When to plant roses – the best times for bare-root plants and container-grown to have beautiful blooms adorning your garden

These are the best months to plant roses for a healthy plant and gorgeous blooms

A pink rose plant growing in the garden
(Image credit: Future PLC/Kasia Fiszer)

Every experienced gardener will tell you that the right timing of planting specific plants and varieties is crucial to successful establishment of the plant and healthy growth. Roses happen to be the most popular flowers in the UK growing in pretty much every garden across the country – and even these beautiful yet hardy shrubs come with the ideal window of when to plant roses.

Indeed, if you want to learn how to grow roses successfully, you need to start by planting them at the correct time. And if you’re wondering when that is then our gardening experts clear that up in the easy-to-follow guide below.

A garden bench in the corner of a garden with red roses growing to the side of it

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

When to plant roses

The best time of planting roses mainly depends on the state of the rose plant you have – in other words, is it a bare-root plant or a container grown rose plant?

‘Container roses already have roots growing in a suitable potting mix,’ explains Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk, the UK’s leading trades matching site. ‘Bare root roses are supplied without soil.’

So now that you (roughly) know the difference between the two, this is when you should be planting each of them.

Fiona Jenkins expert myjobquote
Fiona Jenkins

Fiona Jenkins is a UK-based landscaper with over twenty five years of experience in the industry. As a gardening expert for MyJobQuote, one of the UK's top trades-matching sites, Fiona offers her expert advice to MyJobQuote's tradespeople and homeowners, and has also been featured as a gardening expert for a range of reputable publications.

When to plant bare root rose plants

Learning when to plant roses is just as important as knowing how to plant roses. Bare root rose plants are slightly more commonly used when growing roses, mainly because they tend to be cheaper. But they are also more limited in when they can be planted compared to the container-grown ones.

‘Bare root plants are best planted between October and April as this provides them with sufficient time to establish themselves before the summer months,’ says John Clifford, gardening expert at Gardenstone.

Fiona continues to explain why planting it outside of this time window is not a good idea, ‘Planting them during summer when the rose is active would mean they’re having to spend a lot of energy trying to grow roots and leaves, which would stress and weaken the plant. That’s why it’s best to plant them during autumn, so they can direct all their energy towards establishing their root system.’

John Clifford
John Clifford

John Clifford is a director of Gardenstone, a leading garden landscaping retailer based in the UK. With over 30 years in the gardening industry and continual work alongside The National Trust, John has amassed an extensive range of gardening and planting knowledge. Alongside his younger son, John has built a strong reputation for Gardenstone as a trusted source for both high-quality garden products and expert gardening advice. 

A pink rose plant growing in the garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Camilla Reynolds)

When to plant container-grown rose plants

If you, like us, recently followed David Beckham’s foray into rose planting and gardening, you’ll know that his experience wasn’t the smoothest. But you’ll also know that he opted for container-grown Queen of Sweden roses by David Austin as he (somewhat comically) struggled to get it out of the provided pot. Which, as outlined above, was a must as he was planting in the summer month of June which wouldn’t have been ideal for a bare root rose plant.

Container-grown roses can be planted pretty much anytime of the year as the fact they’re already grown in a pot and soil gives them a head start – but also makes them slightly more pricey compared to bare root plants.

‘Because of this, you can simply transfer the rose into your prepared hole with minimal stress and disturbance. This makes the container rose suitable for planting at any time of the year,’ Fiona says.

Light pink rose plants in containers

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

When not to plant roses

Of course, there are times of the year you should avoid when planting your rose plants, no matter if it’s a bare root one or a container-grown rose. These periods are mainly characterised by extreme weather conditions which are not ideal for roses.

‘For both container-grown and bare root plants it is crucial that you avoid planting when the ground is particularly frozen or waterlogged so I recommend avoiding planting from December to February in most cases,’ John warns.

He adds, ‘Never plant roses when your soil is waterlogged, this will limit the oxygen supply available and ultimately lead to root rot and potentially death. On the other hand, you should also avoid planting roses during a drought when the soil is dry. Roses require consistent moisture so they won’t be able to effectively establish their roots in dry soil.’

And now you know everything there is to know about when to plant roses. Good luck with your rose planting – hopefully it will go smoother for you than it did for David Beckham.

Content Editor

Sara Hesikova has been a Content Editor at Ideal Home since June 2024, starting at the title as a News Writer in July 2023. Sara brings the Ideal Home’s readership features and news stories from the world of homes and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more, focusing on all things room decor, specialising in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, home offices and dining rooms. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.