The Best Month to Plant Roses: Months, Zones, and Types (US)

The frustrating thing is wanting to get going planting more new roses, but it’s not the time to plant them yet. So what is the best month to plant roses. And how can I get around it when I just had the urge to plant more roses?

That’s what I’m going to tackle in this article, so read on for the best month to plant roses based on where you are and seasonal aspects. As well as which roses you can plant at different times.

Here’s the quick answer, and then we’ll get into the “weeds” on this subject!

For most growers, the best month to plant roses is in March, April, and early May, after the final frost. Plant when the ground has warmed up and there’s plenty of sunlight. Roses prefer warm, well-drained soil and lots of sunshine to thrive, plant your roses when these conditions are optimal.

So if you’re looking for the general best season to plant roses, opt for late spring or early summer.

Roses also tend to do best when planted against a wall or fence for protection from strong winds. But as long as you give them the best conditions possible, roses will thrive no matter when you plant them.

best month to plant roses
the best month to plant roses

Can you plant roses anytime?

In all honesty, you can plant whatever you want whenever you want. But as a gardener, you’ll know it’s about probabilities of survival, and it can be marginal – and trial and error.

You can plant roses during various months when considering some simple factors …and with a few simple guidelines.

To plant roses any time outdoors in soil, avoid weeding or transplanting plants that might be susceptible to extreme weather conditions. When the ground is frozen, water-logged, or drought-stricken, you should refrain from planting until conditions improve. Simpy avoid frost for young roses.

Can you plant roses in the fall?

To plant in the fall, ideally, plant roses around six weeks prior to the first predicted date that frost is forecast. Avoid planting just days before the first expected frost. The roses won’t have sufficient time to settle in and establish themselves before the harsh winter weather sets in.

pink rose bushes
pink rose bushes

Which roses can you plant at different times

But, as with many plants, there are some roses that can be planted at different times. Here’s where I go through what you can plant out of season.

Bare Root Roses

If you’re planting bare-root roses, do so as soon as early spring or late fall to give them plenty of time to establish before the heat of summer or the cold of winter.

The general rule for planting bare root roses in colder regions is to plant them in the Spring, as soon as you’re able to work the soil. While in warmer regions, plant bare-root roses in the early spring through to late fall. As long as the bare root rose is still dormant when planting.

Potted Roses

Potted roses are best planted in early spring, just as the weather is starting to warm up. This gives them a chance to get settled in before the heat of summer.

Hardy Roses

Some roses are hardy and can be planted at any time of the year. However, it’s best to avoid planting them in the fall or winter, as they may not have a chance to become established before colder weather hits.

For best results when planting roses, it is recommended that you choose a time of year when conditions are favorable for their growth – of course.

10 Best hardy roses

The 10 best hardy roses that you can plant in almost any month – from the last frost through to 6 weeks prior to the first frost are…

  • James Gallaway
  • Crazy Love
  • Hot Paprika
  • Lavaglut.
  • Lavender Veranda.
  • Distant Drums
  • Living Easy.
  • Paloma Blanca.
  • Pink Double Knock Out.
  • Teasing Georgia.
  • Viking Queen (if you want a climber).

So next we’ll go through the zoning areas for planting roses, then we’ll look at how that ties into the best month to plant roses – through each month.

The best month to plant roses – Based on zones

Zoning of course has variations in temperature and rainfall, the two main criteria for planting roses.

Here’s a table outlining the zoning areas. Hopefully, this gives you the best month to plant roses in your area. Plus some of my suggestions on what grows well in that zone.

ZoneFirst Frost DateLast Frost DateSuggested Roses
3Sep 15May 15Acicularis, Dart’s Dash, Rugosa
4Sep 15 – Oct 1May 15 – May 30Morden Sunrise, Prairie Fire, Nearly Wild
5Oct 15May 15Hybrid Tea or Floribunda types
6Oct 15 – Oct 30Apr 1 – Apr 15Lady Banks Yellow, Brindabella, First lady
7Oct 15 – Oct 30Apr 15Chicago Peach, Garden Party, Chrysler Imperial
8Oct 10 – Oct 20Mar 21 – Mar 31Queen Elizabeth, Arizona, Scarlet Knight
9Jan 30Jan 15Knock Out® roses, Louis Phillippe, Or just about any rose
best month to plant roses - USDA Zoning Map

The best month to plant roses – And the types to plant

Let’s go through what months are best based on the zoning map above and frost dates. Again, you want to pay attention to all these helpful dates and zones, but there are roses you can buy that are hardy enough to withstand a lot of these factors.

