How to Transplant Roses - The Number One Secret

You might think that the delicate rose is far too sensitive to be rudely dug up and replanted elsewhere. Surprisingly, however, roses are actually quite robust and can be relatively easily taken out of their existing home and replanted elsewhere. However, there is one particularly important secret to successfully transplanting roses, and that is... water!

Even though a rose bush is fairly resilient and can handle transplanting, it can only do so if it is well watered before you dig it up and well watered once you've replanted it. Rose bushes will go into shock if they are not sufficiently hydrated and are taken from their current location and put into another. If you give the plant enough water before you move it, it will be much more likely to survive any trauma.

Similarly, once you've put your rose plant into its new home, make sure that it receives lots of water for the first week or two. This is particularly important if you have been forced to transplant the rose in summer and the weather is very warm.

Apart from this golden rule, here are some more tips for transplanting roses:

  • The best time to transplant rose bushes is in the dormant season (fall, winter, early spring). During this time there is far less stress on the plant to dig it up and expose its' roots to the elements.
  • If you really have to move your rose in summer time, during the peak growing season, then give it water, water and more water.
  • Roses love water - so make sure that your rose bush gets a good watering on the days before you decide to move the plant.
  • Prepare the hole in the location where you want to replant your rose well before, so you don't waste any time getting your rose into its new home. The less time that the roots are exposed the better.
  • Make sure your new hole is large enough to accommodate the bush. Add plenty of compost and ensure the soil is rich and fertile.
  • Carefully dig up your rose from its current location, trying not to damage the roots and try to take as much of the root ball as possible.
  • If you do have to cut any large roots away, then do so cleanly with some secateurs or cutters to limit the trauma to the plant.
  • Limit the amount of time the roots are exposed to the air and if you do have to travel a bit to get to the new home of your plant, then cover the roots with a piece of damp cloth or sacking.
  • Place the root ball into the new hole and ensure that the bud onion is slightly raised above the ground to allow for any settling in the soil.
  • Give your precious rose a solid watering and continue to water in the next few days.

The rose will settle in and recover and by the time the summer blooming period arrives, your rose will provide you with glorious blossoms to lift your spirit.

Kendall Rowsby is an avid gardener and rose enthusiast. If you'd like to get more essential tips on roses and transplanting roses then please visit

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Last modified on Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:56
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