Transplanting Roses

Directions For Transplanting
Shrub Roses and Other Roses

Transplanting roses can be tricky. You need to know how to transplant a rose, and the best time to transplant roses.

And also how to transplant rose bushes that are well established.

Some very huge rose bushes need special handling and care before and while being dug up.

All this transplant information is provided below, and if you follow the instructions I give you, you are likely to be successful, but it's never guaranteed.

Sometimes you may want to move a rose to a different location in your garden.

I get lots of e-mails and questions about transplanting and pruning roses.

I also suspect that many gardeners have planted their roses too tight together, or in the wrong spot.

And now the rose has outgrown its spot and needs to be moved or transplanted.

Or maybe you are planning to move to another house and don't want to leave your favorite rose bushes behind.

It is possible to transplant roses and have them survive, but you really have to prepare the rose bush for the move.

The most important thing to know is that whenever you dig up an established rose, there will be many feeder roots lost.

The feeder roots are very important to rose bushes, as the get all their nutrienst from them.

So losing them will make roses very unhappy and they can go into chock and die.

Therefore, you should take utmost care to make sure you damage as few feeder roots as possible when you dig up the rose bush.

The picture above shows a group of roses that I transplanted from someone elses garden.

As you see they are doing just fine, because I was careful when digging them up, and my garden bed was ready for them.

Root Pruning Before Transplanting Roses

I bet you didn't know that the best and the safest way to transplant a rose is to root-prune the rose bush before.

If you are getting ready to move a rose bush, odds are you will loose a large percentage of its root system when you dig it up.

This will cause the rose to go into chock very shortly, because the feeder roots are crucial to the rose so it can absorb nutrients and water.

Root pruning is one of the best ways to alleviate that problem, but you have to do it several months, or even a year before, in advance for it to be effective.

Using a sharp spade, slice into the soil all the way around the circumference of the plant at the drip line or a bit outside.

Put the spade at an angle downward, to get the right position.

This will severe the roots, forcing it to re-grow new roots within that perimeter.

By the time you move the rose, you will be taking a healthy root system with you.

Transplanting Shrub Roses March - April

The best time for transplanting roses is when they are dormant in early spring or late winter.

That could be a March or April transplant, depending on where you live.

It helps to have some Transplant Chock Liquid on hand before, because it will help the rose cope with the move.

Before you dig up the plant, water the plant daily for at least a week. This will make it easy to do the digging.

You should also have the new home for your transplant rose prepared and ready for the rose bush.

Never transplant roses during hot weather, because that will stress the roses. Roses are stressed during hot weather anyway, so don't do that.

Carefully dig up the rose with as many roots intact as possible, about 24 inches in diameter, for most roses.

Shake off the soil from the rose gently and immediately plant the rose using the Bare Root Method.

You must water well, and always apply a root stimulator to make sure that the roots gets established fast in their new spot. Water good for at least 3 weeks.

Wait to feed your roses for about a month after transplanting.

Roses need time to grow back the feeder roots they lost when being dug up.

They need to grow below, before they can grow above.

And they need to conserve all energy to do that, before they can put energy into flower production.

Transplanting Roses That Have Been Long Established

Roses that have been established and growing in a spot for many years can be transplanted safely with a little bit of planning.

A couple of months before you do the actual transplanting, you need to root prune the rose before you move it.

But before you do, you need to deep water the area around the rose for several days, before doing the root pruning.

Root pruning will give the rose a chance to develop a good rootball that is easy to move, and also will be ready to grow in its new spot.

To root prune, you must use a sharp spade to cut through the soil at a slightly inward angle.

Make a circle, using the spade, about 12 to 18 inches from the base of the bush.

New roots will start growing inside the pruning line, and after a couple of months you can safely and easily move the rose to its new location.

Be sure to keep your rose watered in the meantime, but hold off on feeding.

Transplanting Very Large Rose Bushes

If you have an extremely large rose that has been established for a long time, and is huge, here is my advice.

Consider hiring a professional who has mechanical transplant tools and equipment, to be able to move the whole rootball safely and correctly.

Transplanting Antique Old Garden Roses

To transplant old roses and wild roses, use the same method as when transplanting shrub roses.

If the old roses or wild roses have been growing for many years in the same spot, use the method for Transplanting Roses for long established rose plants.

Transplanting Roses Cuttings

Transplanting cuttings is very easy, a lot easier than transplanting a rose that's been growing in a flower bed.

I have a page about Growing Roses From Cuttings.

Go to this page for detailed directions and information for transplanting rose cuttings.

Transplanting Climbing Roses

If you want to move a climbing rose, you should do it when it's dormant.

You will probably have to do some pruning first, a light pruning, to make the move easier to handle.

You might not have as many blooms this season, but next season should be fine.

Gently untie the rose canes from its support, and gather the canes carefully, loosely holding the canes together with a rope or twine so they wont break.

Then proceed to dig up the rose carefully, so as many roots as possible are retained.

Then gently shake the soil from the roots, and plant the climber in its new location using the bare root method.

In conclusion, I must stress that when transplanting roses, the new spot should be prepared in advance before digging up the roses.

And don't forget to use a liquid transplant chock prevention formula, when transplanting the rose.

Just mix it in a bucket of water, per instructions on label.

Related Pages

Transplant Tips and Advice

How To Properly Plant a Rose


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