There are a number of reasons that a gardener might think about transplanting roses. It may be that the plant needs more sunlight than the current area provides, or it may be that you have other plans for the space the rose is currently in. Regardless of the reason, there are a few basics you will need to know before you move your plant.
Preparing to Transplant Roses
The very first thing you will need to do is to prepare the ground where the rose will be planted. The root ball of the rose plant should not be exposed for any length of time to the sun and heat, so be sure to have the planting spot ready to place the plant. If you are transplanting the rose in a car prior to planting again, be sure that the roots are protected by covering the root ball with a slightly damp piece of burlap.
The Importance of Water During Transplanting
A good thing to remember is to be sure to thoroughly water your rose bush the day before you will be transplanting it. Water is the secret of a successful transplant. If a plant is already dry or wilting by the time it is replanted, it is not likely that it will survive the stress of the move. However, if the canes, leaves and roots of the rose bush are full of water, it will be much more tolerant of the move.
Some root loss while moving the plant is unavoidable. As the roots of a rose bush grow deep, it is unrealistic to try to dig down and remove all of the roots. However, if the plant has sufficient water, it will be able to survive the root loss.
Extract as much of the root ball of the rose plant as possible when digging it out. Pruning is not necessary when transplanting a rose, it can actually be harmful to do so. The top growth of the plant plays a role in the production of sugars and energy. If after the rose is transplanted you notice the tips starting to wilt, that is a sign the plant is struggling to support the top growth. When that occurs, increase the watering and prune the areas of the plant that appear to be damaged.
Another helpful tip is to add bone meal to the hole for the rose plant, one half to one full cup. The plant should sit slightly higher in the hole in the new location than it did in the old spot as it will settle. After the plant has been watered and has settled in the hole. Press lightly on the plant to get rid of air pockets..
The majority of rose experts agree that it is not a good idea to transplant roses during their growing season for a number of reasons. There is less risk to losing the plant if it is transplanted during the dormant season because they are less likely to go into shock. Also, if you transplant the rose at the end of the growing season after it has been pruned, it will be smaller and easier to move. But, with proper preparation and a lot of water, anyone can follow the steps listed here and anyone can have beautiful, flourishing roses after a transplant during any season.