The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Roses

Question: We are moving from one location to another and I want to take some of my favorite roses with me. How do I go about that? Do I dig them up and place them in pots or can I wrap the rootball in burlap and take them that way?

Answer: Depending upon how far you're transporting them, and how soon you can replant the roses, either method will work. The most important consideration is keeping the rootball moist, with minimal exposure to sunlight and air. If you're going only a short distance or keeping the plants out of the ground only a short time you can dig, wrap the rootball in plastic and transport to their new homes. If it will be several days or weeks before they can be replanted, put them into soil-filled pots for the move. When replanting, make sure you dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root mass without crowding, place a mound of soil in the bottom of the hole, and drape the roots over it so they fall in a natural pattern. Then backfill with soil, carefully tamping it down to exclude air pockets. Then water your plants well. When you've finished transplanting, the shrubs should be at the same depth as they were growing before.

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