Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
June, 2003
Regional Report

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One last rose cluster trimmed before planting.

Transplanting Roses

I just rescued a rose from a garden being relandscaped. While this isn't the ideal time to transplant roses, I had no choice since the plant would be destroyed if I didn't take it. So I just had to make some extra accommodations in planting and follow-up attention. These techniques are simple enough and apply to any transplanting you're considering over the summer.

1. Keep the plant in partial sun/shade until you're ready to transplant it. This will give it time to acclimate to your general garden environment.
2. Water the plant thoroughly. You want the rootball to be completely moist.
3. Dig a hole two to three times as wide as the container, but only as deep as the container. This will give the plant lots of easy-to-navigate space to extend its roots.
4. Fill hole half-full with water and let soak in. You want to make sure the surrounding, undug soil is moist too.
5. Trim roots. For 5-gallon-size plants, shake out potting mix and trim roots to about 12 inches. For gallon-size or 4-inch-container size, rough up or pull apart the rootball to loosen the fibrous roots, and trim any circling roots.
6. Trim foliage to make a compact plant.
7. Place plant so it's barely above its original position in its container.
8. Refill the hole, incorporating up to 30 percent manure and compost. You want to provide a nutritious soil that's easy for plant roots to grow into.
9. Form a "donut" berm at the outer edges of the hole, to corral the water.
10. Water to fill the berm two more times to thoroughly saturate the refilled soil.
11. Provide shade from noon until dusk for one week or until leaves stay perked up all day long.
12. Fill the berm with water the next day.
13. Fill the berm with water three days later.
14. Fill the berm with water one week later.
15. Remove the shade except during the hottest three hours for another week. This will be needed only if there wasn't much of a root system when it was transplanted, or if the weather is particularly hot.
16. Visit your new treasure each day to monitor its needs and encourage it to thrive.

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