The Q&A Archives: Transplanted rose trees in shock

Question: I recently moved into a new house in Lancaster, California (the high desert) and there were three rose trees planted in front of the house where it is in the shade for the better part of the day. They were doing very poorly, the leaves looked wilted all the time and some of the edges of the leaves, even new ones would roll up and die. So I moved them to my back yard this week (April 07) they looked fine the first couple of days..I followed the transplanting instructions I found online (even though I moved them at the wrong time) but on the third day all the leaves and stems died and fell off. Now the trees look dormant. I know they are in shock but will they come back or are they gone for good?

Answer: While it is best to transplant roses while they are dormant, most roses won't go into dormancy in your warm winter climate. So, you really don't have much of a choice as to when the best time is for moving them. Obviously, moving them while they're actively growing will certainly shock them. However, they should recover. Just water them deeply once each week and wait for new growth. Once you're sure they have settled in you can prune away any stems that refuse to leaf out. It may take the entire season for them to recover, but I'm sure they will.

Best wishes with your garden!

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