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December 12, 2023

Bright red Frida Kahlo Floribunda Rose

Getting the basics right when planting your Floribunda will dramatically increase the health and beauty of the plant. It is not complicated, and we will guide you through the important points to implement for an optimal rose bush.

As with building a house, the foundations are critical. Get them right and you will have less to worry about later. Invest the time and effort to get the planting right for a rewarding Floribunda.

Light Requirements

Floribundas are happiest in full sun. If this is not possible, 6 hours of sun per day is the minimum. You might get away with 4 to 5 hours of sun, but this is less than ideal. Anything less than this and the health of the plant will suffer, and you will not get many blooms.

Other Weather Conditions

Try to find a spot that is sheltered from the wind. Strong wind will harm the growth of the Floribunda.

More information can be found in our section on Floribunda Care.

When to Plant Floribunda Roses

The average Floribunda purchased from a nursery can be planted at any time of the year. The ideal time, however, is during their dormant period which runs from early fall to the beginning of spring. The only bad times to plant are when the soil is water-logged or frozen.

How To Plant Floribunda Roses

Preparation is key for a strong healthy rose bush. You want to dig a hole that is at least twice the width of the container it came in. Keep the depth the same. Ensure you dig the hole thoroughly to maximize aeration, the process is called double-digging. You want well-draining soil. If it is a bit clay-like, add compost and other rich organic matter to improve drainage.

When planting the rose, ensure it is at the same level as it was in the pot or nursery bag you received it in. Remove the rose from the container and gently loosen the roots if they have become compacted.

Soil, Compost and Fertilizer

Mix in some compost with the soil unless it is already rich in organic material. Adding a dash of bone meal or superphosphate to the base of your prepared hole will aid the root development. You want to use a small handful if you are using superphosphate and two handfuls for bone meal. Gently mix it in with the base soil.  You can also work a bit of manure with the soil you are using for backfill.

The soil should be slightly acidic with a pH of 6 to 6.5. You can read more about soil requirements in our section on Floribunda Care (LINK).

Position the rose bush at the center of the hole and ensure it is vertical. Spread the roots evenly around the hole. While ensuring the plant is still erect, fill up the hole with the enhanced soil and gently pat down to ensure stability. Give the newly planted rose a generous watering without disturbing the soil.

Adding a layer of mulch once the rose is planted will help to reduce water loss in the heat while protecting the rose when it is cold. It will also suppress weeds growing at the base of the bush.

Planting Bare Root Floribundas

Bare root roses are planted slightly differently. Late winter or early spring is the ideal time to plant bare root roses. The first step is to rehydrate the roots by soaking them in a container of water for 2 to 3 hours. The rest of the process is the same as above.

Planting Floribunda in Pots

Planting in pots again is very much the same. The main thing to make sure of is that the pot has good drainage. You can add gravel or small stones at the base to aid drainage. The ideal mix is 2 parts potting soil to one part organic compost.  A Floribunda will need a relatively large pot, at the very least 15 inches in diameter. As with any Floribunda, it still wants a good 6 hours of sun per day.

Repotting Floribundas Roses

Except for miniature roses, it is best to repot roughly after 2 to 3 years. This is because roses are voracious feeders and will eventually exhaust the nutrient content of the soil. The other reason is that salts and minerals could build up over time which is undesirable. It is best to replace the soil with fresh, nutrient-rich soil to continue to enjoy the bounty of the Floribunda.  You will also want to repot if the rose bush has outgrown the original pot. Early spring is the perfect time to repot but you can do it at any time of the year.

The process is easy:

  • Water the rose or soak in water for about an hour
  • Trim back the leaves by a third to a half and remove all blooms (reduces water loss)
  • Place the pot on its side and gently ease the rose out
  • Wash the pot with a disinfectant or simple dishwashing solution. Rinse thoroughly
  • Clean the old soil off the roots and cut any damaged roots off with sharp sterile secateurs
  • Fill the pot with fresh rich potting medium to a level that will allow the plant to sit at the same height as before
  • Firm the soil down
  • Water the plant
  • Add a thin layer of mulch
  • Avoid full sun for roughly a week
  • Water regularly for the first few weeks but only once the soil is dry

Always remember that Floribundas in pots will need more regular feeding and watering than established roses planted in the ground.

Floribunda Planting Distance and Positioning

Noting that a mature Floribunda will grow 2 to 6 feet in height and 2 to 6 feet in width, give some thought to the ideal position in the garden bed. For maximum impact, it is better to plant several Floribundas in a group, generally 3 or more. You can mix up the colors according to your taste and garden design.

You want to space them at least plants 24" to 30" apart. This will ensure they do not crowd each other. Also, be aware of surrounding plants that might grow faster and taller, creating too much shade for the Floribunda.


The fantastic Floribunda is incredibly rewarding. To get the best from the attractive rose it must be planted correctly. If this first important step is neglected all other results will be wasted and you will not get to appreciate the full potential of the Floribunda has to offer.

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