Moving Knockout Rose
From Container to Ground

by Kim
(New York, NY)

Hi there!
This year, I bought a beautiful pink knockout rose to plant on Mother's Day in honor of mother who passed away last year. It has done very well in the big ceramic pot and I absolutely love it, but I want it to last through winter and am hoping I can transplant it into our garden (it's large, even though we live in the city). We can't bring it inside as our apartment doesn't have the space and the bush is now about 3 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide.

It's now late October - is it too late to move it from the pot to the ground? It is still blooming and I read you should wait until it's dormant to move it. But that would be likely past the first frost. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Kim! You could try doing it now, but it can be risky, since the Knockout rose will have such a short time to get established in the ground before winter comes. Meaning it could go into shock and die.
You should buy a "transplant shock" product and use it per direction.
Since you do not have a cool, unheated space, such as a garage or basement to store the potted rose over winter, you really have no other choice than to transplant it in the ground now.
But hurry up and do it.
Make sure to dig the hole 2 feet wide, and as deep so it acommodates the root ball.
Try not to disturb any feeder roots, or as little as possible.
You need to pay attention to watering it and do not let it dry out.
Do not feed it and do not remove any dead blooms now. That will help it go dormant later.
After a few frost nights and when you see signs that the Knockout rose is going dormant, remove all leaves and spray the canes with a dormant oil spray for roses, that will kill off any overwintering fungus spores and also smother any leftover eggs that can survive the winter ready to attack you rose bush next spring. Lastly mound it with a foot of mulch and then wrap it with a few layers of burlap, or fleece covering, for plants.
Make sure to plant it in a sunny spot with good drainage.
Let me know if it survived the transplant. Good luck with it.
Warmest Regards,

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