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I'd like to surprise my partner and buy some flowers for our patio in Chicago. I've read online that roses are relatively allergen friendly and do well in our zone (5b). After checking around I also read that Oso Easy roses are relatively easy to grow.

Assuming all of that is the case, and I buy two small rose bushes and put them in bucket planters, do I have to wait until summer before putting them outside? If so, when is best? (And is there anything else I should know?)

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It depends where the roses have been kept before you buy them - if they're under cover or inside, then they will need hardening off before leaving them outdoors all the time if your temperatures are still pretty cool, especially at night. But if they've been grown and kept outdoors, you can plant them up and put them out immediately - but don't keep them under cover until you do pot them up in larger pots, keep them outdoors.

Be aware though that Osoeasy roses are usually wider than they are tall, so they have a mounding growth habit, which means they'll likely tumble down over the edge of your planters. Review information of some of the varieties here http://www.homenursery.com/blog/bid/277574/Oso-Easy-Roses-Review

Grown in pots year round, it may be necessary to move the pots somewhere more sheltered in severe winter weather so that the potting soil inside does not freeze. These roses are hardy in your Zone, but plants are always more vulnerable in pots.

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