly so. In case their roots stand in wet soil for too long, they will die, so make sure soil drains well. If the area you choose stays really wet or seems terribly dry, the situation can be remedied by adding sand to help it drain or peat to help it hold moisture.

Consider building a raised flowerbed if the soil conditions are just not conducive in your yard for roses. You can control the type of soil the roses are planted in and raised flowerbeds deter weed growth, which roses hate.

What kind of roses should I plant?

Roses are sold in a couple of different ways: bare root (sometimes called box roses) and container or potted roses. Bare root roses are what you usually find in garden centers or how you receive them if you have ordered them through the mail. Container roses have a better root development, but can be more expensive than bare root roses.

Container roses are easier to plant because they are simply placed in the ground at the same depth as the pot, just like most other plants. Bare root roses need to be positioned properly according to the climate in which you live. In colder regions where winters can be harsh, more of the bare root rose needs to be buried under the soil.

How to plant your rose plants

Be sure to read the tag on your rose plant before digging. It will tell you the eventual height and width of the plant once it matures. Space the plants accordingly in your rose garden. Remember to dig the holes twice as wide and half again as deep as the plant. Always water your newly planted rose bush heavily to eliminate air pockets left from planting.