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Bare Root Plants

Bare root plants are a convenient way to grow some of your favourite summer flowers. From roses to peonies, irises, and more, bare roots are dormant plants which are planted in winter and burst into life in the spring. For our full range of flowers, visit our flower plants section where, from summer bedding to naturalising bulbs, cottage garden flowers, perennials, shrubs and more, you'll find links to all your favourite blooms. Looking for advice on sowing and growing? Head over to our growing guides for a wealth of articles on every aspect of gardening.

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What is a bare root plant?

A bare root plant is sold soil-free in its dormancy. They are usually available to plant during the winter months when there is no above ground green growth. Popular perennial plants like peonies, lupins and roses are all available as bare root plants between November and March. See how our favourite online experts grow their own glorious plants from bare root in the article: ‘Best expert advice on growing bare root plants’.

How to plant bare root roses

Plant your bare root roses during the winter months. This is when your plant is in its dormancy. The underground roots develop during the winter until spring when shoots start to appear. Choose a sunny spot to grow your rose. Dig a planting hole 30cm deep and plant the rose so that the roots are submerged and the stem is poking out the top. Mulch your freshly planted roses with well rotted mature and water around the base to settle the soil around the roots.

Find out more about growing your roses from bare root and gain colourful variety inspiration from our list of top 10 bare root roses to grow.

When to plant bare root roses

Plant bare root roses during the winter between November and March. As soon as your bare root plants arrive in the post, remove their packaging and place in water for a few hours to rehydrate the roots before planting. If you can’t plant your bare root plants on the day you receive them, keep them in a bucket of moist sand in a cool place until you can.

How to plant bare root trees

Soak your tree roots in water for 24hrs before planting. If you can’t plant straight away into their final positions, lightly bury your bare root trees in moist soil to keep the roots hydrated. This is called ‘heeling in’ and will keep their roots moist and healthy.

To plant a bare root hedge, dig a trench along the line you want the hedge to stand and lay your bare root plants every 30cm or so depending on the width of your chosen tree. Planting a double line makes a thicker hedge. Cover the roots up to the juncture between root and stem and water well.

Use a stake to give your bare root tree support as it grows in spring. Mulch around the base of your newly planted trees using well rotted manure to give them a boost of nutrients for healthy spring top growth.