The yearly sale of bare root roses has arrived at our local Aldi. Each year around early February Aldi brings in bagged bare root roses for around $5 (this year they were $5.49). These are difficult to come by in South Florida, especially the quality of roses that Aldi supplies. So each year, once January rolls around, I begin to check their weekly fliers (you can keep track of them on their web site) to see when they will arrive. They were to arrive on February 3rd. Once I know when the roses are arriving I head over first thing in the morning for the best selection. This year was no exception.
These bare root roses are grafted on Dr. Huey, like most bare root roses are. Which means they wont live long in South Florida. But for the price, you can enjoy 2-3 years of blooms and replenish your stock the following year. These are the same roses that you later see potted up and sold for three times the cost at your local garden center. You can save a ton by potting them up yourself.
I’ve had good luck with the Aldi roses in the past, most of which last at least two years on my patio. I always grow them in pots because Dr. Huey tends to perform better in planters here than in the sandy soil where it has difficulty taking up enough nutrients to keep them happy. Last year I purchased 8 roses and 6 of them are still blooming today.
This year, I obtained another 8 varieties from Aldi. Here are the varieties:
JFK, Peace, Pink Peace, Oregold, Intrigue, Chrysler Imperial, Tropicana and Gold Medal.
Out of all of these I have grown Peace, Oregold and Gold Medal before. Peace is a rose I have purchased many times and lost, yet the one I got from Aldi last year is still thriving and looking very healthy. I therefor decided to purchase another one this year as its one of my favorite roses (as is its sport Chicago Peace) and the bare root specimen at Aldi was very large and healthy.
The first thing I did was to label the roses using green plant ties and permanent marker. This was an easy and inexpensive way to keep the varieties from getting mixed up once they were all planted.
Next I soaked them in a bucket of solution containing half a cup of hydrogen peroxide (to kill any pathogens that may have formed during shipping), and a teaspoon of Super Thrive (vitamin starter).
Once they soaked for a few good hours, I potted them up in Miracle Gro Moisture Control potting mix and watered deeply with the same Super Thrive solution that I used for the soak.
Here they are in partial shade ready to leaf out:
In about a week I will give them a slightly diluted dose of Quick Start or other root stimulating solution and continue that once a week until the leaves are fully developed. After its first flush I will start them on a regular strength fertilizer program. I like to wait until the first flush because I noticed the plants use their stored energy to create that first flush and they have yet to really develop a good root system, so I am careful to not burn the young, delicate feeder roots.
Some gardeners actually disbud the bush on its first flush to give them an opportunity to form a stronger root system, but I relish those first blooms and cant bring myself to do that. Once the rose has had its first flush however, its ready for a regular feeding program, which will help it gain the nutrients necessary for its next bloom cycle.
Click through the gallery to learn more about the process…