When to Plant Roses in Kentucky

When to Plant Roses in Kentucky – For bare-root roses (roses sold in bare-root form and without a container) the best time for planting is when the roses are dormant. And when would that be in Kentucky? Anytime from mid-fall (or perhaps earlier depending on how the temperatures are panning out) right on through to early springtime. 

Personally, I prefer to plant bare-root roses in early spring just after the last frost. Sure, it’s not possible to predict that – when frost will occur – with any real level of accuracy. But in KY, going on historical data, we know that for zone 13 it’s going to be anytime from April 21 on. For zone 14 it will be anytime from May 1 onward. 



Planting roses in Kentucky
When should I plant roses in Kentucky?




You should aim to plant your bare-root roses as soon as you receive them. If you’re unable to do that, and the planting delay is going to be more than a day or two, dig a trench in your garden that’s plenty long enough to ‘contain’ your new roses and plenty deep enough to contain the roots.

Keep in mind that plant spacing is not a requisite here. The intent behind this process is simply to ‘heel in’ the bare-root roses until you’re ready to plant them in their final locale. 

If you can plant bare-root roses with only a short delay – perhaps no more than, say, 24 hours after receiving your roses – simply pop them root-deep in a bucket of water. The key here is to stop the roots from drying out. Dried-out rose roots will likely never recover from trauma. 



What about container-grown roses. When should container-grown roses be planted?

Again, ideally, plant container-grown roses in spring after date of final frost. 

However, timing is more flexible with container-grown roses than with bare-root roses. Essentially, you can plant container-grown at any time. 

Again, though, I have a preference for planting container-grown in early to mid-springtime or right on through until, say, late summer. 

I prefer not to plant container-grown roses after late summer because I prefer the roses to benefit from becoming somewhat established in the garden before dormancy. And, as mentioned, dormancy is enforced on roses (and all other plants) as soon as the weather becomes colder in fall. 

I also avoid planting roses (and anything else for that matter) if ambient air temperatures are very high. Not only do roses not take kindly to being freshly planted when the temperature is soaring, I personally don’t like physical graft when the ambient temperatures are very high. Energy levels ‘evaporate’ real fast!


Don’t be tempted to plant your roses – be that bare-root or container-grown – if the ground is frozen. In this case, patience is most certainly a virtue that your roses will be thankful you employ. 


When should you plant roses in Kentucky



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