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I live in N. Georgia (USA) and I want to grow a rose bush. Knockouts are sold around here all the time and are fairly cheap, and am wondering when is the best time to put one in the ground?

I started one this past spring and lost it to a combination of over watering, black spot mold, not enough sun, and then drought (hey, its been a fun year).

I'm going to pick a sunnier spot this time so the mold shouldn't be as much of an issue and will take care and do a better job watering too.

Should I start one now (later October/early November we should be getting a frost any day now) or wait until Spring?

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Personally I think Autumn (Fall) is the best time of year to plant things like perennials, shrubs, trees...

Disclaimer: That said, late Autumn (Fall) planting can be a little risky depending on exactly what it is you're planting...

Planting - Rose Culture for Georgia Gardeners via University of Georgia

The planting season for roses in Georgia is November through March. Late spring planting of bare-root plants is risky because the new growth forced by warm temperatures will drain an unestablished root system of stored food. Container-grown plants are a better choice for late planting.

I say good for it now (end of October) or sometime within the next 2 to 3 of weeks (by mid November).

  • Choose a full-sun location.

    • Morning sun is important.

    • A little bit of late afternoon shade isn't a problem.

  • Good air circulation around the plant is important.

  • Roses like a fertile, well drained soil.

    • Though they will tolerate a wide range of soils, except those that stay wet.
  • Prepare the chosen location by putting down a 4inch (100mm) thick layer of organic matter (compost, leaf mold, well rotted farmyard manure, etc), then dig that into the soil -- you will want to dig down at least 12inches (300mm).

  • When planting I like to add (mix in) a little bone meal into the back fill material.

Below are some resources I believe you will find helpful/useful:

I highly recommend you read the above documents/articles, especially read up on "planting" and "Winter protection".


Good luck!

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+1 Overall a good answer, one minor point: The fall planting advice is good for Georgia and the warmer areas of the US, but bad for colder areas. If you plant a tree in New Hampshire in the fall, it will probably die because it won't sufficiently establish before the ground freezes. I'm willing to be shown that I'm wrong on this point, but I think spring is the best time for planting in areas with harsh winters. –  bstpierre Nov 2 '11 at 12:57
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