How Long can you keep bare root/dormant roses

rjingaFebruary 19, 2008

in their plastic bags before planting? And do you need to water, or should they just be left alone?

Currently, I have 20 of them in my garage and I recently hurt my back (herniated disk) I'm getting better, but I'm afraid if I go out and try to plant 20 rose bushes, they'll have to hospitalize me :)

I also wanted to ask about very light colored shoots that are coming from the canes...not just leaves, but 3 to 4 inch growth...these roses apparently were in boxes and probably too long...they are healthy looking however and the canes are all green...should this growth be cut off? I wish I could take a photo, but the camera memory card isn't working...ugh...

any thoughts?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Get them out of those plastic bags immediately and plunk them all in water. They need to soak--you don't want them drying out at all. I'm not sure how long you can soak them, but I've had some soaking for several weeks when the weather turned bad and they grew fine when planted. And posters here claim they kept them soaking even longer. However, it might be a good idea not to wait any longer than absolutely necessary. You probably also need to change the water periodically--maybe every few days.

Now, how to do this for 20 bareroots? I have no idea. I have several large containers in my garage--when filled with water, they can hold several bareroots and keep them covered in water.

However you do it, keep them in a cool and DARK place. You do not want them growing and putting out more new growth until they get into the ground.

Seriously, go tend to them right now. Drying out is the worst thing that could happen to them right now.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:07PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Just ran across this thread below where different posters explain how they soak their bareroots. The original poster was wondering how to soak the 7 bareroots she had ordered. You might get some ideas for your 20 at this thread.


Here is a link that might be useful: Ways to soak bareroots

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:27PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Yes, remove the "ghost" growth. If you can't get them into soak, then have someone keep the medium inside of the bags moist. Try to get them into a cool, dark, place.

Take care of yourself first, there are more roses to be had...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:52AM
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cecily(7 VA)

If the roses are in the original packaging and you have the recipt, return them and purchase potted roses in a month or two when you're feeling better.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 12:29PM
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If you need a container that can be emptied and refilled easily you might try something like a cooler that has a plug in the bottom. That may help out your back some.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 3:20PM
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Happy2BeeME(4a NH)

The cooler is a great idea !

I don't suppose any one in you house would mind if you filled the bath tub with water and roses???

Hope you back is feeling better soon. My Dad has the same problem with his back and bending is not good. He bought a seat with wheels on it to uses in the yard. He got it at Home Depot a few years back and uses it even when his back isn't acting up. He LOVES it. He said it moves easily in the grass and edge of his flower bed.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:33PM
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thanks for all the support...I guess I'm not going to return the plants, my back is quickly a little at a time and I'll be ok...

I do have a few additional questions though from the comments above

"ghost" growth just want to make sure I"m not taking something off that would otherwise be ok...what I'm seeing is these little whitish colored shoots (for lack of a more technical name) now have leaves at the ends? is this a premature stem or just some weird mutant growth?

Second the roses need to be inside while soaking? I have several rain filled buckets out back (that I would not be able to move in) that I could put them in? But they'd be outside...

I also do have several big tub with rope handles, they are very large, and could probably fit in a few of those...but do I just soak the roots or the whole plant? any pros or cons to this practice of soaking the whole thing?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 10:04PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I soak as much of the plant as I possibly can. I've also kept a spray can of water nearby and sprayed any tips sticking out whenever I pass by. Dont' know if that actually helps, but at least I feel better.

They need to be in a cool dark place --you want to keep them from growing, if at all possible, until you can plant them. That "ghost growth" won't survive when you plant them out in the garden. Get rid of that whitish stuff.

Glad to hear your back is getting better.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:08PM
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decobug(z6a Idaho SW)

The growths will turn green when exposed to light... Just leave them alone, they don't hurt anything...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 11:41PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

That "ghost" growth just hasn't been exposed to sunlight, so it won't turn green (or try to) until it is outside. For me, sometimes the growth turns green, but most of the time mine doesn't, it turns brown and withers away. So now I just remove it, new growth will come.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:35AM
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I got them into water finally, those big tubs have proven to be a very useful purchase...$6 at the dollar store...


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 3:30PM
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I feel your pain. We had 5 potted and 3 bare root we need to get in the ground asap. We managed to get 2 in ground today but our ground is solid rock so I can't dig myself. The dh is tired after taking an hour to pick ax the 2 holes. I figure it'll take us a few months of weekends to get the remaining in ground but the ones soaking are already leafing out. I'm almost feeling guilty about buying them all since I may not get them in ground by spring. Bad garden mommy...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:35PM
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