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Will Roses Bloom The First Year?


Will roses bloom the first year they are planted?

Roses are grown for their colorful blooms, so one of the questions we get most is whether or not they will bloom the first year after they are planted.

Newly planted roses will bloom in their first year, but the quantity and quality of the blooms will depend on whether the plant is grown in a container or grown bare-root. Container-grown roses have a more developed root system and a more robust crown and canes, resulting in more blooms in their inaugural year.

Bare-root roses are developmentally behind their container-grown brethren, and while they will put out a bud or two their first year, it will take them two or three years to have abundant blooms.

Most hybrid tea roses bloom on new wood, but older, heirloom types and many climbers bloom best on old wood. Additionally, different roses have different windows of blooming, so if your new rose hasn’t had any flowers yet, it may just be down to timing.

How long does it take for roses to bloom after planting?

If you transplanted your rose in the fall, it won’t bloom until next spring. If you planted it in early to late spring, you will likely get blooms in the summer, unless it is a strictly springtime-blooming rose.

Similarly, the blooming of a rose planted in the summer will depend on whether it is a spring-blooming or continuous-blooming rose.

Roses bloom, depending on what variety they are, from late spring through the summer and into late fall. There are over 6,000 species of roses, so it’s important to identify the type of your newly transplanted rose so that you can determine its bloom time.

Luckily, horticulturalists have long grouped roses according to their flowering window and habit. Generally speaking, you can expect any rose to bloom by the end of the summer, but it is still helpful to know a few more specifics.

Bush roses

  • Hybrid tea roses
  • Floribundas
  • Grandifloras
  • Polyanthas
  • Perpetual hybrids 

These roses bloom continuously from early to late summer on a five to seven week cycle, and deadheading (removing spent flowers) is very helpful in producing new flowers (sourceOpens in a new tab.). While the hybrid teas have the most archetypal rose blossom, they have fewer overall than other bush roses, which feature smaller flowers in greater abundance. 

Bush roses are very popular and are commonly found for sale in nurseries due to their moderate size (up to six feet tall and wide) and extensive blooms.

Shrub roses

  • Old-fashioned or “colonial” varieties
  • Trees or standard roses
  • Miniature roses

These roses are often used in landscaping because of their larger size and density. They will also bloom from late spring and through part of the fall. 

Old-fashioned roses in particular have a stronger fragrance than shrub roses and bloom very late into autumn. They also bloom best on older wood, so it’s best to prune them in fall after their last flowering. A container-grown old-fashioned rose transplanted in fall or spring will likely begin to bloom late spring, with increasing blooms over the season.

Tree roses or standard roses are essentially bush roses grafted onto a straight (or “standard”) trunk. These will not bloom as long as old-fashioned roses, and are best pruned in spring. If your new rose is a tree rose, evaluate its position in your landscape and consider staking it if it is in a windy area. This will stabilize the root system which will allow the rose to produce more blooms.

Miniature roses are, as the name implies, small bushes with small flowers. They are often used in containers and borders, and bloom through the summer.

Climbing roses 

  • Ramblers
  • Large-flowered climbers
  • Everblooming climbers
  • Climbing hybrid teas
  • Climbing polyanthas
  • Climbing floribundas

Climbers are very hardy and also the most vigorous rose, producing canes that can grow up to ten feet tall. These long canes need support and tying up to remain vertical. Bloom time varies amongst these types. 

Ramblers, large-flowered climbers, climbing polyanthas, and climbing floribundas usually bloom only once in late spring on old wood, meaning that they need to be pruned in summer after flowering. You should also plan ahead to fertilize these in mid-fall, so that the nutrients they need to bloom will be available to them the moment they need them next spring.

Everblooming climbers have a full flush of flowers in early summer, followed by a light secondary bloom in mid-fall. 

Climbing hybrid teas bloom throughout the summer, but not as continuously as regular hybrid teas. Regular deadheading will help them to keep pushing out as many flowers as possible.

How long does a rose bloom last

A rose bloom can last up to ten days on the shrub, and up to a week in vase.

To keep the bloom on the shrub longer, make sure that you are adequately watering your rose. They are pretty thirsty plants! A dehydrated rose will lose its flowers quickly, but a well-hydrated one will be able to hold on to them for longer.

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You should also make sure to water your rose at the soil, not overhead using sprinklers or a hose sprayer. Moisture on the leaves will almost certainly lead to powdery mildew, and wet flowers won’t last very long (sourceOpens in a new tab.).

To keep roses for a long time in a vase, make sure to:

  • Clean your vase beforehand with soap and water
  • Use distilled or filtered water
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar to the water
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and heat
  • Change the water every one to three days
  • Trim back the stem by one inch with each water change

How to encourage new roses to bloom

When you plant your new rose bush, there are a few things you can do to make sure that it reaches as much of its bloom potential as it can that first year.

