Sunday, March 28, 2010


I have always loved roses. They are absolutely beautiful and smell great and have a special place in my heart. And not necessarily roses in a vase or an arrangement (although I do like those too!) but rose bushes. Although my dad always had a vegetable garden growing up, we never had flower gardens. When Jeff was getting the house all ready he spent a lot of time and money on flowers for the front - geraniums in hanging baskets for the front porch, boxwood and variegated ivy for pots by the front steps, and impatients around the mailbox to name a few. He has always said he hated dealing with roses, so I was really shocked when he came home with two dormant rose plants.

I was more than a little irritated when he planted my herb garden without any input or help from me and wasn't shy about letting him know this. I appreciated his buying me herbs and wanting to help me get them planted, but that was supposed to be mine. So being the kind and loving husband he is, he agreed to let me help pot the roses. They are easier to manage in pots rather than in the ground, so we put them in a couple of really large (32 qt) pots.

I don't have pictures of this step by step because I was up to my elbows in dirt and it really wasn't all that exciting anyway.

First thing we did was put about 2-3 inches of pine mulch in the bottom of the pot and shake it a little to distribute it evenly (using lightweight pots makes this much easier!)

The pine mulch was topped by a layer of somewhat sandy "organic" soil (translation - containing compost). Not a solid layer, just 2 or 3 good handfuls sprinkled around.

Then dump in a few inches of soil. We used miracle grow flower and vegetable soil, but potting soil would also work well. Mix the sandy stuff into the miracle grow, then dump in a lot more soil. You don't want the pot totally full, just leave about 6 inches below the rim of the pot. Give it a shake to get it approximately even.

Now, make sure your rose plant is pulled from the package. There should be some good, moist soil that falls off as you remove the plastic. This is good because it means the soil is moist and fabulous, not all caked together and petrified. Try not to waste any of that good soil, get it into the pot too!

Dig a hole almost as tall as the root ball and stick it on in there, being careful of the thorns. Pack the dirt down around it so it's very secure. You should need to add some more dirt and pack that down too. Just make sure to watch out for the little place where the plant meets the root. That is your landmark - make sure you can always see that part! It needs to be able to get air. If you got the dirt too high, don't despair, just move it a little.

Now that your soil is all in there and packed down, top it with a bit more pine mulch, particularly around the edge of the pot and then gently spread it inwards. This will help absorb and hold moisture while protecting the dirt from baking in the sun.

Now, move your pot to a place where it can get the recommended amount of sun. Just look on the tag of the plant you bought! Be careful if you put your pot on grass instead of concrete - the root can grow through the bottom of the pot!

Once ours are no longer dormant and we have some pretty flowers, I'll post pictures!

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