Bare-root roses are winter-dormant plants that have been dug up and sold bare root.
The roses you buy will be dormant, and look like sticks. I usually buy mine from a nursery or garden shop in January, but they are also available through mail order companies.
When the rose arrives, soak the roots in a bucket of water overnight.
When you're ready to plant, dig a deep hole so that the top of the root ball is no more than 1 inch below the surface. Plant the rose in a sunny spot.
You will also notice that bare root roses have canes - long stems that stick out of the roots. Cut these back to about 14 inches for tall growing varieties, or 10 inches for smaller varieties.
Use a handful of bone meal in the bottom of the hole to give your new rose extra nutrients. Also, use soil you've worked into this hole to make a mound in the center so that you can spread out your roots on top of it.
Pack the soil tightly around the rose's roots and cut off any long roots that weren't cut back when you purchased the rose. Fill in with soil and tamp down around the plant.
Bare root roses are planted in early spring before any leaves begin to appear on them.