Before you jump into the car to head off to the nursery or garden center to buy your new rose bushes you should take a few moments to consider the size of your garden, what types of roses seem to grow best in your area, and any particularly varieties of roses that you like would like to see in your own garden.
After you answer those questions itís time to go pick out your roses. But before you do you will have a few other questions to answer. Thatís because roses come in various containers, options, and grades.
Grafted roses are sold in standard grades. They include Nursery Standards grades 1, 11/2 and 2. Grade 1 plants will have at least three canes that are about 3-4 inches in diameter. They must be 2 years old when harvested and they are usually the most expensive. Grade 11/2 plants have at least two canes and Grade 2 plants are the bargain basement roses. These lower quality plants have very small canes and many will not last the year. Experts recommend that you buy Grade 1 rose plants because they have the best chance of survival and are less susceptible to weather, insects, or diseases.
You can also choose to buy bare-root roses. These are dormant plants that have been packaged to keep them from both dying and attempting to bloom. Sometimes they are waxed to prevent them from drying out but the wax melts and degrades after planting. Look for plump, green canes on bare-root plants and make sure that they arenít too dried out. If they feel heavy it probably means that they have retained their moisture. You can keep them up to two weeks before planting as long as you store them in a cool area and keep the roots moist by covering them with peat moss.
Another option is to purchase potted or containerized roses. These are simply bare-root plants that have been put into containers by the garden center. You need to be careful when transplanting these plants to your garden at home as the root system may not be very extensive.
One other consideration when buying a rose plant might to buy a budded or own-grown rose. Budded roses are created by taking a bud from one rose plant and grafting it onto another rose rootstock. This caused a swelling on the rootstock that ultimately produced new canes and new roses. This produces a rose with a solid root system but it is not without its risks. One of those is that the rootstocks of budded roses often send up suckers that produce different leaves and flowers, other times the graft doesnít take properly, and finally there is a risk of a virus infection in budded roses called a rose mosaic that if it gets into your garden will not only kill your rose plant but will can also infect other plants as well.
One final way to buy a rose plant is by getting a rose that has been produced by propagating softwood cuttings. These are called old-root roses and they tend to be hardy versions of the Old Garden Roses. They may take a little longer to mature but over time they often develop into strong and durable roses.