Ask Better Homes & Gardens

Experts and BHG readers answer.

Juniper out, roses in

"The one sunny spot in my yard is covered by a low-growing juniper-type plant. How do I dig out all the roots of this ground cover, and what do I need to do to prepare the soil for roses? This is my first gardening project ever, and I am really looking forward to it."
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

First of all, getting those roots out is going to take some work. Old junipers are hard to remove, and if they are really large you might have to resort to a backhoe. Or you might want to hire a local landscape crew to dig up these established roots. Once the roots are gone, add a layer of fresh soil, compost, peat moss, or rotted manure and till it into the existing soil. Roses require good drainage, so you need a loose, friable soil. Because you are a beginning gardener, I suggest that you plant easy-care roses, such as shrub roses. Keep in mind that shrub roses vary in size. Plant them at least 3 feet apart; if you have the space, consider planting groups of three of the same variety and color together. Look for hardy shrub roses that are on their own roots (not grafted). Some popular and easy-to-grow roses that will bloom throughout the summer are 'Carefree Beauty', 'Bonica', and 'Graham Thomas'. Contact a reputable nursery in your area, your cooperative extension office, or the local rose society for ideas on what varieties do well in your area.

Community Answers


Answer this Question

Enter an Answer to this Question

500 characters left