• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How to Plant Beautiful Polyantha Roses

June 25, 2024

How to Plant a Polyantha Rose

These versatile roses are much loved among rose enthusiasts due to their masses of delicate pop-pom flowers that grow in abundance during the growing season. They are tough roses that require minimal care but planting them correctly is the first step to enjoying their full potential. We will guide you through all you need to know about planting your Polyanthas for happy healthy bushes that flower beautifully.   

Here are the main aspects we will guide you through for the best results:

Light Requirements 

While these roses do well in full sun they can handle partial shade, more so than many other rose varieties. They still need a good few hours of sun to produce their spectacular little blooms.

How to Plant Bare Root Polyantha Roses
Planting a Polyantha Rose
How to plant a Polyantha rose in a pot

Other Weather Conditions

They do not like high humidity. Fortunately, they are hardy but if you do have periods of extremely high humidity, inspect them regularly for any fungal disease or other issues and treat them accordingly.

Do not let the rose bushes become overcrowded by other plants and prune them neatly for optimal airflow. This will reduce the risk of disease.

When to Plant Polyantha Rose

Let’s start with when not to plant. Do not plant if the ground is soggy or frozen. Plant them any time after the last risk of frost has passed. The ideal temperature for planting these roses is when conditions are between 40ºF and 60ºF.

How to Plant Polyantha Roses

The key here is to select the correct rose according to your needs. Many are compact shrubs that work well in pots or as hedges. Others can grow slightly taller so are more suitable for rose beds or landscaping. You also get many that are climbers so these need to be placed near a trellis, gazebo, or fence.

The first step in planting is to prepare the soil by removing any rocks, weeds, or debris. You want to prepare soil that is rich in organic nutrients and/or well-rotted manure. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7. Soil testers are not expensive and will give you better results.

Dig a deep hole that is larger than the root ball and more than wide enough to accommodate it. Backfill with organic material as you want to plant the bush at the same height as it was when you received it.

Backfill with quality nutrient-rich soil, tap down gently but firmly, and give it a long but gentle watering. Ensure you water it frequently for the first 3 weeks.

Planting Bare Root Polyanthas

As these roses are often difficult to find at your local garden center, you might have better luck online. These will often be delivered as bare-root roses. Reputable sellers will only send fresh ready-to-plant roses. Be wary of discount stores that might have old stock. Plant the rose as soon after receiving it as possible.

The first step is to rehydrate the roots in a bucket of water. Do this for about 2 hours. Prepare the hole the same way you would do with a normal Polyantha. You want a hole of roughly 16 by 16 inches. Loosen the base of the hole with a fork to allow the roots to grow down with minimal resistance. Place the plant in the hole to ensure it is the correct size.

Add some mature manure and nutrient-rich soil to the base and use the same to backfill later. Before planting bare-root roses, it is a good idea to sprinkle some Mycorrhizae over the roots. Ensure the rose is in the center of the rose and that the union (where the roots join the stem) is about 2 inches below the surface.

Firm lightly, water, and await the delight that is to come.

Planting Polyantha in Pots 

These roses are delightful in pots. Again, ensure you know what you are getting in terms of size. Most are 2 to 4 feet and great for containers, but some grow quite a bit taller or climb so the pot needs to be positioned appropriately. You also want to ensure you get the right-sized pot. You do not want a tiny rose bush in a massive pot.

The most important aspect of planting roses in pots is that they have great drainage. Also, use quality soil that is rich in nutrients. Water them a bit more often than those planted in a garden but let them dry out first. The rest of the process is the same as planting in the garden.

mulch for polyathas
Soil requirements for Polyanthas
Best position to plant a polyantha

Repotting Polyantha Roses

Over time, the bush will outgrow the pot. The nutrients in the soil gradually leach away with time. Most roses need to be repotted every 2 to 3 years. Remove them gently from the existing pot. You can wet the soil to make the process easier. Cut off any damaged roots. Repot in a slightly large pot as above. If you are using pots that have contained other plants, ensure it is clean and sterile.

Polyantha Planting Distance and Positioning

This will largely depend on your intended use of the roses, your rose garden design, and the height and spread of the selected rose or roses. While the majority have a spread of 2 to 4 feet, some do grow wider.  Space them in attractive clusters of 3 or more when panting in beds. Leave enough of a gap for good sunlight and airflow. When plating and hedges you can plant them a bit closer but prune regularly to ensure an attractive design.


Planting a rose is the first step in a rewarding bush that will give you many years of enjoyment. Take the time to do it right, it is worth it. Correct planting, in the right position, and the correct soil will make these hardy roses even easier to care for over the years.

You may also like

Planting and Cultivating Roses

Planting and Cultivating Roses

Planting and Cultivating Roses

Verified by MonsterInsights