Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Ideally a rose would be able to spend its entire existence in one spot. This seems a fairly simple plan until you consider everything that can happen in the lifespan of a single rose plant. Often a rose needs to be moved because a tree that was once small has grown and is now creating too much shade. Perhaps youíre moving to a new home and wish to take your treasured rose plants with you. Transplanting your rose successfully is easier than you think.
As with most rose gardening timing if of utmost importance. The best time to transplant your rose is in the fall, winter or early spring. Your plant is dormant then and wonít be as stressed by the move. It will also be less work since you wonít have to be as diligent to ensure a steady supply of water to your dormant rose. If your winter weather is harsh simply wait until the ground has thawed to relocate your rose.
Donít worry about pruning or cutting back your rose unless itís too large for you to move. Then only prune the plant as needed to make it a more manageable size. Roses need their upper growth to take in sun and nutrients to generate new roots. Cutting off too much growth will only stress the plant further and slow new root development.
Next youíll want to prepare your flowerbed before moving your rose to itís new location. The less time your rose is out of the ground the better. You want to dig up as large of a root ball as you can possibly move. Pruners can be helpful to cut the roots rather than trying to chop them with a shovel. Plastic tarps are great for moving large root balls. You can sit the newly dug root ball onto the tarp and then drag it to the new planting location. Ensure your roseís root ball is kept moist while exposed and not placed in the sun. This can cause root damage.
If, despite your careful handling, the roseís root ball falls apart during the move, donít worry. Prepare your planting hole with a small, cone shaped mound of dirt at the bottom. You can then spread the roseís roots across the fresh mound of dirt. Roots generally grow horizontally rather than vertically so spread the roots out to the sides of the planting hole rather than straight down. Ensure your rose is planted at the correct height, with the bud union at the soil line. Now back fill your planting hole.
If you havenít transplanted your rose while dormant water is going to be very important. If the weather is hot youíll need to water your rose thoroughly almost everyday for about two weeks. Then you can slowly taper off to a regular watering schedule. Transplanting your rose while dormant is simpler, just try to keep the soil relatively moist during the winter and not soaked. Pay a bit of extra attention to watering your rose in the spring, but it should be just fine. Youíll also want to make sure youíve applied a fresh layer of mulch, no matter when you transplant.
If done correctly transplanting a rose can easily be a success. Many gardeners stress over the move, but if a rose is growing in an unsuitable location it will never develop to its full potential. Once moved your rose will be much happier and healthier for years to come.