How to Transplant Roses

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Every so often you may have to move a rose bush to a new spot in the garden. Luckily, roses are easy to transplant and replant in a new location. The do best in areas without prior growth but can be successfully moved to almost any location with our transplanting guide and tips and tricks.

When to Transplant Roses

The best time of year to transplant roses is in the spring while the plant is still dormant. We recommend moving the April or May to avoid freezing weather and the heat of summer to avoid shock. Roses are sensitive to shock so it is important to pick the right time of year.

Necessary Gear

  • A shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Well draining soil
  • A watering can
  • Peat moss
  • Mulch
Rose Bushes

How to Transplant Roses

New gardeners are often scared to transplant their prize rose bushes. Follow these step by step instructions to successfully replant dormant or non dormant roses.

Step 1: Wait Until Spring

Transplanting rose bushes in the spring time decreases the chances of wilting, shock and the plant dying. Start by waiting until April or May for best results. In the weeks before you make the move water the plant with B1 fertilizer to prevent shock.

Step 2: Prune to Foliage

When you are ready to transplant the roses trim the bushes and remove the foliage. Use pruning shears and gloves to make clean cuts without hurting yourself on the thorns.

Step 3: Dig Perimeter

Use the shovel to dig a perimeter 12″ around each bush that extends down under the root ball. Damaging as little of the root ball as possible is key to successfully moving the plant without causing shock. If you find roots try to extend the perimeter a few inches wider to avoid the root system.

Step 4: Remove the Rose Bush

After digging a perimeter use the shovel to scoop under the root ball and scoop the entire plant onto the ground or a tarp. Make sure not to damage or cut the root system for a successful transplant. If you are moving a plant a short distance it does not need protection but if it is traveling or out of the ground for more than 12 hours it is a good idea to wrap the roots in peat moss for extra protection and a water source.

Step 5: Prepare Soil

Rose bushes are sensitive and need a specific kind of soil in order to thrive in their new garden. Create a blend of soil using planting soil, some peat moss, water and a top layer of mulch. This will allow the plant to take to the new garden and set its roots.

Step 6: Transplant the Strawberries

Once the soil and mulch are ready place each bush into the new hole and cover with soil. Make sure the stalk is standing up straight and the roots sit naturally in the hole. The stalk should be about as deep in the new hole as it was in the original garden.

Step 8: Water Everyday

Water new plants every day for at least the first week. This moisture will keep the plant wet and provide the moisture it needs to adjust to its new home.

Tips and Tricks

Use Gloves to Avoid Thorns
Most thorn bushes have sharp thorns, you can avoid cutting your hands while trimming the bushes with a good pair of gloves.

Keep Weeds Away
Rose bushes are sensitive to new environments. Keep weeds out of the garden to avoid competition with the rose bushes so they can adapt to their new location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you move a rose bush in bloom?
Rose bushes should not be moved while blooming or they may go into shock.

How deep are rose bush roots?
Most rose bush root systems are between 12 and 24 inches deep.