The Q&A Archives: Transporting an American Beauty Rose Bush

Question: My family is relocating to Spring Hill, Florida, and we currently have an American Beauty Rose bush in our yard in New York. The bush was planted by my grandfather, many many years ago, as a present to my grandmother. I would like to dig the bush up and transport it to Florida where we will replant it. I would like to know if you can suggest the best way to move it and do you think it can survive a trip in a moving truck? The trip should take about 2-3 days, I think.

Answer: Although there is a good chance the rose might survive the transplanting and the trip, you should be aware that it might not. The quick trip in the truck should not harm it unless temperatures are excessively hot. Having said that, the best time to dig it is in the fall or very early spring. Water it very deeply and well the day before you dig it. Trim back the top by about two thirds so you can get in to dig the hole and handle the plant. (You might try wrapping a heavy fabric tarp around the remaining canes, too.) Dig as large a rootball as you can, being sure to go deep as well as wide. Slide this out onto a sturdy tarp and wrap it securely. You will rpobably need help to do this because rootballs are very heavy. Keep the plant in the shade and transplant it as soon as possible. If it has to sit for more than a few days, try to water the rootball enough to keep it from drying out. Do not wrap the top in plastic, and be sure to keep it well watered after replanting. Good luck with the move!

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