The Q&A Archives: Removing/moving A Large Climbing Rosebush

Question: What is the best way to remove then move a very large climbing rosebush? I planted it right next to the front porch and it's going over the roof, inside the porch ceiling, etc. I have to prune it constantly. I would like to move it somewhere else. It's a climbing Peace and it's grown huge. It needs lots of room. Please advise

Answer: In some cases it is possible to prune and train a large plant such as this so that it looks good arching over the porch and is not in the way. This would be done during the spring and then occasionally during the summer, tying the plant as needed to a trellis or wire framework.

If you think you need to move it, the best time is late fall or very early spring. Water it well the day before you move it. Trim back the top so you can access the roots. Carefully dig up the roots. You will need to take as much of the root ball as possible and trim back the top very short to compensate for the root loss. A large rootball is heavy so you may need help to move it. Replant immediately into a prepared hole, setting the plant at the same depth as it grew before. Water well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets, then mulch with several inches of organic mulch placed over the root area but not touching the canes. Keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet until the plant is reestablished, at least the entire first season. Good luck -- this is a big job.

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