The Q&A Archives: moving rose bushes?

Question: I recently bought a 100 year old home from the orginial family. I will be doing some landscaping in by small yard this summer and need to move two old rose bushes that are not ideally located. I would love to replant these elsewhere, as the are meaningful since I met the grown sons who planted these many years ago for their mother. Is it possible to uproot and replant roses?

Answer: It is possible to move established roses, however this is not the ideal time. If you can relocate them while they're dormant (winter months), they won't suffer quite as much transplant shock. If you move them now, they will probably sulk for a while, however they should begin to recover later this spring and put out new growth this summer. Root systems on roses will be concentrated in the top 18" of soil and spread out several inches from the longest branches. Try to sever as few roots as possible while you're digging and get them back into the ground as quickly as possible. Expect some wilting after the move. Just give the shrubs time to recover and when new growth begins again you can prune off those that shriveled up and died. By this time next year they should be fully established and blooming their little heads off. Hope so!

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