How do I move rose bushes. - Knowledgebase Question

Los Angeles, Ca
Avatar for dobr7s
Question by dobr7s
June 30, 2010
There are 5 or 6 small rose bushes that need to be moved away from my father's house before it is fumigated. They are on the south facing wall and my plan is to move them to a better area in the garden. How can I protect them during the move and how long should I wait before replanting them?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
I wouldn't recommend doing this in the heat of summer, but if you have no other options, don't leave the roots exposed for any longer than necessary. Prepare the new planting area ahead of time and water the rose the day before you move it. Cut it back by about two thirds so you can reach the root zone. Dig up as much of the root ball as you can, digging as wide and as deep as possible, and taking as many of the roots as you can. It will be very heavy if it is a large plant, so you might want to drag it on a tarp rather than carry it. Dig a very generous hole about twice as wide and about the same depth as the root ball. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole. Replant it at the same depth as it grew originally and water it in well. Mulch it and keep it evenly moist but not soggy thereafter. Roses need a full sun location with a rich soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. It is usually a good idea to add organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged stable manure and bedding to the planting area to help improve the soil. If you can't immediately transplant it to a new hole, plant it in a container and let it reestablish the root system. Then transplant in fall or even next spring. The idea is not to shock the roots repeatedly in a short time frame. Good luck!

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