The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Roses

Question: Please let me know how to transplant roses ie. is it ok to transplant rose bushes in the spring, how deep should I dig to plant etc.

Answer: Roses can be transplanted in early spring. Prepare the new planting area ahead of time and water the rose the day before you move it. Cut it back by about two thirds so you can reach the root zone. Dig up as much of the root ball as you can, digging as wide and as deep as possible, and taking as many of the roots as you can. It will be very heavy if it is a large plant, so you might want to drag it on a tarp rather than carry it. Dig a very generous hole about twice as wide and about the same depth as the root ball. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole. Replant it at the same depth as it grew originally and water it in well. Mulch it and keep it evenly moist but not soggy thereafter.

Roses need a full sun location with a rich soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. It is usually a good idea to add organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged stable manure and bedding to the planting area to help improve the soil.

For more information about caring for roses, you might want to look at a book or two. One I particularly like is "Roses for Dummies" by Lance Walheim, ISBN 0-7645-5031-4, Dummy Press. In it you will find detailed instructions about selecting, planting, pruning and caring for all types of roses.

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