The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Roses

Question: I reside in Washington state and since all my bulbs and some perennials are coming up, I would like to move my roses to a different location in the yard. Am I going to damage my roses by doing this? They are full of shoots already because I did not cut them back in the fall.

Answer: Spring and fall are the best times to tranplant trees and shrubs. They'll be less stressed if moved when weather is cool, and natural rainfall will ease the transition.

I'd move the rose now and prune it back as soon as possible. Pruning roses doesn't need to be difficult. In the spring, remove the dead and damaged canes as far back as necessary. Then, remove any suckers that arise from below the graft union, if there is one (the swelling near the base of the plant). Next, select the healthiest canes (thicker and bright green) and cut off the rest. If your roses are just a couple of years old, save about 3-5 canes. Save more on older plants. Lastly, cut the flowering canes back by one-third to one-half. Make your cuts about 1/4" above an outward-facing bud.

I hope your rose will be happy in its new location!

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