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How to Transplant Roses

If you’re looking for instructions on how to transplant roses, look no further! Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks.

 

Can you dig up roses and replant them?

Absolutely! If you are eyeing a different spot for your rose bush, by all means go for it. Here are a few essential things to keep in mind:

  • Wait until all threat of freezing is past but the rose is still dormant. Here in California I relocate roses in the winter beginning in mid-January. Depending on your growing zone, January-April is the ideal time to transplant while your rose is dormant.Best time to transplant is when you do your winter pruning. 

  • While possible, I don’t recommend digging and replanting in the summer. The rose can experience shock in the warm temperatures and can struggle to get rooted.

  • Trim the rose canes back to 12-14 inches, removing any diseased or damaged canes. Remove all leaves from the plant and discard in the trash. Leaves can harbor diseases and overwintering insects.

  • Dig a hole in the new space. Test for good drainage by filling the hole with water and waiting for an hour. If it has drained, then that spot is a winner!

  • Check to make sure the new location will receive 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

  • When digging out the rose you wish to move, the goal is to get as many of the roots as possible. You can trim the roots as needed to fit in the new hole but do so sparingly to preserve as much of the root structure as you can. Shake off the soil and move the plant with "naked roots". You are creating your own bare root rose to move. Gently transfer to its new home. Make sure the roots are pointing down and not curling up the side of the hole toward the sky.

  • In a bucket, mix equal amounts of compost & native soil and spread half of it around the base of the plant after transplanting. You will want to water the soil well and let the water settle. Apply more compost mix as needed after settling.

  • Be sure to overhead water the rose bush every day for at least two weeks depending on your weather. If you don’t have rain, pay careful attention to ensure that the rose canes are moist and don’t dry out.

  • You will want to wait until you see new growth on the rose before you fertilize - usually 1-2 months after you have transplanted your rose.

 

How do you save a transplanted rose bush?

Sometimes a transplanted rose bush may experience shock. Symptoms include leaf wilting, yellowing or curling, and stunted bud growth. If watering doesn’t seem to improve it within a few days, don’t be afraid to cut some of the top growth off to give the roots less to support, but make sure to leave at least 12 inches of cane growth. Stay away from fertilizer until you see new leaf growth. It should recover in a few weeks!

Tips to Remember When Transplanting a Rose Bush

  • Fertilizers are can burn roots if there is not enough water present. Always water your rose bush both before and after applying fertilizer.

  • Roses do not like to have wet roots and will not thrive long term if not in a well-drained area.

 

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT ROSES? DOWNLOAD MY FREE ROSE GUIDE!

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