Of course, it can all vary year on year depending on seasonal changes. But here’s a rough guide.

Planting roses in January

January is a good time for planting roses if you’re in southern states, zones 5 through 9. You can plant bare-root roses if there is a mild frost or if they are sheltered from potential frost. Of course, you can plant container roses any month.

I’d recommend this Bare-root Rose which you can buy

Planting roses in February

If you’re in the Southern regions of the U.S, then early February is a good time to plant roses outdoors, providing the frost is limited. Or plant indoors and sheltered from frost. Zone 8 areas should ideally wait until late February.

You can get bare-root roses from nurseries, without leaves, or soil, in bags, boxes, or nursery containers. Or buy your roses online from a reputable rose supplier.

Planting roses in March

Plant roses in early March in Zone 7. Plant them in late march if you’re in zone 6. Assuming you can gauge the frost correctly. March can be a great month in which to plant roses provided you can avoid frost, and work the soil sufficiently.

Many gardeners will wait until April and May to begin planting, but nurseries, with sufficient shelters, will actually start planting around January to February. Depending on the weather, any of these could fall the best month to plant roses in your area.

Planting roses in April

For Northern regions, U.S. zones 1 to 5, plant your roses from April through May. Potentially earlier for bare-root roses. The First 2 weeks in April for Zones 4 and 5, waiting until the first 2 weeks of May for zone areas 1 to 3.

Planting roses in May

For southern regions such as zone 4 and 5, planting roses during the first two weeks of May can be an ideal time. You can still plant in May for the Northern regions, assuming your final frost has gone for the year for best results.

Planting roses in June

If you’re in a zone in the U.S that has not quite hit the heights of summer, then you can plant in early June. Just keep in mind these blooms are likely to be fewer, and more short-lived. Ensure you keep them well-watered but not waterlogged, and expect a better, longer bloom next year.

Planting roses in July

Planting roses in July is not ideal for zones 1 through 7. The best growing season is already underway. But it works well if you’re looking for a first bloom the following year. Provided you can take care of the rose through the heat of summer then it will be fine.

Planting roses in August

For zones 8 through 10, where frosts are mild then you can plant roses in August as long as you can keep them well watered. The ‘Iceberg’ (Floribunda) rose is very hardy and ideal for planting in zone 8 -10 and at this time of year. It will just keep reblooming, with minimal deadheading.

Planting roses in September

Planting roses up to 6 weeks before the first frost is ideal – depending on which zone you’re in. From zone 5 to zone 8, you still have this window of opportunity. Choose roses that are best suited to your climate – such as the Rugosas (for cold winter climates) and Floribundas (for warmer winter climates).

If you’re looking for a long bloom time the following year, then September is a great month to plant roses.

Planting roses in October

Planting in October may not give them enough time before the first frost. So the best choices for your climate will depend on the type of rose you choose. Roses that are best suited to cold winter climates include Rugosas and climbers – while Floribundas and hybrid teas are best suited to warmer winter climates.

Planting roses in November

If you live in a climate with mild winters, zones 9 and 10 in the U.S. Then November can be a good month to plant roses provided there is enough time before any potential frost. If you’re unsure about frost, then it might be best to wait or consider planting in Pots or in shelters.

Planting roses in December

December can be a good time to plant roses in milder zones. Some hardy roses work well, and for bare root roses, this can be a good time too. Provided you can work the soil, and place them in 5 to 6 hours of sunlight then they may settle in well before any frosts, and be ready to bloom!

best months to plant roses - by month

The best month to plant roses – Based on location

Ok, so all this largely depends on where you’re located. Just keep in mind, that you could, in theory, plant roses all year round. These are just guides that give you the best fighting chance!

For locations where frost is either not an issue or minimal, then really you can consider planting at almost any time. They may thrive more the following year, but they’ll survive and do well.

The best month to plant roses ~ More roses help 🌹

So you’ve done well to contain your excitement at planting some new roses. Start by considering the best planting time for your area. Then select your rose accordingly, and begin planting.

For planting, caring for, and nurturing your roses be sure to check out my other articles. Here are some related articles you might like and I hope you found the best month to plant roses for you!

michael - rosehow

Hi, I’m Michael. My passion for roses was sparked a few years ago after visiting a dedicated community rose garden. So represents my take, my learnings, and my help for anyone looking to grow, be proud of, and harvest roses.