The Q&A Archives: Moving zones w/ Roses & Butterfly bushes

Question: I'm moving from Kansas City to the Chicago area in the end of May. I want to take my 3 Rose bushes & 2 Butterfly bushes. What suggestions do you have for proper care & transplating for moving from one zone to another....?

Answer: Luckily you will be moving to approximately the same winter hardiness zone so your plants might be winter hardy there, although Chicago is probably a bit colder. (Butterfly bushes and many hybrid tea roses for example are not reliably hardy there. I should also mention butterfly bushes are not usually terribly long lived, and most roses will deteriorate after about eight to ten years.) However, it is never easy to successfully move a long distance with plants.

If you dig them up with as large a root ball as possible, wrap the roots in plastic to keep them damp, keep them shaded, place the plants inside a vehicle so they will be protected from wind and sun during the trip (take care they do not overheat when stopped), drive straight there and replant immediately, they might be okay. This is a lot of added stress while moving. Another easier option might be to ask a gardening friend to root cuttings for you this summer and then send you or bring you the small plants.

In my own experience, it is incredibly difficult and sad to leave a garden behind, but the new location offers lots of opportunity. With roses and butterfly bushes, too, you could purchase identical replacements once you are settled in your new home and have had time to plan and prepare the garden area and made sure they would be hardy there. You may find that the new garden allows you to make some new or different choices, or offers different growing conditions that would be better suited to different plants. Or you might see a new rose or a new flowering shrub that appeals to you even more -- and is better suited to the local climate.

All the best with your move.

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