The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Roses--care Of Roots--how To Trim Roots/ Store Roses For A Couple Months Prior To Repl

Question: We are putting in a home and I have to dig up about 12 roses, store them somehow for about 2 months and then put them in their new location near the new home. I need to know how to dig them up without damaging roots. Should I trim the roots back when storing them? How should I store them? Should I just put them in a temporary hole for the 2 months? I am in zone 5 near Wells Maine. Thanks a lot. Jennifer Crothers

Answer: Congratulations on your new home! The sooner you can accomplish this transplanting, the better, as roses probably haven't sprouted much new growth yet, but the soil has thawed. The best temporary storage for your roses is a nursery bed where you can plant them until their new home is prepared. Before digging the bushes, prepare a temporary bed for them in a mostly shady location. You'll be heeling them in, which means laying the plants in a foot-deep trench or hole at a 45-degree angle, and covering the roots with soil. It's a good idea to mulch the soil, too.

if the soil isn't already very moist, generously soak the area the night before with water so you can move the roses with as much soil as possible. This will limit root disturbance. If you haven't already pruned your bushes, do so now (for pruning instructions, visit our How-To at

. Replant in the new site immediately, BE SURE to
water in well, and keep an eye on watering until you are sure roots
are well established.

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