I planted my new David Austin bare root shrub rose plant last October. Now we are at beginning of spring in the UK and all I see are very small leaves (see below). It looks like the growth is stunted.

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This is planted in the ground. When I planted it, I added some manure on the top mainly so that the roots would go searching and spread out.

Meanwhile my bare root rose planted in a pot outside my front door is doing just great (see below).

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Of course, the quality of soil in the pot is better than in the ground. But I'm not sure that is the only reason. Does anyone know why the first rose isn't doing as well as the second?

  • It's at least a couple of weeks ahead of mine, just north of Bristol, also planted bare-rooted last autumn. Mine is rooted in a sheltered but very shady spot and has some growing to do before it gets spring sun, so I'm expecting it to be slow this year and maybe next
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 20 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


I don't think there's much to worry about - the plant in the ground is more exposed to the elements so it's likely colder where it's growing than the one in a pot, which is sheltered by being close to a wall and therefore less exposed. At this time of year, what seem to be insignificant differences in growing positions are proved to be more significant; the cooler, more exposed situation just means the one in the ground is behind the one in the pot, with smaller leaves. They will catch up as the weather improves.

  • Thanks for your helpful answer. Yes, the one in the ground is definitely more exposed to the elements. So that may well be the reason. I can't wait to see the beautiful blooms on the Lady of Shallott.
    – jignatius
    Commented Mar 18 at 19:35

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