Many people ask these very same questions, and if you search online you will find many different opinions. Here's a brief explanation of how we, at Witherspoon, operate our rose growing department.
At Witherspoon, we get all our roses in at one time (January), and we spend a couple of weeks grading and prepping our 26,000 roses. We keep a portion of the roses bareroot, and the rest are potted into 4-gallon containers.
Bareroot roses are dormant plants and should be planted in the cooler months before new growth begins to form. Potted roses should be planted after the threat of frost has past. In North Carolina, that is typically around mid-April. The potted roses have been in our greenhouses pushing out new growth and are sensitive to frost damage. Bareroot roses are available for planting February to mid-April; however, the window for planting a bareroot rose will vary based on your location. Potted roses are available locally for planting mid-April through October.
So, should I plant in the fall or in the spring? With a new understanding of how we operate, you see that we get all of our roses in at once. In the spring, you will have the largest selection to choose from, and as the season progresses we begin selling out of varieties.
We successfully plant from February through the end of October and believe you can too! Roses need ample water when they are planted, so we discourage folks from planting right before a long vacation. If you would like more information on how Witherspoon can care for your rose garden or install a garden for you, feel free to email us.
At the Garden Shop, we are here to help with any questions. You can email the Garden Shop directly for answers to your rose care questions here. Which will you choose, bareroot or potted?