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Best Way to Plant Roses: Bare-Root

January 03, 2002

Even though it's the middle of winter, gardeners are busy planting and pruning roses and fruit trees. More often than not, the weather cooperates with sunshine, even though the days are short and sometimes chilly. If it rains, do not dig or walk in the beds or you will damage the soil.

Nurseries are chock-full of bare-root roses, which cost about half of what roses in containers usually do. Bare-root is also the best way to plant rosebushes.

Soak the roots overnight, dig a whole wider than their spread, and add amendments to the excavated soil. Make a little cone of soil at the bottom of the hole and spread the roots over it. Refill the hole, carefully packing soil around the roots.

The swelling above the roots, the "bud union" should end up above soil level. Thoroughly water, then mound amendment over the canes to protect from hot sun and drying winds.

When sprouts appear, wash them away and letthem become mulch.

Rose pruning demonstration by rosarium horticulturist Wen-Pehn Wang at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge. Free with garden admission of $5. For information, call (818) 952-4401.

Talk and demonstration on rose pruning by garden director Wade Roberts and manager of horticulture John Bishop at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Sherman Library and Gardens, 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. Free. For information, call (949) 673-2261.

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