  1. Plant them in full sun, at least six to eight hours. 
  2. Incorporate a soil amendment or compost into the hole at time of planting. This will add valuable organic matter to the soil that supports root growth, which in turn powers above-ground growth, including flower production.
  3. Fertilize every six to nine weeks using a timed-release, rose-specific fertilizer. In addition to being thirsty, roses are heavy feeders and need extra phosphorous in order to set flowers. This specialized plant food will ensure that your rose has a steady supply of the macro and micronutrients that the rose needs not just to create canes and leaves, but to generate buds for blooming.
  4. Water every day for a week after transplanting. After that, water deeply every three days through the summer season, every four days in spring and fall, and once every two weeks in winter. Adjust this based on your local climate and precipitation.
  5. When your rose does bloom, clip off any flowers that have bloomed and then died back. This is called deadheading and it triggers the rose to send out more buds in a bid to set more seed.
  6. Don’t prune a new rose for the first two to three years after planting. Deadheading is beneficial, as is taking out any dead wood or crossing canes, but heavy pruning will hamper a young rose from developing its natural shape and stunt its overall growth.
  7. If possible, train your rose to develop arching, horizontal canes by tying them along a fence or pegging them down. This creates many small, lateral branches off the main cane, leading to a greater bud set all along the cane, instead of just at the very tips.
  8. Look out for pests! Aphids love roses, and they can literally suck the life out of a plant in no time. Signs of aphid predation include yellow and rumpled leaves, and a sticky substance on the rose’s canes and on the ground around it. This sticky substance is the secretion of aphids known as “honeydew.”

Treat a rose for aphids by cutting off any discolored parts, and spraying down the rose with a hose once a day for a week. This physically removes the aphids. You can follow up with a dose of Safer SoapOpens in a new tab. (link to Amazon) just to be sure.

Outside factors that can delay blooming

Cold, wet weather

Roses bloom best in warm, dry weather. A cold, wet, and cloudy spring will delay blooming by one to two weeks, as the rose needs more time to generate enough sugars and energy through photosynthesis to push out flower buds.

Strong winds

Powerful winds are often a culprit for delayed blooming, either because their strong gusts increase stress on a rose bush, or because they are responsible for knocking already-formed flowers or buds off the plant.

Positioning your rose bush on the lee side of your house or fence will protect it from being tossed around by strong winds when they arise. 

Late spring freeze

A spring frost that is later than normal will often set back a rose blooming by killing off its earliest buds. If the frost is relatively light, only a few will be affected. But a strong enough frost will wipe out a whole generation of buds, meaning that you’ll have to wait five to seven weeks for the next batch.

You can, however, prevent frost damage by keeping an eye on the weather forecast in late spring. If temperatures dip below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, cover your rose bushes with burlap or old sheets. This will help keep the worst of the frost from touching the buds.

Disease

A rose that is dealing with disease will struggle to produce flowers. Black spot, powdery mildew, anthracnose, and rose rust are all common diseases that cause a rose to struggle.

While most nurseries and greenhouses are careful about disease prevention in-house, there is still potential for a rose to contract a bacteria or virus during transport or during its time “on the shelf.” 

Inspect your rose for discolored or withered canes, or open wounds on stems. Both Penn State ExtensionOpens in a new tab. and the Clemson Cooperative ExtensionOpens in a new tab. have detailed guides on identifying and eliminating these diseases, which often involves cutting out infected material.

Not enough water

A rose can look healthy and continue to put out plenty of leaves but still be dehydrated. If your newly planted rose fails to put on much new growth and has hardly any flowers, increase its irrigation, and check to make sure that the roots of other plants aren’t stealing its water.

Conclusion

A new rose will most likely bloom in its first year of planting. How much it blooms can be affected by:

  • The type of rose and its growth habit
  • The amount of sun it gets
  • Environmental stress from water or wind
  • Disease
  • Pests

But you can keep your new rose strong and blooming by taking steps to:

  • Fertilize with a bloom booster
  • Water consistently and adequately
  • Eliminate disease and pests
  • Prune strategically and intentionally
  • Train your rose to develop arching canes and lateral buds

Buy rose bushes onlineOpens in a new tab. (Link to Nature Hills Nursery)

Paul Brown

Paul has a two-acre yard on red clay soil in Southeast Texas. He knows exactly what the challenges are to nurturing a thriving yard in difficult soil. He takes a practical approach to yard improvement and enjoys putting best practices and “golden rules of lawn care” to the test. Click here for Paul’s author page

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