Transplanting Neglected Rose Bushes

by Evie Hare
(Cave Junction, Oregon)

QUESTION: Hi,
I live in So. Oregon. My mother lived in a cabin on our property. She passed away almost 2 yrs ago. I have been watering her plants enough to keep them alive but they are not flourishing by any means.
Every spring I am determined to transplant her plants but when spring comes to our 80 acres, the transplanting gets put on back burner.

If possible, I would like to transplant her roses this fall as soon as it begins to rain and the ground softens a bit, ideally before our first freeze. I realize I will be jeopardizing the flowering of the bushes but in the long run, doing the transplanting in the fall would be best for me.

I have read your web site, thank you, it is quite user-friendly and informative. So I will begin doing the root-pruning immediately. I will also prune any dead wood off the plants (some have quite a bit). I don't anticipate being able to move the plants for approx a month. There are approximately 2-3 doz roses, various kinds and in various conditions. I need to get them moved to my home.

My question to you is: can I prune them back now at the same time I'm doing the root-pruning? Do you have any other tips that would help give these rose bushes a fighting chance of survival? Thank you, Evie
ANSWER: Hello Evie,

No, you should not do any pruning at this time, before doing the root-pruning.


The reason is, any pruning, exept cutting off dead and diseased wood, will result in new growth appearing that will be subject to winter kill. And you wouldn't want that.


So wait to prune until spring when you normally do your annual major pruning.


I don't know where Cave Junction is in Oregon, so I can't advice you about the time to transplanting roses.


I actually don't think it's a good idea to transplant any plant when it's not dormant.


So if you transplant your "neglected roses now" you will take a chance that they will not make it.


I know you said, you would wait a couple of months.


Is your weather temperate then?


I garden in Los Angeles, so I can usually transplant around New Years.


The safest time to transplant roses is when they are dormant and after doing a root-pruning several months ahead of the move.


Here is my page about how to transplant roses for all of you who haven't read that page.


Evie, since you have read my page about transplanting roses and done the root-pruning, you are ahead of the game.


Good luck with everything and let me know how your roses survived the move, and thanks for visting my site.


Contact me anytime, whenever you, or anyone you know needs help with rose gardening.


Best Regards,
Annelie

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