The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Roses

Question: I salvaged two hybird tea roses from my grandparents house when they moved a few years ago and planted them in a temporary location. Now I would like to move them to the permanent "rose garden." What is the best time of year to transplant them for my zone, and are there any tips to insure they get off to a good start?

Answer: Transplant after the last frost date in early spring. Water the rose thoroughly the day before. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth. Mix plenty of organic matter, such as compost, into the backfill. Mix a phosphorous source, such as bone meal, to promote bloom into the bottom of the hole. Set the root ball in and fill around it. Ensure that the rootball is planted level, or a little higher to allow for sinkage, with its original planting depth. Press the backfill in gently, but don't pack it. Water thoroughly and allow it to sink, and then add more if needed. Keep soil moist, but not wet, until root systems can establish.

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